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Wool is one of the oldest textiles known.  Due to it's unique natural properties there are a number of reasons why it has stood the test of time.

Hard Wearing
The fibres are hard wearing and with the right care will look good indefinitely. The fibres are strong and do not break easily and resist piling and snagging, thus wool fabrics will typically outlast synthetic fabrics.  An investment in wool brings a good return as the furnishings, for example cushions covers,  throws or blankets,  curtains or upholstery will have a long natural life span.

Static Resistant
As a fabric, wool draws moisture from the air around it, reducing its potential to accumulate static electricity.  It also manages to absorb odours so it has an indirect way of enhancing the air of a room

Water Repellent
Even though it absorbs moisture, the scales on the outer layer of the fibre repel liquid.  These water repellent properties make wool perfect for upholstery. 

Flame Retardant
Wool is naturally flame retardant and will smoulder, but not burn.  This makes it ideal for curtains and other soft furnishings as it does not need to be chemically treated to comply with fire regulations.  Also because it does not melt like synthetics, it is less likely fire will spread across the room.

Natural Insulator
A fabulous natural insulator, curtains in wool are excellent for keeping the cold out.  The crimp in the wool fibres means that there are tiny gaps in between the fibres which are filled with air pockets which heat up as any moisture in the centre of the fibre heat up so the fabric will hold the warmth from the air. 

It is soft and light and drapes brilliantly.   Finer fibres produce softer wools, such as merino or alpaca, meaning different weights of fabric lend themselves to different uses around the home.

Chemical Free
The fibres absorb dye easily, deeply and uniformly, without the use of chemicals, giving beautiful rich colours

Keeps its shape
Naturally elastic, wool fibres will stretch under pressure and then spring back into shape, meaning that garments of products make with wool will not sag or bag

Dirt Resistant
Wool is also dirt resistant.  The fibres have an outer layer of scales that reduce the ability of dirt and dust to penetrate the fibre.  Any stains tend to sit on top of the fibres, rather than being embedded within them, making wool much easier to clean than other fibres.  A light, gentle wash in warm soapy water, without rubbing to avoid damage, will remove any soiling.

Acoustical Properties
Carpet made from wool is also one of the most practical and cost effective products available for controlling noise level in the home environment.

Natural Insulator
Insulation for walls and lofts is becoming more readily available as an alternative to other materials derived from the petro chemical industry

All round, wool is a fantastic fibre that looks good and feels good for longer,  It is not only environmentally friendly and biodegradable,  it is also a renewable resource with the added benefit that no harm is done to the animals which are shorn every year in the summer months for their own comfort and good health.  Enjoy wool!

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Copyright © Lorna Harvey-Frank, Calne, Wiltshire