18th September 2018
Guides & Advice
Wool is one of the most beneficial and natural materials we use in our mattresses. We champion the use of wool, especially locally sourced British wool such as that from our own Yorkshire farm. Here are 9 facts about sheep and wool which detail why wool is such a great material to work with.
One of the most important factors in having a great sleep is maintaining a comfortable temperature. Wool has great natural breathability, insulation and moisture-wicking properties. This means that in summer sweat and heat can be wicked through the layers of wool fibres, while in winter the layers trap warm air in and help to keep you warm.
Wool takes less energy to process in its production cycle than man-made fibres, helping to keep carbon dioxide emissions low. Sheep also contribute to their natural ecosystem by eating coarse shrubs and vegetation, helping smaller plant life to flourish all while keeping the luscious green of the countryside intact. At the end of its life-cycle wool is 100% recyclable and biodegradable meaning it will not fill up landfill or contaminate land.
Wool fibres are powered the same as tightly coiled springs which means that they can consistently resist pressure and spring back to keep their shape. This makes wool ideal for use as a mattress filling; it will not lose its shape or structure when slept on and will constantly provide a supportive and comfortable sleeping surface.
Wool is a natural air purifier. It can absorb and hold volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) – invisible air pollutants, as well as trapping and holding onto dust particles. This can be great for those who suffer with allergies or hay fever in the summer months and helps to create the healthiest sleeping surface possible.
Naturally fire retardant, wool is difficult to burn due to its nitrogen and water content. This means that no extra chemicals are needed to treat it, making it safer and cleaner for use in sleep surfaces.
A single fleece produces around 4 kilograms of wool which in turn makes around ten meters of fabric. But rather than wool, we use one and a half full fleeces in each of our mattresses, meaning a luscious layer of soft and supportive wool for every sleep.
There are over thirty three million sheep in the UK – a quarter of the total EU sheep flock. On the farm we have six hundred of our own sheep who we rear in exchange for their fleeces and source the rest of the wool we require from other local Yorkshire farms and throughout the North of England via the British Wool Marketing Board.
The UK is one of the world leaders of wool production. The British Isles are the sixth largest producer of wool globally, and with over 60 unique breeds the UK has the widest variety of sheep of any country in the world. On our farm we breed Suffolk, Texel, Zwartble and rare – breed Wensleydale sheep.
Sheep have been reared by humans for thousands of years, and the first British domesticated sheep date back to around 4,000 B.C. Over time sheep have been cross bred for specific qualities such as shrink resistance, durability and stain proofing.
Keep a look out for the UK Wool Week, in which The Campaign for Wool aims to promote and celebrate everything to do with UK wool.