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Reasons to choose wool

Wool – a natural choice

 

Wool is a wonderful and versatile natural fibre and for centuries sheep and their fleeces have been an integral part of the British landscape and commerce.

Although superseded by more manmade fibres, in recent decades, it a wonderful 100% natural fibre with its own very special natural properties and is renewable choice.

Reasons to choose wool

  • Natural – grown on sheep that graze freely in the countryside.

 

  • Sustainable – wool is an annually renewable fibre and therefore a resource that is naturally replenished.

 

  • Warm – wool is the original fibre for warmth, it has insulating properties and can keep you warm and cosy on the coldest days.

  • Cool – wool is also a fibre that stays cool, it breathes and will adapt to suit the environment or its wearer.

 

  • Comfort – the flexible, tactile nature makes it very comfortable to wear and sleep in.

  • Technical – the complex cell structure makes wool a working fibre, the key attributes of the fleece that protected the sheep out in the fields, the shorn fleece retains the properties.

 

  • Naturally fire-retardant – as a result of its high water and nitrogen content, wool is naturally fire resistant and does not melt or give off noxious fumes.

 

  • Pure wool is bio–degradable – the natural ability of wool to bio-degrade is an asset with the current eco agenda.

  • Durable – with its great resilience, it can withstand long periods of wear and tear.

 

  • Quality and style – the enduring quality and style of wool makes it a choice for the worlds of fashion and interiors.

 

  • Non-allergenic – able to trap dust within its microscopic scales, wool prevents dust floating in the home, so it can be shaken or vacuumed out later

 

 

Live naturally ………………Choose wool

 

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Why we all love wool in winter: the history of the ultimate cosy natural fibre.

history of wool

The history of wool

Wool is a wonderful and versatile natural fibre and for centuries sheep and their fleeces have been an integral part of the British landscape and commerce.

Compared to the animals we know today, wild sheep  were hairy rather than woolly and became domesticated some 9,000 to 11,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence from Iran  suggests the first selective breeding of woolly sheep may have begun around 6000 BC, with the earliest woven wool garments having only been dated to 2,000 or 3,000 thousand years later.

history of wool

The easy mobility of sheep allowed the Persians, Greeks and Roman empires to distribute and therefore introduce sheep and their fleeces across Europe, and throughout the Roman period, there is evidence that wool fleeces became superior through further selective breeding.

During the 12th century, Greek weavers were sent to Italy as slaves after the Norman conquest of Greece which stimulated the Italian weaving industry to extraordinary work. It continued to be one of the centres of weaving excellence until the 16th century when the arrival of silk superseded it.
In the 13th century, the wool trade became the economic engine of Northern Europe  and central Italy. In Britain the monastic orders were at the centre of wool production as they had accumulated vast tracts of land during the previous two centuries while prices were low and labour still scarce.

history of wool

Raw wool was baled and shipped from  ports on the North East coast of England to the textile cities of  Flanders, Ypres and  Ghent, where it was dyed and worked up as cloth.
At the time of the  Black Death, English owned textile industries accounted for only 10% of English wool production. The textile trade grew rapidly during the 15th century, to the point where the export of wool was discouraged. Over the centuries, various British laws controlled the wool trade or required the use of wool even in burials. The smuggling of wool out of the country, known as  owling, was at one time punishable by the cutting off of a hand.

history of wool

The importance of wool to the English economy can be seen in the fact King Edward III insisted the Lord Chancellor should sit on a wool bale in Parliament to show its central role in the economy. Even today the Lord Speaker of the House of Lords  sits on a chair called the “Woolsack’’.

In 1789, two Spanish Merino Rams and six ewes arrived in South Africa after they had been gifted by the Spanish King to the Dutch. They had not enjoyed the North European climate but thrived in South Africa. Later their descendants were sent further afield to Australia and became the basis of their thriving sheep industry. Australia’s early economy was based on wool production and they supplied Bradford which was at the centre of the industrialised, mass production wool industry in the 19th century. Australia is still the main producer of fleeces but is now closely followed by China.

history of wool

Having been superseded by many man-made fibres, wool now accounts for only 3% of world textiles. However, it remains a fantastically versatile material with amazing natural properties. Being a breathable fibre, it can regulate itself to individual body temperatures. When it is cold, it can wick moisture from the skin and insulates to trap dry, warm air, and when it is warm, it lets in air which helps remove heat and moisture from the body. Not only that, it is water and dirt resistant, flame retardant and naturally anti-allergenic. Despite competition from man-made fibres, wool remains hard to beat as the ultimate cosy material for winter.

We are now stocking a new range of gorgeous 100% lambswool throws – have a look here.

 

 

Dormitory create timeless, exquisite bedlinen. Crafted in our own workshops we combine traditional techniques with the best luxury European fabrics.