Wool is a naturally renewable fibre, what could be more natural than wool? Each year sheep produce a fleece, These are divided into categories based on breed, health, age, country, length, weight, colour & the diameter of which is measured in microns ( one micron / micrometer is one millionth of a meter ). Wool's average diameter is one of the most important characteristics of wool in determining its value.
We are going to highlight the three main groups used in Craft - Fashion - Bespoke.
The first category is Fine (Merino) Wool which has the lowest microns that usually measure from between 20 - 25 or below with the finest microns coming from New Zealand sheep sometimes measuring in a award winning diameter of 10.9. Fine wool amounts for 50 percent of the worlds sheep population found throughout South Africa, South America, Western United States and famously New Zealand & Australia producing what we feel is the RQA for this category, its ideal for wearing directly next to the skin because of the soft silky texture.
The second is Medium Wool and accounts for around 15 percent, this can be produced from a wide range of breeds & crossbreeds from all over the world and used between both other categories dependent on what its being applied for.....
The last is Broad which is usually between 35 - 38 microns or above, perfect for our slippers due to the strength and durability in forming a shape around the foot. These breeds can be found in the United Kingdom and other weathered countries, and have what we feel is the RQA for this category & award winning British Wool interior furnishings to date.
These are the main descriptions used but others would account for food, milk and other wool's like Fatty Sheep or Virgin Wool.
Wool is totally natural, entirely renewable and sustainable, it is 100% biodegradable in water, soil or air without effecting nature ( amazing ) a very important feature in a world that should be increasingly concerned about the environment. The benefits of wool can include reducing your carbon footprint.
The Alpha Helix are the smallest parts of the micron ( structure to wool ) which help resist wrinkles – wool is like a spring; it has a natural crimp called The Ortho & Para - Cortex that allows it to return to its natural shape even after being stretched by up to 30%. Its complex coiled structure gives it great resilience against becoming flat and hard, a great advantage for British Wool so you can count on your slippers & carpets to keep in shape.
Wool & Sheepskin are naturally anti-static – Because the section of micron called The Matrix containing high sulphur proteins that in-turn absorbs moisture helps resist against lint, dirt and dust so anti-static properties keep your slippers much cleaner for longer.
The Matrix also helps with the fibre being flame resistant because of the same process and makes wool difficult to ignite, has low flame spread and heat release properties; it does not melt and has superior self-extinguishing qualities due to the moisture it absorbs and evaporates.
Wool & Sheepskin have balanced thermal insulation properties – meaning it is warm in winter and cool in the summer. Wool is a excellent insulator & sheepskin is a natural thermostat, This retains heat with the advantage of being breathable keeping your feet at the optimum temperature reducing perspiration to a minimum no matter what the atmosphere.
Sheepskin can help promote blood circulation & contains Lanolin.
Hypoallergenic and Antimicrobial
Wool is hypoallergenic – it is resistant to bacteria, mold and mildew that can trigger allergic reactions in many people. Dust mites don’t like wool because they need moisture to survive. Wool has microscopic pores that respond effectively to changes in humidity making it unfavorable for the growth and breeding of the house dust mite. Dust mite allergens are one of the triggers for asthma attacks.
Wool absorbs harmful pollutants – not only does wool absorb many harmful pollutants from the air, it does not re-emit them. It’s estimated that wool used in interiors as many famous British Wool carpet manufactures use can help purify the air for around 30 years. Another great benefit of British Wool.
Water & Stain Repellent
Whilst wool is capable of absorbing up to a third of its dry weight in moisture, the surface of some wool fibres have a waxy coating that repels liquids. This surface layer is not easily removed by washing or processing. Water droplets on the surface will bead and roll off instead of being absorbed into the fabric due to a outer layer called Epicuticle helping make your slippers stain and rain repellent.
Wool reduces the opportunity for odours to develop because it quickly absorbs perspiration and evaporates it into the air. Unlike synthetic or other natural fabrics wool does not retain odours and will freshen like new just from airing out. In addition, the outer layer of wool fibres has a high concentration of fatty acids, which have anti-bacterial properties. The internal layers of wool fibre actually bind with acidic, basic and sulphurous acid with all these factors in place you can see why this is a process that cannot be matched.
Buying wool supports raising sheep for their fleece rather than food. Every year a new fleece grows on the sheep’s back and removed without harm to the animal.
" Ultimately we feel all wool has its own place in Industry as " RQA "