When you were twelve years-old your grandmother probably bought you a wool sweater for the holidays. Maybe it had snowflakes on it. Maybe it was in a weird shade of brown. Whatever the exact sweater looked like, you don't remember. What you do remember is itching. Sitting in class, you scratched at your neck and pushed at the sleeves. You couldn't wait to take it off the minute you got home. Things are different now. On a farm in New Zealand is a field with happy sheep under sunny skies. The wool from these sheep is soft, airy and ideal for Thomas Dean sweaters. This wool is gathered and sent to our shop in the Biella region of Italy, where this extra-fine merino wool (sub-15 micron, cashmere is sub-18) is knitted into a Thomas Dean sweater that you will cherish and wear for decades. (It's so soft and well made, don't be surprised if your son or daughter takes it to college with them one day.) If you have never worn an extra-fine merino sweater before, your fall and winter is about to take on a much cozier feeling. Sweaters made from lesser quality wool or combined with other materials is less expensive, yes, but it can be scratchy and pill. Come February you just want to leave it behind in a taxi. A good quality sweater made from 100% high quality wool is warm and soft to the skin. It provides excellent insulation (which makes it perfect for skiing and late fall golfing) and is durable. It resists tearing, abrasion, snagging, pilling, wrinkling, static and dirt. It is also lightweight with the weight (60-80% of the volume of wool is air). So, you know that wool is soft, warm and durable, but how hard is it to care for? That's the rub, right? Gorgeous but high maintanance like your first post-college girlfriend? Hardly. Here is what you need to know: Don't throw your wool sweaters in the washing machine. Most wool garments can safely be hand washed and laid flat to dry. Unless you're playing a rough game of football in your sweater, you can wear your wool garments many times without washing, especially if you're wearing it over a shirt. Just one more thing: While butterflies are adorable, moths are not your friend. Keep nibbling critters away from your wool sweaters by hanging a lavender sachet near your sweaters. Not only will your heavenly soft merino wool sweaters be safely untouched, your closet or bureau will smell like a French countryside. (More tips at RealSimple.com.) Now that you're longing for a soft wool sweater to make your own this season, try on these Thomas Dean merino wool sweaters on for size: the 1/4 zip, the 1/4 button and the v-neck. Their plush, airy, luxurious feel and easy care will make this an easy go-to layering piece this season. Try it under a blazer for now and a down jacket for later. So, go ahead and get wild about wool this season! You picked a great time to do it!