Is Filson Wool Itchy & Can You Make it Less Scratchy?

Filson wool jackets are popular because they protect and insulate in some of the coldest, wettest conditions. But if your skin is a bit sensitive to wool, you might be wondering how the wool feels against the skin. Is Filson wool itchy?

Yes, Filson wool garments will feel itchy against the skin. Some types of Filson wool will be less itchy than others. Here are the most important things to understand:

  • Filson uses several different types of wool, that vary in weight and strength. The most premium, heavyweight wool that Filson uses is Mackinaw Wool. It comes from a variety of sheep that experience both cold winters and hot summers which causes them to grow this heavyweight fleece. When combined with a tight weave, Mackinaw wool creates a wind-resistant and water-repellent barrier that insulates in the coldest conditions.
  • However, because Mackinaw wool is made from larger-diameter fibers, it feels scratchy against the skin for many people. These types of Filson Mackinaw Wool jackets and pants are made for the coldest conditions and are meant to be layered underneath (which protects the skin from the scratchy, thick fibers). Some Filson Mackinaw Wool Jackets come with a sewn-in liner that protects the skin. These liners are often cotton-flannel in the body and polyester in the sleeves. If you are sensitive to wool, these lined wool jackets will be your best option. Click here to view a lined Filson Mackinaw Wool Jacket (paid affiliate link takes you to
  • Filson also uses Seattle Wool, which is still a premium type of wool, but it is a midweight wool and is not as thick and coarse as heavyweight Mackinaw Wool. This midweight Seattle wool won’t be as itchy as Mackinaw wool. Click here to view Filson’s Seattle Wool Jackets (paid affiliate link takes you to Still, for those who are sensitive to wool, even this type of midweight Seattle wool may feel a bit itchy and need to be layered underneath.
  • Filson also offers some jackets that use a lightweight wool. The interior of these garments are often “brushed” to make them softer than the Mackinaw and Seattle wool we discussed above. Still, for those who are sensitive to wool, even these lofty, brushed wools can feel a little itchy and may need to be layered underneath. Click here to view the Filson Okanogan Pullover which uses this loftier wool (paid affiliate link takes you to

The main takeaway is expect the heavyweight Filson Mackinaw Wool to feel a bit itchy against your skin. As I will discuss below, I personally don’t find Filson Mackinaw Wool to be bothersome, but I am not sensitive to wool.

Filson uses other wools that are more lightweight than Mackinaw Wool, and therefore not as coarse. Still, if you are someone that has skin that is very sensitive to wool, even these other wools may feel scratchy. If that is you, I would suggest choosing a Filson Wool Jacket that uses a lining to make the jacket soft against the skin.

Does Filson Wool Itch?

Yes, heavyweight Filson wool will itch against the skin. However, it is largely dependent on how sensitive you are to wool garments.

For example, below is a close up look at the wool fibers on my Filson Mackinaw Wool Jacket:


I personally do *not* think this Filson Mackinaw wool is that itchy – it does not bother my skin. But it’s important to emphasize that many people *do* feel like this thicker wool is itchy against the skin, so it is largely dependent on how sensitive you are to wool.

It’s also important to remember that most of these heavyweight wool jackets are meant to be layered underneath (which protects your skin from direct contact with the heavyweight wool). But if you don’t always layer, it would be best to choose a Filson wool jacket that has a sewn-in lining. These linings make the jacket soft and comfortable against the skin.

  • Click here to view an example of a Filson wool jacket with a sewn-in flannel/polyester lining which makes it feel soft against the skin (paid affiliate link takes you to

If your skin is sensitive to wool then choosing a midweight or lightweight, softer wool might be best. As I mentioned earlier, Filson uses midweight Seattle Wool which won’t be quite as coarse as Mackinaw (Mackinaw vs Seattle Wool Compared).

In some jackets, Filson uses a loftier wool (which is softer and more lightweight) and is designed to minimize itchiness. These garments are often “brushed” on the interior to make them softer against the skin. Still, for those who are sensitive to wool, even these lofty, brushed wools might feel a bit itchy.

  • Click here to view the Filson Okanogan Pullover which uses this loftier wool with a brushed interior (paid affiliate link takes you to

Pros and Cons of Filson Wool

Excellent insulation – Filson’s heavyweight wools are thick and densely woven which traps air, creating a warm, insulating barrier against the cold.Coarse texture – The coarse texture of the heavyweight wools can be uncomfortable against the skin. It is advisable to wear a layer underneath for added comfort.
Durability – Filson’s wool is known for its ability to withstand rugged conditions. The heavyweight nature and tightly woven construction make it highly resistant to wear and tear.Cost – Premium wool garments can be expensive compared to cotton garments.
Wind resistance – The tightly woven construction of Filson wool provides excellent protection against wind.Heavy Brush – Filson Mackinaw wool is a heavyweight fabric and is durable, but it isn’t as durable as Filson Tin Cloth. For the heaviest brush, it may be best to go with Filson Tin Cloth.
Water resistance Wool is water-repellent and can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in water without feeling damp or clammy. Requires special care – Wool garments require proper care to maintain their quality and longevity. They should be dry cleaned and need to be stored properly in a well-ventilated area.

How to Make Filson Wool Less Itchy?

If your Filson wool jacket is itchy and you want to try to soften the wool fibers, these are two of the most popular methods people use to make wool more comfortable against the skin:

  • Use fabric softeners – Certain fabric softeners or wool conditioners can help soften the fibers and reduce itchiness. Look for products specifically formulated for wool and follow the instructions provided. Here is a wool conditioner available at Amazon that uses a plant-based formula to gently clean and soften the wool (paid affiliate link takes you to
  • Condition with vinegar – Some people find that conditioning wool with vinegar helps to soften the fibers. You can do this by adding 2 tbsp of vinegar to cold water and following the cleaning procedures found here.

Popular Types of Filson Wool Jackets

Below is a chart comparing some of the most popular types of Filson wool jackets:

Mackinaw Wool Cruiser JacketMade in USAHeavyweight 24-oz. Mackinaw woolVersatile work and casual jacket with wind resistance, water repellency, and ample cargo pockets. Built originally for Timber Cruisers working in woodlands of Pacific Northwest.
Seattle Wool Cruiser JacketMade in USAMidweight 18-oz. Seattle woolSame style as Mackinaw Cruiser from above, only this jacket uses a midweight 18-ounce wool which will be a bit softer than Mackinaw wool (but will still feel a bit itchy to sensitive skin).
Mackinaw Wool Work JacketMade in USA with global partsHeavyweight 24-oz. Mackinaw woolShorter length makes it work appropriate because it pairs with tool belt and doesn’t ride up when seated. Also has snap buttons that are easier to use with work gloves on.
Mackinaw Wool Cape CoatMade in USAHeavyweight 26-oz. Mackinaw woolSimilar to Cruiser Jacket but with cape design which provides double layer Mackinaw wool over the shoulders to create added weather protection.
Mackinaw Wool Jac Shirt (Lined)ImportedHeavyweight 24-oz. Mackinaw woolSuitable for milder winter conditions and has a built in flannel/polyester lining which makes it softer against the skin.
Seattle Wool Jac Shirt (Unlined)Made in USA with global partsMidweight 18-oz. Seattle woolSimilar to the Mackinaw wool jac-shirt only this jacket is unlined and uses the midweight 18-ounce Seattle wool which is a bit softer.
Okanogan Wool PulloverImportedLightweight 13-oz woolThis quarter-zip pullover uses a lightweight 13-ounce wool that is brushed on the interior to make it softer against the skin.
Mackinaw Wool Packer CoatMade in USA with global partsHeavyweight 24-oz. Mackinaw woolLimited-edition coat with double layer caping on shoulders for added weather protection and a flannel lining for warmth and comfort against skin. Has distinctive shearling shawl collar.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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