Where have you seen Wool?
Wool has many uses and is culturally grounded in every country. From knitting to crochet, weaving and felting crafters every where are turning to wool for its natural properties and benefits. We frequently we see wool garments more often worn by celebrities like Chris Evans, Taylor Swift and most recently Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan from The Banshees of Inisherin.
Heritage of Wool in Ireland
There is a very strong heritage in Ireland with sheep and wool. The use of wool in Ireland normally took place on farms where families had their own flock of sheep. The sheep would be sheared to provide the wool needed for yarn to make traditional weaving for cloths and tapestry.
In the 1890s, knitting was being encouraged on the Aran islands by the Congested Districts Board as fishing was previously a way of life and how people supported their families.
The people of the Aran Islands eventually came to produce a beautiful cream-white hand knit wool sweater to further supplement their income. These jumpers became a symbol of Ireland and Irish craft.
Science of Wool
The research in wool has been vast over the years giving us an in depth knowledge on the benefits and impact wool has for the individual, community and the planet.
Research by the Centre for Colour and Textile Science at Leeds University has shown that wool products have the potential for two or more uses or ‘lives’ and a total ‘active life’ of 20-30 years.1,2
The same research shows that wool already is one of the most re-used of all fibres, accounting for up to 5% by weight of total clothing donated by consumers for recycling and re-use.
There are continuous innovations for wool being introduced like wool plasters from WoolAid to Wool sustainable packaging from Woolcool in the UK. Research allows companies to make sustainable changes to their business and innovate new viable business which acknowledge sustainability and offer new and exciting uses of wool.
AgResearch has undertaken new research which has found wool rich fibres to be best for base layers and skin to skin garments for fire fighters and military personal. Wool provides a safe and natural insulation and protection to the elements and can even slow the spread of fire in the right conditions. Emergency services understand the risks when choosing fabrics for uniforms as there are concerns for melting and fusing with skin. There are no risks with wool.
Sustainable home grown interiors
Wool is used in a large variety of home interiors due to the first safety elements that wool can offer. These interiors offer comfort, wellness and a sustainable option for conscious consumers.
The more traditional interiors are wool rugs and furnishings which most of us are familiar with. Interior designers love wool because it absorbs dye deeply and uniformly. This provides a brilliant choice of colours and shades to bring life to any room or surface. Now new innovative home grown interiors are being offered from Cushendale Woollen Mill beautiful interior throws and blankets to Wool pillows from Woollow.
Cushendale Woolen Mill
Six generations of our family have been crafting exceptional textiles in Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny. Spinning yarn and weaving blankets, forging a reputation and setting the standard for the marque of quality and excellence that we carry forward today. Together Philip and his daughter Miriam continue this incredible story.
Woolow an Irish company using Native Irish wool are offering an eco-friendly, biodegradable and hypoallergenic wool pillow . Wool pillows absorb moisture, helping you to sleep dry and restfully, while other non-absorbent pillows can cause you to wake up sweating during the night. Wool is twice as effective as cotton at moving moisture through the fabric and 10 times better than polyester. Wool also may decrease sleep disturbances and reduce sleeping heart rate.
Solutions to Climate Change
A team of Scientists used wool as plastic-free alternative for seaweed farms by using rope made from wool.
At the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) in Cirencester scientists discovered whole ecosystems on the wool rope when left underwater. It is hoped their discovery will provide one solution to the problem of marine plastic pollution.
Wool rope could also provide new income for sheep farmers. Experts found that seaweed had grown well on wool and had also attracted other marine creatures such as isopods – which are crustaceans. Wool rope is completely biodegradable. If it is lost and left where it shouldn’t be, it is not as aggressive in the environment as other non-biodegradable rope.
Wool uses you did not expect!
Award winning merino wool adhesive bandages.
Optimised wound protection: Highly breathable merino wool fabric allows for moisture and temperature regulation around the wound and surrounding skin.
Biodegradable and plastic free fabric: WoolAid’s bandage fabric biodegrades in approximately 4 months when buried in soil. Biodegradable, and recyclable, packaging, bandage sleeves and tabs.
Renewable wool resource: Our sheep have their fleece removed approx. twice a year as we come into warmer months, and it grows again!
Hypoallergenic for sensitive skins & allergies: Hyperfine merino wool fibres are gentle on skin and naturally hypoallergenic.
Insulated packaging for Food and Pharma from a pioneering packaging company.
Woolcool® are the pioneers of the sustainable packaging revolution; Over two decades ago they created the original sustainable insulated packaging solution. Their products are designed and manufactured in the UK. Processes are flexible and cater for every size of demand, supplying our solutions both to the UK and overseas.
The real secret to sustainable packaging is not just recycling, in turning a material into something new such as a bin bag – but it is re-use.
Sheep Wool insulation
Sheep Wool Insulation supplies a range of high performance, superior quality, natural insulation products based on pure new sheep’s wool. Our products, backed up with the most widely accepted certification standards, detailed technical support and the highest level of customer service.
- The combination of crimped wool fibres and our production process, means that Sheep Wool Insulation is the highest performing fibrous insulation available
- Natural wool fibres are safe to touch and to live with. As such, there is no concern for the health of the installer or the occupants of the building
- Wool is a hygroscopic material, which means it can “breathe”. This breathing effect is very desirable in construction as it helps to regulate the moisture balance within a building. Unlike many other materials, the insulation performance of wool does not deteriorate in moist climates