Wool 101

Sleep Health Resources

Wool, The Fabric of History

Often called the miracle fibre – a wonderful insulator + regulator, excellent at moisture control, naturally flame resistant, highly resilient and many other good things. For thousands of years, man has had a beneficial relationship with this unique fibre, but only in more recent times has science discovered why wool is such a miracle fibre and why it is the perfect choice for bedding products. The secret is in each wool fibre.

Moisture control

  • The core of each wool fibre is very absorbent – up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp. By comparison, cotton absorbs 8% and most synthetics as low as 2% – in fact, wool is the most hydrophilic (able to absorb moisture) of all-natural fibres.
  • Wool fibre is unique in that it then releases this moisture slowly through evaporation, helping the sleeper stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer and eliminating dampness in the bedding.

Natural flame resistance

  • Wool is made of keratin (an animal protein found in hair and nails) and this, combined with the moisture content the wool has absorbed, requires a higher temperature to ignite than other natural and manmade fibres.
  • When wool does burn, it burns slowly, smouldering and charring. It does not support a flame, gives off very little heat, and of course, does not release harmful toxic chemical gases.

Natural temperature control 

  • As wool fibres release absorbed moisture, heat is given off – in fact, a single gram of wool gives off 27 calories of heat when it goes from wet to dry.

Naturally non allergenic

  • The keratin in wool is the same protein as in nails and hair.
  • Dust mites – a leading cause of allergies – prefer a damp, not dry location, and the scales which cover each wool fibre help further create an inhospitable environment.

Wool Glossary

Micron – the measurement used to determine the thickness of each wool fibre. A fine, soft merino wool for a good quality garment would be between 17 – 20 microns. A carpet wool would be 35 microns or more. For fluffy, resilient duvet wool, the ideal is 27 – 28 microns.
Carding Process– transforming the bulk wool in bales to continuous wool batts. How the carding machine arranges the wool fibres affects the weight, loft and resilience of the wool batting.
Superwash Wool – the wool that can be washed. Washable wool undergoes a process* to ensure you can machine wash your wool, and offers the same benefits as natural wool. *SuperWash wool is natural wool that goes through a chlorine wash and is coated with a polymer, which makes it washable.

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