Natural fibres have been used for thousands of years. One of the most common and most versatile natural fibers is wool. In fact wool is one of the oldest fibres used by mankind, with thousands of years of usage history.
There are many different types of wool, which come from different breeds of the animal; from merino and cashmere to alpaca, each has its own benefits. But the very nature of wool carries some impressive benefits.
1. Natural Odour Repellent
One of the best things about wool is that it naturally works to hide odours. The natural antibacterial elements mean that the fibre has the ability to breathe, and to absorb up to 35% of its own weight in moisture.
As the build up of moisture is what causes bacteria to breed and smells to develop, wool naturally works to combat this. So woolen clothing doesn’t smell and needs less washing!
2. Regulating Temperature
Seeing as wool originates on animals who live in variable temperature climates, it stands to reason that wool works well to regulate the temperature of the wearer.
The same feature that keeps wool odour free is what helps to regulate the temperature. The breathability of the fabric means that much of the moisture absorbed by the material is turned into vapour and released into the air.
We all know that wool also acts as an insulator when its cold, making it the perfect winter fabric. But even in hot weather wool is a comfortable and, believe it or not, a cool fabric. Rather than letting cold or hot air in, wool works to regulate to a natural body temperature.
3. Environmentally Friendly
One of the best reasons to wear wool is the fact that it is one of the most environmentally-friendly materials. Unlike fabrics like cotton or polyester, the creation of wool has a relatively low impact on the environment. Cotton, for example, has been blamed for irrigation and pollution issues where it is harvested, and polyester is a composite of plastics and natural fibres. Wool, on the other hand, is fully biodegrade at the end of its use, making its full lifecycle eco-friendly.
Sheep that are sheared responsibly are naturally free range and live happy lives. Avoid wool that comes from intensively reared sheep where they might have been subjected to mulesing - a practice where skin is removed from the sheep to avoid mites and bugs. At Baabuk, we take the wellbeing of our sheep seriously and ensure that our wool production is ethical to the sheep and is 100% mulesing-free.
4. Hard Wearing
A well-known benefit of wool is that it is a durable and hard wearing fabric, which can withstand heavy wear and tear and harsh weathers. Wool garments are prized greatly in many countries that are well known for their adverse weather conditions. Think thick Aran jumpers from Scotland, Russian valenki snow boots and Alpaca ponchos from Peru. Wool can withstand the test of hard wearing!
One of the misconceptions about wool is that it is itchy and can cause rashes, but actually certain wools are great for sensitive skin. The itchiness caused by wool is usually the coarseness and thickness of the wool itself. Wool is available in different thicknesses (measured in microns) and the thicker the micron the more ‘itchy’ the sensation. Merino wool tends to be under 20 microns which is considered a fine, and therefore comfortable thickness.
Wool is also resistant to dust mites and is self-cleansing, so with a bit of an airing, your woolen items can be as fresh as the day you bought them!
Baabuk footwear harness all these benefits into their Urban Wooler shoes which capture the comfort and versatility of wool with street styling. Being made from top quality Portuguese sheep's wool that is mulesing free and lined with merino wool, Baabuk shoes are environmentally responsible and incredibly comfortable.
As with all the footwear in Baabuk’s range, Urban Woolers are machine washable and are easily freshened up if they get some serious wear.