ATTRIBUTES OF WOOL
Wool is a natural fiber for the world we live in today. It is a fibre with a true green lineage that is both sustainable and biodegradable-which are now highly valuable assets to the textile industry. This environmental advantage is increasingly sought requirement of fiber. Wool has many other inherent benefits that have historically earned it a quality reputation from global manufacturers and consumers.
More than 1 billion sheep worldwide produce around 2.1 million tons of wool each year, grown in natural environments in the most environmentally sustainable way.
Wool is a protein fibre formed in the skin of sheep, and is thus one hundred percent natural, not man-made. Since the Stone Age, it has been appreciated as one of the most effective forms of all-weather protection known to man, and science is yet to produce a fibre which matches its unique properties.
As long as there is grass to graze on, every year sheep will produce a new fleece; making wool a renewable fiber source. Wool growers actively work to safeguard the environment and improve efficiency, endeavoring to make the wool industry sustainable for future generations.
At the end of its useful life, wool can be returned to the soil, where it decomposes, releasing valuable nutrients into the ground. When a natural wool fiber is disposed of in soil, it takes a very short time to break down, whereas most synthetics are extremely slow to degrade.
Wool is a hygroscopic fiber. As the humidity of the surrounding air rises and falls, the fibre absorbs and releases water vapor. Heat is generated and retained during the absorption phase, which makes wool a natural insulator. Used in the home, wool insulation helps to reduce energy costs and prevents the loss of energy to the external environment, thus reducing carbon emissions.
Wool fibers are crimped, and when tightly packed together, form millions of tiny pockets of air. This unique structure allows it to absorb and release moisture-either in the atmosphere or perspiration from the wearer – without compromising its thermal efficiency. Wool has a large capacity to absorb moisture vapor (up to 30 percent of its own weight) next to the skin, making it extremely breathable.
RESILIENT & ELASTIC
Wool fibers resist tearing and are able to be bent back on themselves over 20,000 times without breaking. Due to its crimped structure, wool is also naturally elastic, and so wool garments have the ability to stretch comfortably with the wearer, but are then able to return to their natural shape, making them resistant to wrinkling and sagging. Wool therefore maintains its appearance in the longer term, adding value to the product and its lifespan. Wool is also hydrophilic-it is highly absorbent, and retains liquids-and so dyes richly while remaining colorfast, without the use of chemicals.
A SAFE SOLUTION
Wool is naturally safe. It is not known to cause allergies and does not promote the growth of bacteria. It can even reduce floating dust in the atmosphere, as the fiber’s microscopic scales are able to trap and hold dust in the top layers until vacuumed away. Thanks to its high water and nitrogen content, wool is naturally flame-retardant, and has a far higher ignition threshold than many other fibers, will not melt and stick to the skin causing burns, and produces less noxious fumes that cause death in fire situations.