It may be pouring with rain, or even snowing, but despite the weather, you’ll see sheep in the field.
Thanks to the amazing characteristics of its “wool coat”, the sheep remain dry and warm.
Sheep’s wool is a complex fibre making it one of the most versatile and functional animal products. One of that humans have been utilising for thousands of years because of the many benefits this remarkable fibre offers. When it comes to the benefits and qualities of wool, the list is long.
Each year sheep grow a new fleece making wool a renewable resource. Wool is also biodegradable providing soil nutrients as it decomposes naturally. And as a natural product, wool requires less processing than man-made fibres.
Regulates and Insulates
The crimp and curl we see in wool serves a purpose. Without going into the technicalities, the air pockets created are what gives wool the ability to act as a natural insulator. Wools ability to absorb moisture from the air and transport it away from the body leaves your skin dry and comfortable just as it does on sheep. Remarkably, it also works in reverse keeping you cool as well.
Reduces Body Odour
Unlike synthetic fabrics where a sweat build up becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, wool’s breathability and antimicrobial qualities reduce the risk of your clothes taking on unpleasant body odour. With wool’s natural moisture absorbing properties and ability to regulate temperature, you remain comfortable in a wider range of conditions. That’s why wool is a great choice for outdoor and exercise gear.
Gone are the days when you had to wash all your woollies by hand. Innovations over the years mean that most wool fabrics are now machine washable. Washing machines have also evolved and offer dedicated wool wash programmes. In addition, wool products don’t need frequent washing. A good airing is often all that is required.
As wool regulates moisture and temperature, it is unattractive to dust mites. They prefer warmer, more humid environments. So, wool is an ideal fabric for allergy and asthma sufferers. Wool beds and bedding are not just for those with allergies, as studies are showing that people choosing wool bedding sleep better.
Naturally flame resistant, wool is harder to ignite than any other textile such as nylon, polyester, and cotton. The temperature needs to reach a searing 570-600°C before wool will ignite. With cotton, it’s less than half that. If wool does catch a fire, it smoulders and self-extinguishes and crucially does not melt.
There’s good reason fishermen of old chose to wear heavy-knitted jumpers when they headed out to sea. Water resistant, wool repels moisture droplets. It can absorb up to a third of its own weight in moisture without feeling wet. Only when saturated with 30% of its own weight will it feel wet to the touch.
UV and Stain Resistant
Wool’s waxy coating provides a protective outer layer which means spills and spots are not easily absorbed and are less likely to leave a stain. Wool garments are also ideal as sun protection with UV radiation being absorbed.
Consider wool products as an investment. They just keep giving. If well cared for, a wool garment will last a lifetime. A wool fibre can bend an incredible 20,000 times before it breaks. As a comparison, cotton breaks at a rate of seven times faster. Naturally elastic, wool keeps its shape so your garments will continue to look good.