Why Wool?

October 17, 2016

Tartan Brunette on her love of wool and why you should buy woolAutumn is well and truly here, the nights are drawing in, the leaves are changing colour and there’s a chill in the air. To me this means one thing, it’s time to snuggle up in cosy knitwear. Whether it’s a big scarf, cosy jumper or wrapping up in a massive blanket I love knitwear this time of year. There is something so comforting and relaxing about cosying up under a thick woollen blanket with a good book or pulling on a cosy cable knit before heading out on an autumn walk. Wool is the perfect material for autumn/winter keeping us warm and cosy and adding a little Hygge to our everyday lives. Wool is so tactile, cosy and autumnal making us feel snuggly and warm. I’m sure I’m not the only one who loves pulling out my knitwear at this time of year.

It’s not unusual to find me wearing some kind of knitwear on a daily basis during autumn/winter. Normally that’s a woollen jumper or at least a cosy oversized scarf and yes there is always a blanket nearby. I always look for genuine wool rather than man-made fibres when shopping for knitwear. I find a higher wool content (preferably 100% wool) is so much warmer than synthetic fibres and I’m all about being warm and cosy. But there is a lot more to wool than being warm and snuggly. Last week was Campaign for Wool’s wool week here in the UK and I spent the week finding out why wool is a great material. Turns out wool is an incredibly versatile material with huge benefits when used around the home as well as for fashion.

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Why Wool?

There are hundreds of reasons to choose wool over man-made fibres, especially if you are buying locally produced wool. But of ease I’ve narrowed it down to 10 reasons why you should add wool to your wardrobe and around the home.

  1. It’s Natural. Wool is created by sheep, not man, meaning it is a 100% natural material.
  2. Renewable and Sustainable. As long as sheep have plenty of grass to graze on they will produce a new fleece every year.
  3. Biodegradable. As a natural material, wool can be returned to the soil after it has been used. It decomposes quickly releasing nutrients into the soil. Wool is much kinder to the environment than oil-based synthetic fibres.
  4. Breathable and Absorbent. Wool absorbs moisture, pulling it away from your body, making it extremely breathable. Wool’s breathability means it will help keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Wool fabrics can absorb up to 30% of their weight without feeling heavy or damp, perfect it you get caught in the rain.
  5. Insulating. Wool is a natural insulator which helps to keep your body at the optimal temperature. Wool is a hygroscopic fibre meaning as the humidity of the air around it rises and falls wool absorbs and releases water vapour whilst retaining heat. Wool fibre helps to keep your body
  6. Resilient and Durable. Wool fibres can bend up to 20,000 times before breaking (cotton can only bend 3,000 times) making it a very long lasting fibre which stretches with the wearer. Wool is also resistant to stains and dries very quickly. Wool is naturally wrinkle resistant, it can be stretched and still bounce back to its original shape. Wool clothing can last for years if it’s cared for.
  7. Odour Resistant. Because of the way wool absorbs sweat/moisture and releases it into the air, bacteria doesn’t develop and produce unpleasant odours
  8. Fire Resistant. Wool is naturally flame resistant meaning it’s very safe to have around the home. It can resist flames without any chemical treatment. Wool is very hard to ignite wool as it only ignites at very high temperatures (around 570-600C) doesn’t melt like man-made fibres
  9. Hypoallergenic. Dust-mites don’t like wool so it’s great for anyone with dust mite allergies. It is also resistant to mould growth making it a clean and healthy fibre.
  10. Better Sleep. Studies have shown that we sleep better in wool bedding because it helps us to better regulate our body temperature. Wool buffers extreme cold or hot air on the outside, keeping your body the ideal temperature, leading to a great night’s sleep

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Where To Buy Wool

All wool is great but not all wool is created equally. Read my knitwear guide to find out about different types of wool and pick the one for you. Once you know what you are looking for it’s time to shop. Good quality knitwear doesn’t come cheap, but it is well worth the investment. A quality knit will last for years to come if you look after it. Think of your knitwear as a luxury investment and take care of it. Buy one knit each year, wear it often and treasure and enjoy it for years to come. You want to make sure your wool has been sourced ethically and is from well cared for sheep so always buy from an ethical brand. I have listed a few ethical brands with a knitwear selection to make it easier for you (feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments).

10 reasons why you should invest in wool this autumn/winter for around the home and to wear

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