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Super sustainable, renewable resource: wool!
Published 1/5/2015 on http://livingselfsufficient.wordpress.com by Barbara Scheltus - van den Berg
With living self reliant, things like sustainability and renewable sources become much more important. We don't want to repair or replace stuff all the time; things should just work. For a long time.
So the quality of our resources is important. And I have a favorite resource: sheep wool! I love it so much; I wear it, sleep on & under it, put it in my shoes and insulate the house with it. It grows back (on the sheep) every year and woolen products are easy to repair.
Why wool is good
Sheepwool is amazing. Just a few crazy facts: Sheep wool takes 600º Celsius before it starts burning. Try it yourself: it is really hard to burn wool. And therefore it is a great fire extinguisher! It can also absorp up to 30% of its own weight in water, without feeling wet.
Wool regrows every year (renewable!) and keeps its good properties for about 80 years (sustainable!). Sheep fur even seems to lower CO2 in the air!
The benefit of wearing woolen clothes
Wool breathes, ventilates, and insulates because of the air pockets. Temperature and moisture are regulated, so woolen clothes are nice in warm and cold weather. It protects your body against sudden temperature rises and falls.
But one of the best aspects according to me, is that wool is self cleaning! Because of the lanoline in it (which works also anti bacterial). I hang my wollen clothes in the sun & wind and after a few hours they are "as good as new"! No washing machine needed.
Oh, by the way: you never ever have to iron woolen products because wool is sort of elastic & jumps back in shape!
Sheep wool & health
Because wool regulates moisture and temperature, it is not an attractive environment for dust mites or moulds. So if you have some allergies, treat yourself on a nice woolen duvet or blanket!
Sheepskin prevents (and even heals) wounds caused by bedsores (decubitus).
Wool grease (lanoline) is great for your skin. In hand cream it heals your dry hands and softens them.
With many cold related illness (like stiffness, throat ache, ear ache and bronchitis), wool seems to encourage the self healing mechanism of our body. Raw sheepwool, right from the sheep and still greasy, seems to do the best job in this.
Wool as insulator
So now it is only a small step to use wool as insulation for your house. It doesn't burn (and even kills flames), it "breathes" and regulates temperature.
And the best part: farmers are happy to give you their wool because they have so much of it every year again!
LINKS to sites about wool:
In my next blog I will write about What you can do with wool and how you do it.
At Permaculture homestead Bogata Suma in Croatia Barbara gives wool workshops.
Mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call +385 95 5555 677 if you have questions or want to make a reservation!