HOW WOOL KEEPS YOU COOL

Winter, wool, warmth – these words fit well together making you feel all warm and snuggly.

So you may be surprised to discover that the reason wool keeps you WARM also clarifies how wool keeps you COOL.

It’s all in the crimp and curl, which creates air pockets giving wool its unique ability to absorb moisture and transport it away from the body. This remarkable insulation factor works to keep you both warm and cool.

Typically, you wouldn’t think of summer or workout clothes as being made of wool, but in fact, its fibre qualities are exactly what you need to stay comfortable and dry.

Wool’s range of desirable properties make it a valuable material for many different purposes, from high-end fashion to fire-resistant products and heavy-duty carpet. The cuticle cells provide a tough exterior, protecting the fiber from damage. The cells have a waxy coating, making wool water repellent, but still allowing absorption of water vapor. When wool absorbs moisture, it produces heat, keeping you warm. The reverse occurs as well. If you are hot, the wool wicks the moisture away from your body keeping you cool. Tiny pores in the cuticle cells allow water vapor to pass through the wool fiber. This makes wool comfortable in both warm and cool conditions.

Working with the body, this natural, eco-friendly and biodegradable material provides breathable performance and unmatched moisture management.

Innovations in the wool industry mean wool is increasingly being used in the production of warm weather clothing. Today, you’ll find it in activewear apparel as well as suits, dresses, and t.shirts.

We’re not talking about the type of yarn used to knit your chunky winter woollies, but rather wool in the less than 20 micron range. The micron refers to the fibre diameter. Microns around 18 to 19 are best for superfine yarn. These microns produce wool fabric that is lightweight, drapes beautifully, and doesn’t hold wrinkles. As an added bonus, wool fabrics also provide increased protection from the sun as they absorb UV radiation.

The Consumption Research Norway (SIFO) evaluated the odour intensity of 13 different fabric samples. The results showed that: “Wool and cotton smelled significantly less intense than both odour-control and polyester when the samples were sweaty or aired.”

In other research from The University of Otago in New Zealand, where 10 male athletes were tested wearing three different fabrics across a range of temperatures, the garment in single jersey wool fabric came out top for both hot and cold conditions.

Using wool to keep cool can also lead to a better night’s rest. It’s not just about the nightwear we choose to wear, but our bedding too. Everything from mattresses, to mattress protectors, pillows and duvets can help to keep you cool through the night. Snuggly under a wool duvet will regulate your temperature and manage moisture better than ones made from polyester, feather or down.