While we here at Cuddle Ewe think that wool is the perfect material to make a natural mattress, organic wool comforter, or wool throw blanket, there are some other odder uses for wool as well. Though you might only think of wool being used in the bedding or fashion industries, it’s also used in construction.
In the skirting stage of wool processing, the finer/cleaner portions of wool fleece are separated from the rougher/dirtier parts. The nicer pieces of wool have thinner wool fibers that bend more easily and thus feel smooth enough to use in natural bedding or clothing. The other parts of the fleece can then be used for different industries. One of the oldest non-clothing uses of wool is insulation; people in Mongolia have used it for the walls of their yurts for more than three thousand years. But wool is still used as insulation today and provides the additional benefits of absorbing moisture, sound, and harmful chemicals.
Wool-in any form-can absorb harmful chemicals (formaldehyde or sulfur dioxide for instance) from the air in an irreversible process, so you don’t have to worry about the wool off-gassing anything bad. The science behind this is a little complicated, but basically the amino acids in the wool bond both physically and chemically with these pollutants. These bonds are only broken under extreme conditions, so any chemicals or bad odors are locked within the wool.
Some people have even taken building with wool a step further by making bricks with wool. By mixing wool, clay, and an extract from seaweed, researchers have created an unfired brick 37% stronger than traditional materials. By skipping the firing process, these wool bricks prevent more CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.
Building your wardrobe, your bedding, or even your house out of wool gives you and the planet so many benefits. Check out our blog again soon, for even more odd uses of wool.
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