Silk vs Wool – 14 Key Differences

Silk and Wool are both fibers are from animal origin. But there is a huge difference between silk vs wool.

Silk: Silk is a protein fiber and only one natural continuous filament made by the silkworm, produced by caterpillars belonging to the genus Bombyx. The most beautiful among all textile fibers is silk, which is claimed as the queen of textiles. It comes from the cocoon of silkworm and requires a great deal of handling and processing, which makes it one of the most expensive fibers also.

Wool: Wool is the natural highly crimped textile fiber obtained from a variety of sheep. Wool is possibly the oldest fiber known to humans. It was the first fibers to be spun into yarn and into the fabric. For thousands of years, wool has been used for clothing and other purposes by different tribes and nations around the world. Wool producing countries are Australia, China, the Former USSR, New Zealand, Uruguay, South Africa, Turkey and Pakistan.

14 Key Differences Between Silk vs Wool

Outer surfaceVery smooth, regular and fineUneven scale
Length300-2000 meter2-8 cm
Diameter10-20 µm
PolymerThe silk fibron polymer is a linear fibroin polymerWool keratin polymer is a helical configuration cross-link polymer
Amino acidSilk polymer is composed of sixteen different amino acidsWool polymer is consist of 20 different amino acids
Di-sulphide bondDoesn’t contain any di-sulphide bondsContains di-sulphide bonds such as cystine
Polymer lengthSilk polymer is about as long as 140 nmShorter than silk polymer
Repeating unitRepeating unit is peptide bondThe repeating unit of wool is peptide bond
Chemical bondChemical bonding groupings of the silk polymer are hydrogen bonds, the carboxyl and amino groups which give rise to the salt linkagesChemical bonding grouping of the wool polymer are hydrogen bonds, salt linkages, peptide and disulfide bonds etc
Attraction of polymerThe attraction between silk polymer is thought to be hydrogen bondsThe attraction between wool polymers is thought to be hydrogen bonds and van der wall forces.
Polymer arrangementFibroin polymers must therefore lie closer to-gather than this less than 0.5 nmKeratin polymer lies in cross-linked a helical pattern
StructureCrystal structureAmorphous structure
Resistant to abrasionLowGood
Resistant to sunlightContinuous exposer to light weakens silk faster than cotton or woolWool has a good resistance against sunlight
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