Silk vs Wool – 14 Key Differences.

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

Silk is a protien 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 coccon of silk worm and requires a great deal of handling and processing, which makes it one of the most expensive fibers also.

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 fabric. For thousands of year, wool has been used for clothing and other purpose by different tribes and nations around the world. Wool producing countries are Australia, China, Former USSR, New Zealand, Uruguay, South Africa, Turkey and Pakistan.

Difference Between Silk vs Wool




Outer surface

Very smooth, regular and fine

Uneven scale


300-2000 meter

2-8 cm


10-20 µm


The silk fibron polymer is a linear fibroin polymer

Wool keratin polymer is a helical configuration cross-link polymer

Amino acid

Silk polymer is composed of sixteen different amino acids

Wool polymer is consist of 20 different amino acids

Di-sulphide bond

Doesn’t contain any di-sulphide bonds

Contains di-sulphide bonds such as cystine

Polymer length

Silk polymer is about as long as 140 nm

Shorter than slik polymer

Repeating unit

Repeating unit is peptide bond

Repeating unit of wool is peptide bond

Chemical bond

Chemical bonding groupings of the silk polymer are hydrogen bonds, the carboxyl and amino groups which give rise to the salt linkages

Chemical bonding grouping of the wool polymer are hydrogen bonds, salt linkages, peptide and disulfide bonds etc.

Attraction of polymer

Attraction between silk polymer are thought to be hydrogen bonds

Attraction between wool polymers are thought to be hydrogen bonds and van der wall forces.

Polymer arrangement

Fibroin polymers must therefore lie closer to-gather than this less than 0.5 nm

Keratin polymer lies in cross-linked a helical pattern


Crystal structure

Amorphous structure

Resistant to abrasion



Resistant to sun light

Continuous exposer to light weakens silk faster than cotton or wool

Wool has good resistant against sun light

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