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Lesser-Known Uses of Wool

While we here at Shepherd’s Dream think that wool is the perfect material to make a natural mattress, organic wool comforter, or wool throw blanket, there are some other odder uses for wool as well. Wool has too many uses to list here but some of the standouts are insulation, gardening/composting, skin care, cleaning oil spills, and it’s even used to make baseballs.

In the skirting stage of wool processing, the finer/cleaner portions of wool fleece are separated from the rougher/dirtier parts. The nicer pieces of wool have thinner wool fibers that bend more easily and thus feel smooth enough to use in natural bedding or clothing. The other parts of the fleece can then be used for different industries. One of the oldest non clothing uses of wool is insulation; people in Mongolia have used it as the walls of their yurts for more than three thousand years. But wool is still used as insulation today and provides the additional benefits of absorbing moisture, sound, and harmful chemicals (it won’t release these chemicals and even absorbs them from other artificial materials).

If you’re watching a baseball game, you’re probably not thinking about sheep and wool, but they play a crucial role in the game. Wool is the primary material wrapped around the core of a baseball because it’s able to stand up to rough compression and return to its original shape. Those same principles make wool a great choice for a natural pillow, even if you’re not dropping your head onto a pillow at over 90 mph.

Lanolin is a by-product of wool processing that we normally don’t focus on, but it has a wide variety of uses. Lanolin is removed from raw or greasy wool in the scouring stage of processing. In nature lanolin helps protect sheep skin from the elements, and after it’s removed from wool it can do the same for human skin in the form of moisturizers and even lip balm.

Oil spills can be devastating to natural habitats and communities, but we can use nature itself to help clean our mistakes. Wool can be used to soak up oil in the ocean or even made into a barrier to stop oil from flowing down a river. The wool absorbs the oil and remains floating on the surface, where it can be collected, pressed of oil, and reused. There are man made oil absorbers, but paradoxically some of those are made from oil!

Even with all these applications, sometimes people can’t use all the wool they produce. Even then wool never really goes to waste since it’s compostable. In fact any soil that the wool is composted in benefits from the nutrients provided by the wool, because “in nature there is no such thing as waste.”

By purchasing wool products you help support the wool industry which in turn provides natural alternatives that can be used by even more people and industries. Thanks for using wool, however you use it.

See Our All-Natural Wool Mattress Toppers

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