When it comes to wool, it’s safe to say: we’re big fans. Whether we’re cosying up under our favourite wool throw or donning a pair of our tried and true woollen socks, the naturally occurring benefits woven into this fibre never cease to impress and delight us.
Though wool is truly the champion of versatility in the way it can be utilized all year-’round, we figured January was a good time as any to lean into a bit of an ode to the enduring material we love so much. Whether you’re familiar with wool or not, we invite you to indulge us as we outline a few of the many things we cherish about this timeless, natural fibre.
a renewable resource
Wool is a natural and renewable resource; as long as sheep (and other wool-bearing animals such as alpacas, llamas, and goats) are able to roam safely and freely, they will continue to produce wool. When wool is discarded (responsibly), it will decompose back into the earth through the soil and redistribute a number of nutrients as it does so. Unlike synthetic fibres or even other natural fibres like cotton, the decomposition process is much faster for wool, making it an especially valuable and eco-friendly material to utilize in our daily lives.
it is useful in all kinds of climates
Whether the dead of winter or a warm summer day, wool fabric is the go-to. This is because wool is naturally good at controlling one’s body temperature and has the ability to cool you off in the heat while also keeping you warm in cool temperatures. The structure of wool allows it to wick moisture away from the body much more effectively than other fabrics and materials and it absorbs around 30% of its weight in moisture. (Have you ever noticed that wool feels almost dry, even after it has just been soaked? This is why!) In the heat, whatever moisture is being absorbed will be released from the wool fibres, ensuring your body temperature keeps cool. In the cold, tiny air pockets between the fibres act as a natural insulator for your body heat, keeping the warm air in to ensure you keep toasty.
it contains anti-bacterial properties
There is a property in raw wool called lanolin which is in part what provides wool fibres with anti-bacterial properties. It contains important fatty acids that inhibit the build-up of bacteria, essentially meaning it cleans itself! This helps keep your wool sweaters, socks, throws, etc., fresh no matter how much use they get. Furthermore, it is actually better to not wash your natural wool products too often, as overwashing them will slowly erode the useful fatty acids in the wool fibres that contain those valuable anti-bacterial properties.
wool is easy to care for
Did we mention it’s better to not wash your wool products too frequently? Well, we’re sticking by it! Because wool has the ability to clean itself, it is advised to not wash it too often so as to maintain the integrity of your wool products. In fact, before you hop to it and throw your woollies in the wash, we suggest shaking and airing it out first as oftentimes, all a wool product will need is a bit of airtime. (If you can find a space outdoors to do this, even better! The fresh air is great for wool’s antimicrobial properties.)
the ultimate ‘tried-and-true’
Wool has been used by communities of humans for thousands of years and continues to be utilized by many cultures and communities around the world. If that’s not a testament to its quality, we don’t know what is!
it is flame-resistant
Wool is one of the most flame-resistant materials you can find, which makes it an ideal choice for carpets, blankets, cosy wool sweaters and socks to wear outside near the fire… If an ember lands on wool, it will more or less be absorbed by the material, rather than combust. The reason we reach for those wool socks before we head outside to enjoy a bonfire is much more than for aesthetics! (Though let’s face it, that’s definitely part of it.)
it is versatile
Though we could wax poetic about wool blankets and clothing, there are many other valuable ways to incorporate wool into your daily life and home. Think woven carpets, felted wall tapestries, sheepskin rugs, dishcloths, dryer balls for your laundry routine… Its uses are endless and each one is filled with beauty and purpose.
In the most holistic sense, wool is a unique and beautiful resource that we are incredibly fortunate to have access to. From its ancient history to its modern capabilities, our love for this enduring and versatile fabric will undoubtedly continue to grow throughout the years. Hopefully, the same can be said for you!
Browse a few of our favourite woollen wares: