Woolly Warm Nights
Absolutely Fabulous at Home written Oct 26, 2015
Woolly Warm Nights
The saying ‘everything old is new again’ is certainly true when we think of wool and bedding. Years ago, tufts of wool were stuffed into cloth sacks for both mattresses and coverings. Wool has several unique properties as a filling in both duvets and pillows.
It is breathable as the fibres trap and release the minute amounts of moisture released from your body while you sleep. This regulating property helps keep your body at the right temperature for sleeping. Wool is a hygroscopic insulator, meaning it absorbs or attracts moisture from the air. The tiny wool fibres are crinkly so they don’t lay flat when loaded with moisture and air is trapped in the tiny spaces of the crinkles, which is how insulation works. There is also a chemical change occurring when water is drawn into the core of the fibre, breaking the hydrogen bond and giving off heat, and this makes wool more of a regulator than an insulator. That is why wool is warm when it is wet, and why it keeps us cool when we are hot as evaporation releases the trapped moisture away from our skin. All of this happens in a wool duvet while we are sleeping, completely oblivious to everything because we are so comfortable.
It is hypoallergenic which means it is non-allergy producing as it naturally repels dust mites by means of tiny hooks on the fibres. Dust mites don’t like hooks. Some people react to the touch of wool on their skin, finding it scratchy and itchy but in a duvet, it is completely encased in a 233TC unbleached cotton case so there is no contact. Much of the wool used in the garment industry has been carbonized, a chemical process to remove impurities using an acid bath. The ‘bath’ may leave residue, causing a skin reaction. Natural wool has not been carbonized.
A good wool duvet has combed batts of wool sewn into the casing to minimize bunching as bunching leads to hot and cold spots in the duvet. Our New Zealand wool duvets are fully machine washable. This makes them a great choice for those with allergies, warm sleepers, and children. Wool is a renewable product.
To add to a sleeper’s comfort are wool pillows. These are of medium support so not everyone will feel comfortable with a wool pillow. They are machine washable and have all the same properties of the wool duvet. Our pillow profile can help you figure out if a wool pillow is for you.
Wool is another alternative to down or silk, two natural fillers for duvets. We still love the light loft of down, and the wicking of silk, and are happy to add a wool offering to the product list. Wool duvets look a bit more like a blanket and many people like that as an option.
Did you know? Most sheep produce 2-30 lbs of wool. New Zealand has a sheep called Shrek who had a fleece weighing over 63lbs.
Cathy and staff
- Catherine Reid