What Are the Advantages of Wool?
Natural wool has been a timeless material for bedding and textiles for centuries, long before the St. Peter Woolen Mill first opened its doors in 1867. Our grandparents understood the many benefits that wool provides, and now so do you.
Health Benefits of Wool
Lower Heart Rate
Wool also 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. As a result, this bedding is a godsend for people who suffer from allergies. 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.
Mold and Mildew Resistant
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 for mold or mildew to grow on wool is if the wool is immersed in water which wouldn’t allow for air circulation.
Wool has the unique ability to self-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.
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.
Like those with fibromyalgia, 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.
Allergies and Asthma
If you have allergies and asthma, you especially need to be careful about choosing the bedding where you’ll spend approximately one third of your life. You also need to pay close attention to what’s in your pillows. The toxic chemicals used as fire retardants in synthetic and some natural textiles, like cotton and down, let off gasses which can greatly aggravate your breathing problems. The synthetic fabrics and padding themselves are continually breaking down into their petroleum-based components as gases you’re breathing in.
And to make matters worse, there may be 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 beds 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.
Dust mites 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 allergic reactions in sensitive people. It’s estimated 15% of the population and 85% of asthmatics are sensitive to dust mite poo.
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. Many people aren’t aware that your choice of bedding can either contribute to or lessen these symptoms.
Mattresses, pillows, and other bedding are permeated with fire retardant chemicals which can make you feel worse and have been linked to many illnesses and even crib death. 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 should sleep on pillows and bedding which provide support for your pressure points, regulates your body temperature, and has no chemicals to irritate your skin. Natural, organic wool has all of these qualities.
Environmental Benefits of Wool
Want to go green? Choose wool! There are many qualities of wool bedding that make it a true investment in our planet’s 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.
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’s summer or winter, you can expect to get a better night’s sleep without having to constantly regulate the air-conditioner or furnace.
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.
Be assured that if you choose to send us your wool, you will get your own wool back. The St. Peter Woolen Mill is proud to produce a 100% American-made product which benefits people’s lives and encourages people to recycle.
Sleep Benefits of Wool
You can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face every new day — or you can wake feeling exhausted and fatigued. It’s your choice. When you don’t sleep well, you lose more than just a few hours of rest.
Chronically not sleeping well will:
- Stress your immune system and make you more susceptible to colds, flu, and diseases
- Cause you to make more mistakes
- Suppress your ability to produce antibodies
- Reduce your ability to secrete insulin which may contribute to diabetes
- Increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease by 30 percent
These symptoms are if you’re in robust health. If you’re living with fibromyalgia, allergies, arthritis or asthma, it’s even more important to sleep well. Fortunately, with wool, 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’ll breathe easier at night and wake up rejuvenated instead of exhausted.
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.
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.
If you’re too cold, your body shivers to compensate and it interferes with your sleep. If you’re too hot, you will sweat which will make any other fiber damp and uncomfortable. The Hohenstein Research Institute, an international textile research center, found 1½ times more moisture remaining in beds using acrylic blankets than wool blankets. Wool naturally traps heat to insulate you.
But it does much 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.
Experience the Benefits of Wool for Yourself
Wool is the most natural and safe bedding that has been used for thousands of years. Pure, organic wool was used for comfortable sleeping before history was written. Amazingly, it’s still one of the most natural and safe fibers available to mankind today.
At the St. Peter Woolen 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.