Wool vs. Linen in The Winter

Wool vs. Linen in The Winter

Linen and wool are what I call "Nature's Super-fibers". They have some incredible properties that make them stand out from all the rest. Both wool and linen have incredible temperature regulating properties. So if they are both so good at regulating your temperature, which is best to wear when the temperatures start dropping? Let's take a look at the pros and cons of each.

Pros of wearing linen in the winter

Temperature regulating

As we mentioned before, linen naturally regulates the body's temperature. It responds to the environment around it and allows the body to breathe. This is why it is most commonly known to be a summer fabric. However, it does just as well at regulating your body heat in the winter as the summer.


Linen is known to be the strongest natural plant fiber in the world. The crazy thing is that it is even stronger when it's wet! Linen clothing can take a beating and come out more soft and beautiful in the end.

Cons of wearing linen when it's cold

Cold when wet

Have you ever dumped water on your linen clothing while you were wearing them? It can feel like an AC unit just turned on! This is awesome when it's hot, but not exactly what you want when it's -3 degrees outside!

Super Absorbent

This is a very positive thing in some cases. However, it's not so nice when you are working in wet & cold conditions. Linen also becomes very heavy when it's wet.

Pros of wearing wool in the winter

Temperature regulating

We all know this- wool does an incredible job of keeping your body warm when it's cold! Wool also keeps you cool when it's hot- but that's a subject for another day. Wool traps little air bubbles in it's fibers and this insulates your body.


Wool has a naturally occuring waxy substance on it called lanolin. This makes so it will keep you nice and dry if its raining outside. However, most wool clothing that is made today has the lanolin stripped off of it during the process of creating the fabric. It's very easy to put it back on and this will once again give your wool these water repelling properties.


It doesn't take as many layers of wool in order to to keep you warm.

Cons of wool in the cold

Lacks Durability

Wool is not as durable as linen. Wool jersey in particular can snag easily. Woven and felted wool is very thick and durable but not something you would want to wear next to your skin. Wool is also easily damaged if it gets soaking wet.


So which is the best fabric to wear in the winter - wool or linen? I honestly think it's a combination of both. Wearing a close fitting base layer of wool against your skin is a great first layer to trap your body heat and wic away sweat. Next, a good linen layer for the durablility you need for the outdoors.  A wool coat over it all, would be a great finishing touch for when you are headed into cold and rainy conditions.

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