As many of us are hunkering down for more time at home, we hope you have plenty of yarn and fiber to keep your hands busy. Today, we continue our exploration of the wonderful world of wool by sharing some amazing (and true!) facts about this versatile fiber. Sure, you know it’s warm, blends well with other fibers, and can be used for so many projects…but wool is full of surprises!
Wool Fact #1: It’s Re-nEWE-able
When it comes to sustainability and earth friendliness, it doesn’t get much better than wool. Since wool is grown and not made, it’s a renewable resource (sheep grow a new fleece each year!). Processing these fibers requires less energy and water than man-made fibers. Wool products also use less energy than man-made fibres during manufacture. You can further minimize your carbon footprint by sourcing fibers directly from the source, many of which have been organically or sustainably raised!
Finally, after you have enjoyed a lifetime of joy with your wool item, don’t send it to a landfill! Wool fibers are 100% biodegradable and can be used as mulch or compost because they break down slowly, fertilizing plants by producing more nitrogen than commercial products on the market.
Wool Fact #2: It Bends, But Won’t Break
Wool fibers are extremely durable, retaining their shape and composition over time longer than synthetic fibers, and even cotton! A wool fiber can be bent 20,000 times before breaking, whereas cotton breaks after 3,000 bends.
Wool Fact #3: It Can Protect You From UV Rays
The same wool fibers that provide natural UV protection for sheep can give humans additional sun protection, too! After applying sunscreen, wear wool layers for another layer of defense against harmful rays.
Wool Fact #4: Wool Didn’t Start The Fire
Wool naturally self-extinguishes should it catch fire – can your acrylic do that? (short answer: no, it melts!) In fact, because of its naturally fire resistant properties, wool is used for fireman’s blankets!
Wool Fact #5: It Keeps You Comfortable, No Matter What
The same cooling and heating properties that keep sheep warm and dry will keep you comfortable, too! Wool has millions of air pockets that trap warmth when it’s cold. In humid or wet conditions, it can absorb moisture in the air, releasing it when conditions dry out again. In fact, wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight before you start to feel the moisture against your skin – what a neat trick!
Wool Fact #6: It’s Got A Great Memory
While some fibers stretch out of shape and remain that way forever, wool is able to stretch and return to its original size, whether it’s wet or dry! Dry fibers can be stretched up to 30% of their original length and still be able to return to their original size. Wet fibers can be stretched even further – almost 60% of their original length – but can still return to their original shape and length.
Wool Fact #7: Better Sleep Starts With Sheep
We’re not talking about counting sheep here (although that never hurts): a 2018 study found that wearing wool pajamas resulted in 15 more minutes of restful sleep due to the natural thermal-regulating properties of wool fiber.
Wool Fact #8: It’s A Home Run
Wool has many unusual uses, but did you know that there are many layers of tightly wound wool yarn inside every ball used in Major League Baseball? Each one contains approximately 324 yards of yarn (174 yards of which are spun from wool) which provides strength and resilience to withstand the impact of a batter’s hit off high-velocity pitches. Other interesting uses include woolen silt fences and erosion-control blankets, piano dampers and absorbent pads to clean up oil spills.
Don’t forget to support your favorite Strauch Retailer during this difficult time! You can order any of our drum carders, swifts/skein winders or ball winders by contacting your nearest shop, and they will work with us to have it shipped directly to your doorstep.
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