Wool from sheep has been used for thousands of years as a fabric and yarn. Sheep were one of the first animals to be domesticated. The earliest sheep had short hair but were bred to be long-haired over several centuries, probably in Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent.
Wool can be woven on looms into fine fabrics like twill, tweed and flannel or knitted into woollen jumpers. The earliest examples of knitted wool in Europe are probably from the 13th and 14th Century. Warm woolly jumpers have been popular among outdoor workers ever since then. Fishermen wear them at sea and many cold, damp North Atlantic islands (Fair Isle, Iceland, Shetland) are still world-renowned for producing warm jumpers made from local wool, often with unique patterns.
It is easy to unravel knitted garments and reuse the wool. There are new companies doing this right now. We’ve found a useful blog to read to find out how to do this yourself at home.