Is wool stain resistant?

While the core of the wool fibre can absorb up to a third of its dry weight in moisture, the surface of the fibre has a waxy coating that repels liquids. This surface layer is not easily removed by washing or processing. Water droplets on the surface of wool clothing will bead and roll off instead of being absorbed into the fabric, as occurs with cotton, allowing it to resist many common everyday stains.

The focus of this lesson is to encourage students to think about the link between the properties of a fibre and the implications for its end use.

During this lesson students will have the opportunity to:

  • test the stain resistant capacities of wool compared with cotton
  • consider the implications of wool’s ability to repel water in a range of everyday uses.

Links to the Australian Curriculum:

  • Science involves exploring and observing the world using the senses (ACSHE013)
  • Respond to questions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS014)
  • Explore and make observations by using the senses (ACSIS011)
  • Share observations and ideas (ACSIS012)
  • Engage in discussions about observations and use methods such as drawing to represent ideas (ACSIS233)