The Benefits of Wool
Health Benefits of Wool
- Wool Has A Natural Resistance To Mildew
This is possible because wool is a natural wicking fiber. The wool fibers actually allow moisture to pass through without retaining any of the moisture in the wool itself. Mold and Mildew cannot survive without a damp environment to grow upon. Furthermore, the only way that mold or mildew can grow on wool is if the wool is immersed in water which wouldn't allow for air circulation.
- Wool Has The Ability To Regulate Temperature
Wool fibers keep a pocket of air close to your body. The coil-shaped fibers naturally wick excess heat and moisture from your skin and create an optimal temperature zone for a good night's sleep.
- Wool Keeps Your Heart Rate Low
A study conducted by scientists at the Polytechnic Institute of Wales measured the effects of many fibers on human subjects as they slept. Not only did they find that the wool fibers tended to keep the skin drier, they were amazed to discover that the subjects using wool-fill comforters actually had lower heart rates. A lower heart rate indicates that the sleeper is in a deep, relaxed state. The test subjects with other fibers either maintained the same heart rate or exhibited an elevated rate.
- Wool Is Mostly Non-Allergenic
Our wool is processed without the use of any harsh chemicals such as Chlorine or moth-proofing chemicals. Though a few people have a natural allergy to lanolin (an oil found in wool) most allergic reactions are caused by the toxic chemicals that are used to create wool garments or bedding. We use cotton fabric to cover our bedding and don't have the problems with mold that other fillers can have.
Go Green With Wool
At the mill, we wash and card wool into batting which can then be used in quilts, comforters, mattress pads or pillows. We also produce a line of bedding called Nature’s Comfort. This product line features ready-made wool-filled comforter inserts, wool-filled mattress pads, and wool-filled pillows that anyone can purchase.
There are several qualities of wool bedding that make it a true investment in the future. The main selling point is that wool can be recycled. The same wool that your great-grandmother used to make her daughter a wedding quilt can be reprocessed and used to make your own daughter a gorgeous wedding quilt. Our employees have been entrusted with many quilt batts that have been handed down from one generation to the next. Moreover, they have been washing and carding the wool batts with the same methods that were used over a century ago. Be assured that if you choose to send us your wool, you will get your own wool back.
Wool is also excellent at maintaining a constant body temperature therefore it can be used in both hot and cold climates. The wool fibers naturally absorb moisture from the environment which creates a pocket of dry air next to the skin. This means that whether it is summer or winter, you can expect to get a better night’s sleep without having to constantly regulate the air-conditioner or furnace. This ability to wick moisture away also makes the wool fibers resistant to mold, mildew and dust mites. As a result, this bedding is a godsend for people who suffer from allergies. Our website www.woolenmill.com lists other health problems which can be alleviated with the use of wool bedding but there is also one benefit that relates directly to safety. As many firemen know, wool is naturally resistant to flames. It will singe like human hair, but stop burning when it is removed from the source of the fire. Although wool bedding has special care and handling instructions it would be ideal for infant bedding.
In conclusion, the St. Peter Woolen Mill is proud to produce a 100% American-Made product which benefits peoples lives and encourages people to recycle. Patricia would be happy to discuss the history of the mill, health and environmental benefits of wool, and the proper care and handling of wool bedding. Please let us know if you are interested and would like more information.
Wool's Sleep Benefits
You can wake up refreshed and ready to face every new day. Even if you suffer from fibromyalgia or arthritis you will greet the morning with your stiffness and pain lessened or gone altogether. If you have asthma or allergies you will breathe easier at night and wake up rejuvenated instead of exhausted.
When you don’t sleep well, you lose more than just a few hours of rest.
Not sleeping well will:
- Stress your immune system making you more susceptible to colds, flu, and diseases.
- Cause you to have more accidents.
- Suppress your ability to produce antibodies.
- Reduce your ability to secrete insulin contributing to diabetes.
- Increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease by 30%.
- And that’s if you’re in robust health! If you are living with fibromyalgia, allergies, arthritis, and asthma it is even more important to sleep well.
Mornings are the worst. You know the symptoms; the reactions to certain foods and chemicals, the loss of balance, easily irritated skin, fatigue, and the stiffness.
Your choice of bedding can either contribute to or lessen these symptoms!
Mattresses, pillows, and bedding are permeated with fire retardant chemicals which can make you feel worse and have been linked to many illnesses and even crib death. (See our two special reports on Fire Retardant Chemicals and SIDS). Synthetic fibers irritate your sensitive skin. Mattress pads and pillows made with synthetics such as polyurethane aggravate your tender points. The new “foams,” down, and feathers provide a favorable habitat for dust mites which cause allergic symptoms and interfere with breathing.
If you have fibromyalgia, you need to sleep on pillows and bedding which provides support for your pressure points, which regulates your body temperature and has no chemicals to irritate your skin.
Natural, organic wool has all of these qualities.
Like those with fibromyalgia mentioned above, people suffering from arthritis need support for their joints. They need temperature control and softness. They need rejuvenating sleep.
Natural, organic wool, the pure solution to your sleep problems.
Wool fibers have a natural crimp in them, which gives them a springy support that cradles your body. It has been used in hospitals to relieve pressure points. In tests, wool recovered 95% of its original springiness when it was compressed; synthetics only recovered 67 to 79%. Synthetics also lose their resiliency with age, whereas each individual wool fiber keeps its loft forever.
If you are too cold, your body shivers to compensate and it interferes with your sleep. If you are too hot, you will sweat which will make any other fiber damp and uncomfortable. Wool naturally traps heat to insulate you. But it does more than that. Wool absorbs water, but releases it into the atmosphere to evaporate. This means you will stay completely dry and comfortable no matter what the temperature. Cool in summer, warm in winter.
The Hohenstein Research Institute, an international textile research center, found 1½ times more moisture remaining in beds using acrylic blankets than wool blankets. Moisture not trapped in the fibers, but in the whole environment making you uncomfortable. The Australian Medical Journal found that people sleeping on wool turned 80% less than with other fibers. The less you turn, the deeper and more replenishing your sleep will be.
Many synthetic and some natural fibers are highly flammable. Polyurethane especially, burns like gasoline soaked rags when set on fire. To counter this, by law, all textiles used in bedding have to have fire retardant chemicals added. Wool is the exception. Because it absorbs moisture into its core, fires are naturally extinguished. Firefighters wear wool clothing for this reason.
Besides your sensitive skin having possible contact with these irritating fire retardant chemicals, these chemicals let off toxic gasses linked to many health problems. Many of these chemicals are showing up in the environment and even in breast milk. Some have been banned in the European Union. California is phasing out the use of some, but not all of these chemicals because of their health risks. (See our special report on fire retardant chemicals: Is Your Bed Making You Sick?)
Pure, natural, organic wool isn’t grown with the use of pesticides like most cotton and doesn’t need added chemicals. It creates the perfect sleeping environment in comfort, support, temperature control, and humidity.
The British Medical Journal, Lancet, and the TI Australian Medical Journal have reported that babies sleep better, have reduced stress, are more contented, gain more weight, and grow faster when they sleep on lambs wool pads. Hospitals in England, Australia, and New Zealand line their incubators with lambs wool pads.
Allergies and asthma:
Besides the benefits listed above, if you have allergies and asthma you especially need to be careful about the bedding where you will be spending one third of your life. You need also to pay close attention to what is in your pillows.
The toxic chemicals used as fire retardants in synthetic and some natural textiles like cotton and down let off gasses which greatly aggravate your breathing problems. The synthetic fabrics and padding themselves are continually breaking down into their petroleum-based components as gasses you are breathing in.
And to make matters worse there are Creepy Crawlies in your bed!
Dust mites! Dust mites are related to spiders and ticks but are smaller than the periods at the end of this sentence. Too small to be seen by the unaided eye, they live by the millions in your bed and feed off your skin flakes and dandruff. Your body provides the more than 50% humidity they need to survive and keeps their habitat toasty warm.
They are also the number one cause of allergies and asthma. But it isn’t their tiny bodies causing the sneezing, wheezing, sniffling and coughing. The more than 40,000 of them counted by a scientist per one ounce of dust leave a lot of droppings. This fecal matter causes the reactions in sensitive people. It is estimated 15% of the population and 85% of asthmatics are sensitive to dust mite poo.
Polyurethane foam, feathers, and down all are wonderful dust mite hotels. The foam is made of billions of air pockets the dust mites love to call “home.” When the foam is compressed they have no problem hanging on, and when it is released (as you roll over) it sucks in more food and moisture for them.
Wool wicks moisture away and allows it to evaporate. This not only makes it comfortable for the person sleeping, but it lowers the humidity creating an inhospitable environment for dust mites. Use pure organic wool as bedding.
Wool’s fibers are long and aren’t inhaled; it won’t irritate your lungs. Wool extinguishes itself when set on fire and so needs no added chemicals. The less gasses and chemicals in your bed, the better you will breathe. The less dust mites, the better you will feel. The fewer irritants in your sleeping environment, the better quality sleep you will have.
Use the most natural and safe bedding in use for thousands of years.
Pure, organic wool was used for comfortable sleeping before history was written. It is the most natural and safe fiber available to mankind today.
EPA national emissions standards for air pollutants Chemicals used in making polyurethane and their health hazards: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/foam2/fr14ap03.pdf
Consumers Union on the flammability of polyurethane: http://www.consumersunion.org/products/nasfmdc699.htm
Our Stolen Future report on PBDEs, used as a fire retardant but banned in the European Union. http://www.ourstolenfuture.com/NewScience/oncompounds/PBDE/2004/2004-1104kuriyamaetal.htm
Dust Mites http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC2551.htm
Wool, naturally fire retardant http://www.fabrics.net/fireproofing.asp
Natural organic wool products: www.WoolieBees.com
Suzy Sharpe, copywriter and published author is available to write compelling advertising copy for websites, brochures and direct mail, articles for publication and press releases. She also ghostwrites memoirs, articles, and that special story that needs to be told. Contact her: Sharpewriting@aol.com