What is wool used for?So, what is sheep’s wool used for? Dating as far back as the Middle Ages, the primary purpose of wool has been keeping us warm by creating clothing and bedding. Sheep were one of the first domesticated animals thanks to their lovely fluffy coats. However, wool fabric has so many clever properties – including being durable, flexible, and odour and fire-resistant – that mean we can use it for other, more surprising purposes. In fact, despite how brilliant our modern technology is, scientists haven’t even come close to replicating the unique properties of this natural material. That’s how brilliant wool is.
In Britain, we have 32.7 million sheep which produce a staggering 30 million kilos of wool every year. Different breeds of sheep can produce different types of wool, including softer wool fabrics, which are perfect for use against the skin, and more coarse fibres which are good for things like insulation. Producing fabrics can be bad for the planet, but wool is biodegradable, sustainable, and renewable so very little is wasted.
The uses of wool fabric vary from the traditional to the eccentric, the commonplace to the innovative. So, let’s explore what is wool used for?
Wool bedding and carpetsBedding is probably one of the most notable uses of wool. At Woolroom, we know all about how amazing wool fabric is. It’s at the heart of our business and we’re proud to produce matresses , duvets , and pillows that provide and promote healthier sleep. We love wool fabric because it helps your body naturally regulate its temperature at night. Meaning in the winter, you can snuggle up with our wool duvets and blankets and drift off in luxury. But this is often where people go wrong – they assume that wool is a hot fibre that leaves you feeling stuffy, when in actual fact it has a natural ability to wick moisture more than synthetic alternatives. What does this mean? Well, in the summer, you’ll be able to stay under the covers and remain cool and comfy whilst your wool duvet whisks off any sweat or dampness. It’s super soft too and hypoallergenic, so it’s perfect for anyone with allergies or skin sensitivities. Designed for the whole family, wool bedding and blankets are beautifully soft and cosy for any room.
For the ultimate “walking on clouds” feeling at home, wool carpets are designed with comfort in mind. Strong, tough and flexible, wool fabric is perfect for carpets because it resists indentations left by furniture, can withstand tearing and is easy to care for. Plus, due to the waxy coating on the fibres, it’s resilient against stains. Wool fabric can provide homeowners with peace of mind because it’s resistant against almost anything, including fire and water, meaning whatever life throws at it, wool carpets will be able to withstand it whilst always looking good.
Uses of wool in the garden
Mulch and slug pelletsMoving onto the more surprising uses of wool… That’s right, mulch can be made to bring the same benefits to the garden bed. Wool mulch can be made into pads that can be wrapped around trunks or stems to protect delicate trees and larger plants in the winter. Since it’s a biodegradable material, wool mulch won’t cause lasting damage on the environment. It can also help to suppress weeds, regulate the temperature of the soil, and retain moisture, creating the perfect environment for flowers to bloom – impressive, right? Wool mulch pads can also be used as fertiliser as it adds beneficial nutrients, including calcium and sodium, to the soil, allowing your plants to thrive.
Wool mulch can also be turned into slug pellets. Rather than traditional slug pellets that contain harmful chemicals, wool pellets are biodegradable and chemical-free, meaning there’s no harm to nature. Wool pellets absorb the mucus that slugs and snails produce which acts as a deterrent, meaning they’ll leave your garden alone and head somewhere else for their midnight snack.
Wool compost and garden stringThe uses of wool in the garden are endless. Since wool breaks down slowly and organically, it’s a great advantage when composting. Wool compost ensures a slow and steady release of nitrogen into the surrounding soil, and impressively wool compost contains 10-11% more nitrogen than garden centre versions. Depending on the type, wool compost can also contain high levels of potassium, sodium, iron and phosphorous, which for those not versed in chemistry means that wool compost will help create soil that is rich and healthy, resulting in flourishing plants and crops.
Wool can also be spun into garden twine and string, creating an excellent tool for those with green fingers. Rather than using jute or plastic, the 27 million gardeners in the UK can use this strong and durable alternative. Plus it will give your garden a more natural and rustic look.
Wool insulationWool fabric is excellent at retaining heat, so it makes sense that it’s used in building insulation. Not only is it a thermal insulator, but wool insulation also provides acoustic protection because it is excellent at absorbing sound. Large buildings with high ceilings can use wool insulation to fill the air void and minimise echoes, enhancing the sound. Building wool insulation is one of the notable uses of wool because it acts as a moisture buffer by releasing and absorbing excessive moisture, absorbing indoor pollutants, and, of course, keeping the building warm and toasty.
FirefightingHave we mentioned that wool is flame-retardant? It might surprise you, but wool can withstand heat up to 600?C. It’s no wonder that one of the uses of wool is to be used in the creation of firefighters’ uniforms and PPE. When exposed to high temperatures, it doesn’t shrink, melt, stick, or produce toxic odours. Plus, it’s extremely breathable, comfortable and has anti-microbial properties.