Why wear wool?

10 unwoolly reasons to love wool

From the CAMPAIGN FOR WOOL project comes 10 unwoolly reasons to love Wool ! 

 


Active wool

For centuries, outdoor adventures have layered up in wool for its warmth-trapping, water-repelling, sweat-wicking and odour-fighting properties.  But this age-old textile continues to evolve.  Over the past two decades, wool has re-entered the performance market in the form of base layers and workout apparel, often designed with varying fabric weights to accommodate activity needs for every season.  Read the full article featured in the Wolboer/Wool Farmer - July / Aug 2015 edition.


Wearing fine wool can relieve eczema symptoms

Australian research have found if children wore fine Merino clothing over affected areas of their skin, it stopped the skin drying out, resulting in their eczema symptoms clearing up.  Extract from CWSA Monthly wool market overview (September 2016).  Read here for full story


Merino - a natural fibre

Natural comfort ; Breathability ; Anti-static ; Naturally safer fabric ; Easy care ; Shape retention ; Temperature control ; Odour resistance. 
Extract from presentation by Klaus Steger, MD Südwolle Group during 2013 NWGA National Congress in Port Elizabeth.  Merino, a natural fibre.


Wool declaration

The versatility of the Wool fibre has been appreciated by man since the stone ages and to this day keeps the modern consumer cool whey they are active and protects the wearer from severe weather elements.  Moisture on the skin is wicked away and no man-made fibre has the ability to regulate the body's temperature in all weather conditions like wool does naturally.

With the Dumfries House Wool declaration, made on 9 September 2016, the Wool Industry commits to protect the environment, to care about the welfare of the woolled sheep and to uphold the best possible practices in growing, trading, manufacturing and selling wool fibre and its relating textiles.  Read the declaration.


What does breathability mean?

It is the ability to dissipate moisture vapour so that the wearer does not feel clammy or uncomfortable.  During exercise or in hot climates, the evaporation of moisture from the skin's surface produces a very efficient cooling effect.  However, clothing can obstruct this process, resulting in the microclimate above the skin becoming saturated with vapour, which will make individuals clammy unless their clothing can transport the moisture away from the skin. 

The chemical bonding within Merino fibre allows fibres to pull moisture vapour into them, which causes the microclimate above the skin to become less saturated with vapour, thereby making the wearer less clammy and it is less likely for the vapour to form sweat droplets on the skin's surface.  The Merino wool fabric will release the moisture into the atmosphere, which has lower humidity. 

Compared to clothing made from other fibres, Merino wool's process of vapour transfer results in cooler muscles that are able to work at higher intensity levels.


Thermal regulation

Premature Baby inspires the creation of wool beanie for babies

Thermal regulation is one of the biggest challenges for premature babies.  One of wool’s many wonderful properties is the fact that it keeps the body warm when temperatures plummet and cools the body when warmer temperatures set in.  In addition, wool naturally contains lanolin which is both antimicrobial and antibacterial, which not only aid baby by keeping germs at bay, but it also means that wool requires less washing. 

With babies comfort in mind, Cape Wools SA developed a Merino wool beanie to fit snugly over baby’s head without irritating the skin, is machine washable and requires little special care.  These beanies will be added to complimentary baby bags, which are distributed by Mediclinic to mothers on arrival of their precious gifts. 

Read the story of Baby Melinke Prinsloo, born at 26 weeks, who served as inspiration for the creation of these wonderful woolly beanies for babies.


Flexiblity


British gymnast joins Campaign for Wool

British gymnast Max Whitlock joined the Campaign for Wool in September 2016 when he performed in front of the Prince of Wales and leading figures from the fashion industry dressed in a wool suit created by Sir Paul Smith.  The 23-year old double gold medalist walked on his hands before performing some of his famous pommel horse routines on a table to demonstrate the natural fabric's flexibility.

The performance was one of the highlights at the inaugural Dumfries House Wool Conference in Ayrshire described by the prince as the "Davos of Wool".

Below:  Max Whitlock performing in his wool suit. (Credit PA)

 


Why is flame resistance important?

Burns from clothing fires are a significant cause of injury and death.  In some applications, - children's sleepwear, work wear for emergency services and military personnel, and in situations where there is potential exposure to open flame or extreme heat - it is crucial for apparel and other textiles to provide a level of safety from the risk of burns, smoke and fume inhalation. Download the IWTO fact sheet.


Wool doesn't burn !

Gerrie Pretorius of "Leef jou reis" fame demonstrates by using a blow torch directly on a wool t-shirt worn by an Australian farmer.

 

 

 


Wool and biodegradability

Each person worldwide produces an average of 500kg of waste each year, 25kg of which are textiles.  The recent practice of waste going to landfill is not a sustainable solution, which is where natural fibres such as wool play an important part.  For example, garments made out of polyester and nylon take about 40 years to degrade, whereas those made of wool take only one year.  Download the IWTO fact sheet.

 

 

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