Golden Fleece

While a dizzying array of new synthetic materials whittle away at the economic bottom line, there are more and more reasons to stick with wool

24 May 2012

Synthetic materials may have seemed revolutionary at the time of their discovery, but sacrificing the global wool industry for their mass-produced novelty would be a tragedy. 

In recent years wool producers have come under ever increasing pressure, with the price of wool plummeting to the point where it costs more to produce than is earned through sales, and consequently sheep numbers declining across strong wool producing nations including Britain, Australia and New Zealand. 

A continuation of this trend would be disastrous, not just for the individuals and communities deprived of their livelihoods, but for the landscapes defined by their bucolic charm and, perhaps most importantly of all, the simple fact that wool is far more healthy for humans and the environment than many of its substitutes. 

In regards to the ‘S’ word on everybody’s lips these days (sustainability), wool is pretty hard to beat – grown by sheep every year to protect themselves from the elements it is by very definition renewable, and in many parts of the world a process within ecosystems that long predate humanity. It is also entirely biodegradable, allowing it to re-integrate into the biosphere at the end of it’s life-cycle. 

Coupled with it’s qualities of offering higher UV protection than most synthetics or cotton, being a natural fire retardant (remember the wool blanket fire extinguisher?), highly water absorbent and therefore breathable, and naturally non-allergenic, this makes the humble sheep hair something of a super fiber. This last point is tied to wool’s inherent ability to trap pollution particles, making wool carpets a highly salutary feature in any home. 

For all the above reasons (and, we must confess, a strong affection for all things merino), we here at habitusiving are firm advocates of wool, and are proud to feature products from companies committed to it’s use. These include New Cavalier BremworthDesigner RugsCadrys, TsarSustainable Living FabricsVelieris, ArmadilloMunk, SvenskaKJ, and Metropol.

To see a selection of wool rugs from these companies see Habitus Loves… Wool Rugs

Long live the golden fleece!