Wool and its advantages as a sustainable fibre

Wool is commonly referred to as the hair of sheep, which is obtained by a sheep's shearing. It is most commonly used animal fiber and has been perfected by evolution for millions of years. It is the only fiber that can be felted together, as in our boiled wool, forming a homogenous tangle of fibers that emphasizes the positive qualities of the wool. Wool has a natural layer of fat that prevents water in liquid form from entering. As a solid material, the fibers thereby form a water-repellent surface from which rain and water splashes off. Unfortunately, this natural effect doesn’t apply to chemical fibers, they have to be additionally impregnated. Of course, the material is not completely waterproof. By friction or mechanical movement, the drop-shaped water can migrate between and through the fibers. Again, this is the case with fabrics made of chemical fibers, it is counteracted with a coating or a membrane to be waterproof. However, our body also produces constantly (and depending on the level of activity) a certain amount of water vapor (sweat that evaporates), which needs to be transported from the body. Both the loose structure of the milled fabric, as well as the fiber properties of the wool provide a very good absorption and passage of water to the outside. In contrast to fabrics made from chemical fibers, which can only transport or absorb a small amount of water vapor through their coating or membrane and their structural composition. When it comes to thermal properties, the wool benefits from its curled shape. Heat is created by insulation and this is achieved by the highest possible inclusion in air. The more air a fabric can contain, the better its thermal properties. This is achieved with fabrics made of chemical fibers only by an additional feeding with down or man-made fibers.

With all these features in mind, we now find that a cardigan made from only one type of fiber has similar properties to a multi-layered manmade fiber jacket. Of course, the wool has disadvantages in terms of permeability to water (rain), in all other respects, however, distinct advantages. The lack of protection against rain is often an argument against woolen clothing, especially for children. Understandable, because nobody wants to walk around in a wet garment. However, it is disregarded that mud pants and rain jackets have a very poor water vapor transport and thereby keep sweat on the body. This is known, for example, when children who have played in rubber boots: They usually have sweaty socks and rain jackets are quickly clammy from the inside alter extensive raging. That's why good shell jackets for extreme athletes also like to cost about 600 €, because they have expensive membranes with very good throughput values ​​for water vapor. A balanced climate creates only the wool, but also warms just by its water-repellent property when wet. Their antibacterial properties additionally prevent the formation of odors.

From a sustainable point of view, wool is also beneficial for cleaning, repair and recycling. A jacket has to be dried and shaken out after an intense day outside, brushed once in a while and very rarely washed, a jacket made of chemical fibers needs to be regularly washed, dried and impregnated from time to time. Holes in woolen items can be stuffed without leaving a trace and can now easily be recycled without much effort. A chemical fiber jacket with coating and feeding is a medium-sized disaster in the recovery, they often end up in the incineration plant.

The keeping, breeding and shearing of the sheep is for good reason a problem of wool production. It generates a lot of CO2, consumes a lot of water and is also ethically questionable. For our products, we only use wool from certified organic animal husbandry, which, in contrast to the alternative chemical fiber, is only the lesser evil. But just because of the elaborate extraction, it is our responsibility that makes sense and with the smallest impact on the environment, but the maximum benefit for the humans who use it.

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