Wool characteristics and benefits

 

Did you know that…?

Currently, sheep wool is used in manufacturing along with the camel, rabbit, and goat wool. However, the majority of the processed wool is sheep wool. Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina are among the leading countries in production of clipped sheep wool.

Wool is a unique, natural, and sustainable product. It is the most commonly used natural animal fibre in fabrics and the most valued fabric in the world. It is naturally fire retardant and extremely strong.  According to its chemical composition, wool is like human hair in that it is composed of keratin-type protein. Each strain of wool consists of several layers. The top layer is composed of thin flakes, the middle layer of keratin-type spindle cells, and the third is a porous layer, filled with air.  Owing to these characteristics, wool products can preserve their exclusive characteristics and outstanding appearance over the long-term use. The flexibility of the wool fiber also makes it more durable. A wool fiber can be bent back on itself more than 20,000 times without breaking, compared to about 3,000 times for cotton and 2,000 times for silk. Wool does not become electrically charged and does not attract dust. Also, wool neutralizes toxic substances, emitted by the human body, and prevents dust mites from propagation.

Another interesting fact is that wool absorbs moisture in vapor form. Wool can easily absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp. These characteristics make wool a “temperature regulator” because it can protect the body in both cold and warm conditions. Just think of those sheep on the hillsides, satisfied in sun and snow! Wool is indeed  a very good option for anyone who wakes up from overheating. Wool always absorbs moisture from an atmosphere of greater humidity and releases that humidity into the drier environment and thus helps create a balance in moisture conditions. This feature makes wool a versatile all-season fabric. 

The natural warmth of wool has beneficial effects for backaches, joints, and muscle pain. Another positive effect of pure sheep wool is that it regulates blood pressure, calms nervous system, helps with exhaustion, normalizes sleep, reinforces immune system responses, and helps with colds and infections. Lanolin, the animal wax contained in sheep wool, speeds up the healing of wounds and bone fractures, has anti-inflammatory properties, and has anti-allergic effects.

So put on that wool blanket. Good for the earth. Good for your home. Good for you.

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