What is the Difference Between Fur, Hair and Wool?

We spin wool, but we usually don’t spin hair. Why? Just the thought of spinning hair conjures images of prickly discomfort and disgust. “Waiter, there’s a hair in my soup!” will never sound appealing. For some people, a stray hair is “dirty” or “gross.” Even today, we have a huge cultural stigma with spinning pet fur or human hair.

Fur, hair, and wool are all made from keratin, the same material that also makes up fingernails, goat or sheep horns, turtle shells, and horse hooves. We need to know what wool is, what qualities help differentiate fur, hair and wool and why we might choose to spin any of the three keratin fibers. Let’s split hairs and focus on five qualities: the cuticle, the medullation, the way it grows, the density of growth and the sebum.  This chart gives you a nice guideline.  

Please see the articles linked below for a more detailed breakdown!


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