Five ways the properties of wool can purify your soul, your wardrobe and your home
As an excitable team of eco-conscious wool obsessives, we’re constantly marvelling at the magical properties of wool - this extraordinarily ordinary material. As the human race strides ever further away from nature, it could be tempting to think that synthetic materials outperform natural ones. But think again. Wool is pure from the inside out and we’ll show you how.
Here we have a very handy checklist of the benefits, for those who absorb their information more easily in a chart.
Wool is hypoallergenic - three ways!
One of the medically connected properties of wool is the relief it offers for asthma sufferers and those with allergies.
- Every strand of wool is covered in a fine, waxy coating which repels the water which can cause mildew and mould to grow.
- Fatty acids contained in the coating also inhibit the growth of mould, mildew and bacteria.
- And because dust mites - a common trigger for asthma attacks - need moisture to survive, they really don’t like wool.
Breathe a sigh of relief!
Breathe easy with wool
This ancient fabric actually helps fight the unnatural pollutants of today by binding pollutant gases in its structure and not letting them out! Of all properties of wool, this is possibly the cleverest in our modern day battle to balance convenience with sustainability and wellbeing.
It’s pretty disturbing to realise that the most common indoor pollutants found in our homes include formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. These VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are emitted from building materials, furnishings, paints and even craft glues. New Zealand researchers have demonstrated that wool can reduce levels of formaldehyde to almost zero in just a matter of hours - and will continue to do so for up to 30 years.
A mantra of survivalists is ‘wool stays warm when wet’. In fact, another benefit of wool is that it regulates your temperature, keeping you warm on cold days and cool on warm days by both absorbing and repelling water, letting air both pass through and trapping it in tiny air pockets simultaneously!
We can’t think of a single synthetic material that can outperform it. When people reference one of the properties of wool as it being an ‘active’ fibre, this is what they’re talking about.
Here comes the science. It’s all to do with the complex interior spring-like structure of the wool strand. High sulphur proteins around this spring attract and bond with water molecules - in fact, a wool blanket can absorb 30% of its weight in water and still feel dry to touch.
If you suffer with night sweats, the natural crimp in the wool wicks away perspiration from your skin, so that you don’t then wake up shivering as you cool down. We swear by our wool duvets and wool pillows. In fact, a German study showed that wool blankets absorbed 50% more perspirations than synthetic materials. So you can be warm, dry and clean under this luxury, breathable natural fibre - all day and all night.
Less cleaning needed
The natural fibres of wool create very little static electricity, so dust, dirt, and lint don’t cling to it. The surface of the wool is in fact a series of tiny overlapping scales, much like a bird’s feathers, so instead of being absorbed, dust simply sits on the surface of the wool. All it needs is a good shake!
And because wool absorbs odours too, we always recommend that people don’t wash their luxury woollen socks nearly as often as cotton or mixed fibre socks.
Properties of wool off your conscience
Your eco-soul can also rest assured if you choose pure wool. This marvellous, sustainable, fully renewable material is one of the most recycled fabrics and is fully biodegradable.
It is washed at lower temperatures, and less frequently, meaning less chemicals and electricity are used. Wool products have long lifespans so they are used for longer, and replaced less frequently.
When it is finally time to send your favourite socks or blanket to wool heaven, you know it will break back down into the environment cleanly.
If you’ve got any questions about the properties of wool, please do drop us a line!