Wool products are expensive, and this is partly due to the fact that it is a natural fiber that is produced by sheep. The process of shearing, cleaning, carding, spinning, and dyeing wool requires significant time and resources, which contributes to the cost of the final product. Additionally, wool is a premium material that is known for its durability, warmth, and comfort, which also contributes to its higher price point.
Why is wool so expensive?
Wools are sold on auction. Australian wool auction is popular ones. The price of Wool also depends up fineness of the wool measured in micron. The less the micron the more softer the wool and more higher the price. The wool.com shows the weekly auction price based on different micron. Once the wool are auctioned it needs to go through the process of turning into yarn. The yarn could be of different thickness and mix.
Below is the report from wool.com from Australian auction market. It lists the different price point as per different micron. Remember wool is measured in term micron. The finer the micron the more expensive it is vice versa the higher the micron count the less expensive it gets.
Australian wool auction weekly market report is found is here.
Similarly there are different auction center across the country as well as worldwide.
In UK – https://www.britishwool.org.uk/sales-calendar
In New Zealand – https://www.cpwool.co.nz/client-information/sale-dates/
In South Africa – https://www.capewools.co.za/cwmr/defaultnew.aspx
What additional steps are undertaken following the acquisition of wool from an auction that affects the price?
Woolmark have very nice information as well as video describing each processes and their function in their site here.
These are value addition processes usually taking place in the importing country. China dominates the import of Australian wool by whooping 82.5% in 2022/2023, whereas the next import country India is 6.5% in the same year, followed by Italy, Czech Republic.
Are All wool Expensive?
The coarser wool that is higher than 28 micron wool are low in cost. It is usually used in production of carpet & Rugs, Upholstery, Felt etc. Whereas the finer wool are used in suits & Other Tailored Garments, baby wear, luxury wear, under garments, apparels and accessories. etc. We usually stock 21 micron merino wool sourced from India & processed in India or Nepal.
Production from Hand knitting
Hand knitting wool items is an even more labor-intensive process than machine knitting, as it takes a lot more time and skill to create a hand knitted item. This, combined with the cost of the wool itself, makes hand knitted wool items even more expensive. Furthermore, if the wool is organic and sourced ethically, it may have an even higher price tag.
Hand knitted wool items are considered to be luxury items because of the time, skill, and resources that go into producing them. They are often made with a high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail, which can make them more durable and longer-lasting than mass-produced items. This is one of the reason hand-knitted wool items cost higher than other material apparel.
As you can see a sweater using chunky yarn takes quite a while to complete few inches of a sweater.