Wool you be my valentine? What would you think if I told you I love to wear wool leggings, wools shirts, wool beanies and dress my children head to toe in wool? Would you think it was itchy? Would you wonder why? I was first introduced to wool by my good friend Nichole about four years ago when she sewed me some wool diaper covers and gave them to me at my baby shower. I put them over organic cotton prefolds and I only had to wash the wool covers maybe monthly? They never smelled. I just air dried them. Crazy!
Since then, we have
collected invested in quite a bit of wool products. It is one of those things that is a bit of money upfront, but then you don’t have to replace because it lasts so long. Wool fibers are very durable and flexible, they can withstand being bent over 20,000 times without breaking. In comparison, cotton breaks after 3,000 bends and silk after 2,000 bends. So when you see that $90 price tag on a Merino Wool shirt just realize how much longer it is going to last you compared to a $30 cotton one.
More cool facts about wool:
- Wool can absorb 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp or clammy.
- Wool is naturally antibacterial and does not retain dirt or odors.
- Wool is virtually odor resistant. It does so well at managing moisture, odor causing bacteria does not have the moist environment it needs to thrive.
- Wool is a natural UV protectant. It absorbs light and has no UV reflection.
- Wool does not make any sound when it rubs together or on anything. Perfect for hunting and hiking. Unless you love the sound of your track pants when walking!
- Wool is biodegradable when it is disposed of. It will decompose in soil in a matter of years, slowly releasing valuable nutrients back into the earth.
- Wool keeps you warm when the weather is cold and cool when the weather is hot.
- Wool is static resistant because it absorbs moisture vapor, it does not to create static electricity.
- Wool is naturally flame resistant. It is self extinguishing. Wool never melts so it can’t stick to the skin like many common synthetics.
We have a few different types of wool. Merino wool, knit wool and boiled wool. Boiled wool has a high lanolin content making it nearly waterproof. It also protects against cold, is almost entirely windproof, and balances hot and cold temperatures. When wool is boiled, thousands of tiny air bubbles are trapped in by the material, forming an entirely natural barrier against hot and cold temperatures. The kids and I all have organic boiled wool beanies which are lined with organic cotton. I love how it looks too. Look how cute it is on my kids. My son wore this green boiled wool suit for 6 months. And has been wearing this red one now for 5 months. Yes, they were expensive, but neither of them have ever been washed. Not once. They don’t smell and they get worn at least 4x a week crawling outside.
One of my favorite things about the wool is how and breathable it is. It is not bulky so we are able to dress the kids in a few 100% cotton layers underneath and then put wool on top and still have them safely snug in their car seats.
I wore my Smartwool base layers top for 4 days straight tent camping. I slept in it and wore it hiking, fishing, and everything in between. It didn’t smell like campfire smoke, bacon or sweat and didn’t stretch out. Yes, I could have changed but why?
My husband started converting his hunting layers to merino wool. He went on a week-long elk hunt and only packed 2 pairs of wool boxer briefs. When he told me that’s all he was packing for 8 days of hiking and camping in the woods, I gave him a look that said “you’re disgusting!” He came home 8 days later and when I asked how those two pairs held up he replied “wool underwear is the best, I didn’t even need the second pair!” None of his wool clothing smelled and I’m ashamed to admit that I unknowingly smelled his week old wool base layers and boxers on the floor when I was trying to figure out where a smell in our dark bedroom was coming from. It ended up being the bath towel from his first shower home. We had a good laugh over this!
My husband and I often discuss our dream home, which happens to be a small log cabin off-grid. I dream of wool pillows, a wool mattress, wool rugs, wool blankets. Maybe we will even wear matching wool onesie base layers like they did on the prairie! And I’ll find time to spin our own wool and churn butter! Anyone else dream of living in a different time period? I do love my Electric kitchen Aid and my flush toilet. But, If you had to wash laundry by hand, chop wood, milk cows, churn butter, bucket water and make everything from scratch, you could eat so much BUTTER, bread, cake, bacon and still be in great shape!
What are some of your favorite wool products? I’d love to know. I have a wool insulated lunch box on my wish list.