Is wool itchy?

Why do some wool garments itch and others don't?

If you’ve ever put on a thick wool sweater without underwear underneath, you might have noticed that it felt a little itchy. It’s annoying – both for you and your skin, especially if you’re not used to wearing wool directly on your skin. You're not imagining that it made you itch. But that doesn't mean that all wool is itchy. Learn more about why some wool garments itch and others don't here.




Wool is a natural material made from long, curly fibers from animals such as sheep, goats and llamas. When the fibers curl onto your skin, they can feel slightly uncomfortable and you'll start to itch. For people with sensitive skin or for those who are unaccustomed to wearing wool – such as children – the itchiness can be particularly annoying.


In Ulvang we only use sheep’s wool. But that doesn't mean that all the wool is the same! Different breeds of sheep produce different types of wool, and with different qualities for different purposes. And even if you’ve got a sweater that’s itchy, fortunately, it doesn't mean that all wool is itchy. Both wool quality and knitting methods also have an effect.


Use wool with less fiber thickness

You may be aware that different wool garments have different “thicknesses”. That's absolutely correct. A micron is a unit of measure for the diameter of wool fiber. The lower the number of microns, the finer and softer the wool.


The micron to choose depends on the garment and its intended use. For underwear, wool base layers and T-shirts, i.e., wool clothing that is worn close to the skin, you should choose a low-micron wool.


In Ulvang, we list the micron number on our baselayers to help you find the garment that best suits you.


Merino – Non-itchy wool clothes

Some wool is guaranteed to be less itchy than other types of wool. For example, merino wool is softer and finer, making it less itchy and more comfortable to wear. And studies have shown that fine merino wool also has a soothing effect on those with sensitive skin and atopic eczema. Even those who tend to sweat should consider adding clothes in merino wool to their wardrobe.

Ulvang Eco Wool Wash 250ml

Our own ecological wool wash.

  • Effective wool detergent based on rewnewable raw materials.
  • For all high-quality texties of natural fibers, especially developed for soft Merino wool.
  • Lanolin with high quality wool-protein protects the garment against felting and keeps it soft and gentle.
  • Good biodegradability, made of renewable raw materials.
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Stay warm with wool

If you find that regular synthetic baselayers – even those made of merino wool - are itchy, then wool mesh is a good solution. Mesh wool has unique properties and has been used for many generations. Mesh baselayers consist of a fine mesh, which collects warm air from your body into the holes in the yarn structure.


Read more about Ulvang wool mesh here


Incorrectly treated wool

However, if you find that your sweater or wool underwear is itchy, your wool clothes may not have been washed or treated properly. This can make them more itchy.


Make sure you follow the washing instructions on your wool garment and use a mild detergent or our own developed organic wool wash, specially designed for Ulvang wool products. This can help soften the fiber and reduce skin irritation.

With the right care and washing, your wool clothing will last you a long time.


Wool all year round

In Ulvang, we sell versatile wool baselayers in merino wool, but also wool clothing for people of all levels, from fitness enthusiasts to experienced explorers and those who are just starting to discover the joys of outdoor life. We have wool garments that are suitable for the relevant activity, and which don't itch.


Ulvang also sells comfortable, soft and versatile wool clothes for children. These don't itch and make long days spent outdoors extra fun!


Remember it’s important to take care of your skin, and we hope this guide has explained a little more about why wool can be itchy, and what you can do to find the right wool garments that feel comfortable on.