20 October 2021
The Campaign for British Wool’s annual Love Wool Campaign is back.
Most people jump straight to woollen jumpers, knitting or crochet when asked to think about wool, but the reality is that the organic product has many more uses than you might imagine.
In the Medieval era, English fleeces were internationally famous for their quality and would be traded throughout Europe and made into cloth and clothes.
Wool’s uses have come a long way since then and are not restricted to clothes anymore as the sustainable, renewable and biodegradable nature of the material means it's environmentally friendly and the perfect material to use in the climate-conscious 21st century.
Here are just some of the ways wool is being used in 2021.
Mattress manufacturers are increasingly using wool in their products due to it being comfortable and a natural body temperature regulator, which encourages better sleep.
Pillows and Bed Linen
To further promote good sleep, a Devon company produces woollen pillows and bed linen using 100% Certified British wool. The wool is not bleached or chemically treated, maintaining its natural ability to resist moisture absorption.
British wool is used to make particularly strong, durable carpets and many believe British manufactured carpets to be the best in the world. Hard-wearing wool carpets withstand tearing, are easy to care for and resist the indentations left by furniture.
British wool is used in furniture production but not just in the traditional upholstery sense. A Rothamsted based company, use coarse and low market value wool and bio-resins to make sustainable, plastic-alternative furniture.
“A couple of companies already commercially produce several ‘wool and bracken’ composts, a sustainable, environmentally friendly, peat-free alternative to some others. Wool replaces the peat element of other composts by increasing water retention and acting as a source of slow-release nitrogen,” says Dr Cate Williams on the Welsh Governments website.
One of the most recognisable uses for wool is still clothing. Wool is also comfortable, breathable, hypoallergenic and has a high level of UV protection, higher than many synthetic fibres. Wool naturally resists body odour
The wool fibre actively binds odours within the fibre where bacteria do not thrive. These odours are then significantly released by wool garments when laundered, with wool garments retaining less odour than cotton and synthetics after washing.
From Savile Row suits, school uniforms, to this years’ Met Gala.
The best Met Gala dress no one is talking about was designed by Katya Ekimian and worn by Sandra Weiss. It was completely made, sheep to dress, in the US. Each crochet flower uses a different endangered or heritage sheep breed. pic.twitter.com/t7bgSrBCsX— Julie ?? tender stem ?? Robinson (@j_bot) September 14, 2021
Lanolin oil is a waxy substance derived from the sheep’s wool. Its emollient, conditioning properties make it an effective ingredient in creams and cosmetics.it is a natural agricultural fertiliser.
These are just some examples of what British Wool is being used for currently, there are lots more but we could not fit them all in one blog post.
Click here to find out more information about British Wool.
Blog is written in conjunction with the sheep team at Harper Adams.