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How to stop wool from itching

Updated November 21, 2016

Wool can be a lovely fabric to wear. It absorbs moisture, maintaining warmth, and wool also absorbs colour well, making it easy to find attractive jumpers and other woollen items of clothing. Wool has been worn for centuries---and for centuries people have itched while wearing wool. But according to an msnbc.com article, a new wool processing technique claims to eliminate the itch factor. Baring that, however, there are simple measures that might alleviate itching and enable a person to wear wool.

Buy a more expensive woollen fabric, such as merino wool. Choose a thinner, finer wool that has a better quality wool fibre. Look for woollen garments that have already been lined, perhaps with a cotton fabric. Higher-end wool is less likely to cause itching.

Use a talcum powder that keeps your skin dry because moisture will exacerbate any itching. Ideally, wear a long-sleeved silk knit or thin cotton top between your skin and the woollen item, forming a barrier between your skin and the wool. Itching is often more common around the neck, so wear a wool item with a lower neckline.

Hand wash your woollen garments with "wool wash," and use fabric conditioner. Washing the woollen garment several times will make it softer and make irritation of your skin less likely. Hand wash the garment before wearing it for the first time.

Look for labels such as "Smartwool" that carry a guarantee that the itme will not cause itching. If you suffer from eczema or atopic dermatitis, consider avoiding wool as you are more susceptible to developing a reaction to the wool.

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About the Author

Noreen Wainwright has been writing since 1997. Her work has appeared in "The Daily Telegraph," "The Guardian," "The Countryman" and "The Lady." She has a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from Liverpool Polytechnic and a postgraduate law degree from Staffordshire University.