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Let’s Talk Wool. What Makes Wool So Special?
Photo by: Petar Todorinski
Before the invention of synthetic fibers, wool was widely used in homes. Wool carpets, wool rugs, wool blankets, wool clothes and wool insulation were the norm. Wool provided comfort and lasted generations. Synthetic fibers were invented to make our busy lives easier. Synthetic fibers do not shrink or wrinkle. And we might be able to just wipe clean. We can throw them in the washer and dryer without worrying about shrinkage. But what is the impact of synthetic fibers on our health and the environment? What are the fire retardants on our babies’ PJs, in our coaches, and in our mattresses doing to our health? And what will happen to these items when we decide that it is time to redecorate? I will not answer those questions, but I hope that each on of us will answer them for ourselves.
Wool does requires more care. Although, due to its antimicrobial qualities wool does not need to be washed on regular bases, extra time and care are needed when wool is washed. Wool can only be washed with wool specific (or mild) detergent in cold water, and it needs to be air dried. But are the extra time and care worth it? Here are some of the benefits of wool.
Wool is a renewable fiber as sheep grow a new fleece every year. It is also 100% biodegradable which means that at the end of its useful life wool fibers will naturally decompose in soil while enriching it with valuable nutrients (although with proper care wool can last for generations).
Wool is a natural fiber that was built to breathe. It absorbs perspiration by moving it away from the body to evaporate.
Wool fibers can absorb up to 30% of its weight without feeling damp while the outer layer of fibers are water resistant. In this way wool absorbs perspiration and provides insulation, keeping the body cool and dry in the summer and warm and dry in the winter. It naturally regulates body temperature for ultimate comfort.
Wool has a natural elasticity that gives it its signature soft, yet supportive feel. Wool fibers are constructed like soft coils with a natural bounce and can be bent 20,000 times before breaking as compared to 3,200 times for cotton, 1,800 times for silk and 75 times for rayon. Additionally, wool fibers can be stretched 25-30% before breaking.
Wool fibers are naturally stain and water resistant. The protective outer layer of the core fiber consists of interconnected protective scales (like roof shingles) that help prevent water and stains from being absorbed. Lanolizing gives wool additional water and stain resistance.
Wool’s natural structure makes it flame resistant. It cannot stick to skin or melt. Temperatures need to reach 570-600°C before wool can catch on fire, as compared to 255 °C for cotton, 252 to 292°C for polyester, and 160°C to 260°C for nylon.
With its numerous health and environtmental benefits, wool brings comfort and peace of mind into our home. And with its connection to nature and to our roots, it also brings magic. We created Wool Roots in order to give you the opportunity to bring the magic of wool into your homes.
Babies, Sleep and Wool
Let’s talk sleep, babies and wool. I need to start by saying that whoever said they wish they could sleep like a baby clearly had not had babies. I don’t know about your babies, but all our babies only wanted to sleep in my arms. And I love that! And I think that mom’s/dad’s arms …