Military Wool is often the term used to describe the thick blend of wool used for Military issued clothing and items. The grade of wool is designed to handle harsh weather conditions, such as freezing temperatures and snowy climates. All over the world Militaries issue wool produced cothing to their personel because of how well wool works in insultating, regulating temperature, durability and being flame retardent.
Wool can be graded by the numerical system, which is the standard most recognised by Federal Register. The numerical count system has 14 different grades of wool. For U.S Military grade wool, most of the wool grades are between 60 and 64. What makes Military wool better than other types of wool? Because they are an industry standard designed to protect and enable soldiers. You know you are going to get high quality and durable wool when you purchase Military Wool items. Many use Military Wool items for acitivites such as camping in winter and travelling to northern countries.
You can find military wool available to buy due to surplus of items. When military wool is ordered, there is generally an overflow of items left and this is sold on to merchants who then sell it to the public. Colemans has it's own section for military issued gear that you can purchase; all of it was designed by U.S miitary to help soldiers endure difficult conditions. Their supplies include 100% wool long john jumpers, balaclavas and blankets.
Wool is great for military personel because its:
- Fire Retardent
- Breathable material
- Insulating, even when wet.
- Very diverse, used for different items for different conditions
The U.S. Military also consumes up to 20% of it's own American produced wool. American Laws require that 100% of uniforms produced for the U.S military are made from American produced materials, which has helped protect wool from foreign wool farmers. It also means that the U.S. Military is the largest consumer of American Wool.
Military Wool is used in:
- Coats / Peacoats
- Broadfall Trousers
- Dress Uniforms
Take a look at the video below which shows the type of items military have to use, including several wool-made items.
Best Outlets for Military Wool clothing
So where can you go to buy some of these military wool grade clothing items? Well, normally the only way you can get your hands on these is if they have been made surplus to requirements and sent to various surplus/second hand stores. You can find some items on Ebay and Amazon too, but check the item descriptions to make sure you are getting good quality wool.
- ArmySurplusWharehouse.com - They offer a huge range of different surplus items you can purchase, including jackets, trousers and coats.
- Colemans - They have been in the military business for over 30 years and you can find some great authentic military wool items here.
- SwissLink - You can find plenty of surplus wool supplies here.
- GoArmyNavy - Offer various used and new surplus items.
- Etsy - Similar to Ebay, you can also find Military grade wool clothing here.
Military Wool can become quite itchy due to how thick the wool is and unprocessed it is. You can try to wash it several times or where an undergarment to help protect from the scratchy surface. If it's true military grade wool, it'll often be very durable and won't get softer the more you wash it.
How Military Wool is made into items
You can see this report of how American Wool is used to make military items.