Sheepskin slippers at the ready – winter’s just round the corner and it’ll soon be time to wrap up warm (if you’re not already).
And with it being Wool Week, which is highlighting the flame-resistant properties of the fuzzy stuff, we’ve done our homework and discovered wool’s good for more than knitting and keeping us – and the sheep – warm…
This sounds like an obvious one but here’s why: according to the Campaign For Wool, the white stuff is a ‘hygroscopic fibre’. This means that, as the humidity of the air rises and falls, the fibres absorb and release water vapour.
Heat is generated and retained during the absorption phase, which makes wool a natural insulator. Wool insulation, such as Thermafleece helps to cut energy bills and carbon emissions.
With the 5p charge on plastic bags now upon us, we should all be reaching for Baaags for Life – and the Waitrose Woolly Bag (made from the wool of rare-breed Whiteface Dartmoor sheep by British company twool) will soon be available at stores around the country.
The strong wool fibres make it an ideal material to carry your shopping. Laura Strangeway, manager of sustainability and ethical sourcing at Waitrose, says: “Wool is one of the oldest naturally occurring raw materials around and is currently an underused natural resource. The bags are renewable, sustainable and very practical.”
Baby Bunting’s dad might have gone off to get the little one a rabbit skin, but all yummy mummies and dads these days know wool’s the only way to go. Natural sheepskin liners from places like Mothercare are great because, being an insulator, wool keeps baby warm in winter and cool in summer.
They’re also machine washable (on a wool wash setting, obvs), stain resistant, and as wool fibres are naturally antibacterial, they’ll keep your little one feeling fresh as a baby’s bottom too (probably…)
Wool that’s too messy to be made into yarn can be used by gardeners on flowerbeds to keep weeds at bay and protect plants from frost in winter and drying out in summer. As wool provides drainage, nutrition, insulation, aeration and moisture retention, The Sheep Trust also recommends it’s used to line hanging baskets too.
With fibres trapping a layer of air, wool acts not only as heat insulation, but natural sound insulation too – something to think about next time the neighbours are having a party and you’re having to count sheep to doze off…
Visit www.campaignforwool.org for more details.