Abstract Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) was applied to a new lipid model arrangement, which was achieved by concentrating or diluting internal wool lipid liposome suspensions in varying water concentrations. The influence of the water content in the lamellar structure of the internal wool lipids is compared with the lamellar structure of phosphatidylcholine bilayers present in the membranes of the living cells. The high increase in the lamellar distances with the water content indicates that large amounts of water can be retained in the lipid wool membrane in contrast to the case of phosphatidylcholine liposomes. A transition temperature between 40 and 50 °C tends to eliminate the ordered lamellar structure when more than 60% of water is present in the bilayer structure. This could account for the increase in the permeability of the wool fibres when these are soaked in water at temperatures exceeding 40 °C.