It is amazing to think that sheep carry their houses on their backs. The wool characteristics make it one of the most unique, completely natural and multi-purpose fibres available. Pure 100% natural virgin sheep wool (organic sheep wool) has an enormous variety of benefits that make it an excellent material to be used for your bed in order to improve your sleep.
Many people think that they are allergic to wool, yet they simply react to the chemical treatment that the wool has undergone or they react to old, dead and worn out wool. For example, when a sweater is advertised to be a made out of sheep wool, it is allowed to contain a certain proportion of other materials (i.e. synthetics), has usually been treated against moths, has been bleached and dyed and has been made washable by giving it a special coating. In these cases (which cover almost the entire market), what is simply advertised as sheep wool is wool that has no special healing properties and instead contains residues from the tanning, dyeing and finishing processes. The purpose of this page is to outline some of the benefits that a person who sleeps on 100% natural and pure virgin sheep wool enjoys and the list is long! But be forewarned that in order to get the full benefits, the sheep wool must come from living sheep and it will only retain most of these properties for about 10 years. After that period, the wool “dies” and will need to be replaced.
Climate Regulating Properties:
- Sheep wool has the capability to keep the body at an even temperature.
- It does not trap heat but insulates instead.
- These climate regulating properties will help the body to stay cool during hot temperatures and warm during cold temperatures.
- Therefore, it avoids temperature swings and makes it an excellent material to be used for people suffering from arthritis or rheumatism.
- Finally, it allows for air circulation because it does not cling to the skin unlike nylon or cotton.
Self- Cleaning Properties:
- Pure natural virgin sheep wool will retain its self-cleaning properties for up to 10 years after being shorn off a living sheep.
- The wool can absorb up to 35% of its own weight without feeling damp. In comparison, cotton can only retain around 8% of its own weight without feeling damp and polyester only retains 4%.
- This is extremely important because as it absorbs the water that a person sweats out overnight, it prevents the person from sleeping on a damp and clammy surface that leaves you feeling cold (as one would experience when sleeping on synthetic materials).
- Once caught in the sheep wool, it will then clean out the sweat particles along with its salts, waste products and toxins.
- Furthermore, the sheep wool absorbs flakes of skin and disperses them back into the air.
- Finally pure natural sheep wool cleans out gases and odors which is a property that only natural fibres have. For example, sheep wool that is exposed to cigarette smoke will eliminate the smell in about 2-3 hours when properly aired out.
- Given the self-cleaning properties, you can see that it is very important to frequently air out sheep wool in order to get the maximum benefits from it.
Strong and Durable:
- The structure of sheep wool is very intricate.
- The strands of wool are crimped (similar to the hairstyles we may see) which allows it to be stretched and returned to its natural length.
- Sheep wool’s ability to felt makes it nearly impossible to tear.
- Felting is a common property among animal fur which also has the effect that when it is washed in warm or hot soapy water, it will most likely shrink.
Hypoallergenic and Bacteriostatic:
- Allergic reaction to pure natural virgin sheep wool is extremely rare.
- When kept untreated, the wool is also dust-mite, mold and mildew resistant.
Fire-Resistant and Self-Extinguishing:
- Using pure natural virgin sheep wool in bedding eliminates the need for flame retardants because the wool itself is fire-resistant and self-extinguishing.
- Sheep wool helps to reduce and prevent the buildup of static electricity.
Another amazing benefit of pure natural sheep wool is that it contains sulphur, potassium and amino acids which help to stimulate the metabolism of the sleeper and aid in breaking down waste products.
Also using sheep wool in the bedding helps steady the sleeper’s heart rate, therefore allowing for a deeper sleep. In Switzerland it is common practice to use sheep wool blankets or toppers for children who frequently wet the bed. In many cases, this will significantly reduce the frequency of the “mishap”.
Finally it should be mentioned that some mattress companies will advertise the use of sheep wool but the wool is actually put inside the mattress. Sheep wool needs to be able to breathe and therefore it cannot live for very long inside of a mattress. Pure natural virgin sheep wool should be aired out frequently in order to retain all of its properties for the duration of its life.