May 19, 2014
Pure wool – the great Aussie eco choice
When it comes to sustainability, pure wool ranks right up there as the fibre of choice. Australia is well known for riding the sheep’s back to establish this big island as a wealthy nation. Sadly it’s slipped in the consciousness of many, but for my money, I love wearing pure wool and I make a point of side stepping anything less than 100 percent pure.
Pure wool is considered a premium eco-friendly fibre for good reason. Wool is sustainable as a fabric, plus it has the unique ability to breathe, keeping you warmer and drier in winter, and cooler and drier in summer – especially in humid climates.
Pure wool is not just your hand knitted jumper, it’s your Ugg boots, and it can be the carpet, soft swaddles for babies, car seat covers and lovely, cosy bed underlays. But for most of us, pure new wool means one thing – winter is coming!
For many people, the key reason to choose wool over synthetic is for its eco-friendly and healthy properties. Wool is a natural fibre that can absorb up to 30 percent of its weight in water without feeling damp. Wool maintains a constant temperature around the body allowing a deeper more comfortable sleep when worn to bed (those old-fashioned pyjamas and undergarments were usually pure wool).
A pure wool bed underlay helps provide support for the body at sensitive pressure points and reduces the occurrences of bedsores for those that are bedridden. Wool improves sleep and relief from symptoms such as stiffness and pain. Another plus is pure wool disinfects itself in fresh air without the use of harsh chemicals.
Merino wool, originally from Spain, but famously the fleece of choice in Australia and New Zealand, is especially good for regulating body temperature when worn against the skin. If you’re thinking of skiing this winter, wool is moisture repellent which means it attracts perspiration from the skin and even retains warmth when wet, thereby, preventing hypothermia. Another plus is that pure wool has antibacterial properties which resists body odours caused by sweating, something synthetic fabrics can’t do.
My advice is if you’re looking to buy any wool item, this winter, it pays to read the entire label. Look out for 100% Wool or Pure Wool. Often garments are advertised as “wool” but it will often be a blend including nasties like nylon. If your wool is mixed with cashmere, don’t crack a sweat – that’s a cool mix as cashmere is a pure fibre as well, only much lighter, but that’s another story.