In the late 19th century, Dr Gustav Jaeger developed a philosophy of ‘sanitary clothing’ in which wool is given the spotlight. In contrast to ‘chilling materials’ such as linen and cotton, wool could absorb and pass away the ‘noxious exhalations’ of the body. In 1884 the Dr Jaeger’s Sanitary Woollen System was founded by English businessman Lewis Tomalin. In a 1930s bulletin extolling the health-giving properties of wool, Mr Garrett, head of the Jaeger technical laboratory explains:

“The foremost elements to give proper protection and comfort in what you wear are – slow conductivity, to enable the body to maintain a normal temperature, absorption to eliminate damp, ventilation and moderate weight. Adequate cover of the human frame is essential for the maintenance of health and good wool possesses all the elements named…ideal sportswear is always made from wool for the reasons given.”

– S Black, Knitting: Fashion, Industry, Craft, V&A Publishing 2012, London

One famous literary person wearing Dr Jaeger’s Sanitary Woollen System was George Bernard Shaw (Wovember disclaimer: although this looks like a woollen suit, we cannot be sure if it was made by Dr Jaeger):