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Wool & synthetics – what’s the difference?

Wool is an amazing natural fibre. Composed of proteins, its complexity provides many features and benefits that man-made fibres could never replicate. This means improved performance across all types of products – flooring, furnishings, clothing, beds and bedding – the list goes on!

Using wool products benefits the planet in many ways – here are just some of the reasons why:

Wool is sustainable

Wool is grown naturally on sheep. They live on and from the land, roaming freely in the countryside, and re-grow their fleece every year. This is in direct contrast to synthetic fibres, which need oil and refineries to be produced. Sheep grow wool continuously, and can be shorn every 9-12 months, meaning wool is rapidly and readily available. As long as there is grass for sheep to eat, wool can be produced.

Wool is recyclable

Products made out of synthetic fibres can take up to 40 years to degrade, while wool – a natural fibre – degrades in a fraction of that time. This is because wool is made of keratin, a natural protein similar to the protein that makes up human hair, which can be broken down naturally without causing an environmental hazard.

Wool will also reduce waste to landfill as it decomposes in soil in a matter of months or years, slowly releasing valuable nutrients back into the earth.

Wool lasts longer

The natural crimp and elasticity of wool endures constant wear and compression, and its bulk resists crushing and matting, helping it withstand continuous wear. Wool is also more durable than synthetic fibres – resisting spills, tearing and mildew – so you get more wear from every garment and product.

Wool needs less washing

Wool naturally absorbs moisture when the atmosphere is damp, and releases it when the atmosphere is dry, supporting less frequent, lower impact washing, which in turn prolongs the lifetime of garments. A simple airing is often enough to refresh woollen garments or bedding – simply hang them outside on a dry day for a couple of hours.

Interested in finding out more? Follow @BritishWool on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.