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merino wool

7 Fun Ways to Celebrate the New Year

December 29, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

With the festive season now in full swing, it’s time to turn our attention to New Year’s Eve. You may have a traditional way of seeing in the new year, but if you are looking for some fresh ideas about how you can celebrate the coming of 2018, read on. We’ve chosen 7 fun things you could do, with something for everyone from nature-lovers and homebods to party people.

fun ways to celebrate new year's eve

1.For a romantic New Year’s Eve à deux

If you feel exhausted by the idea of yet another busy party, why not stay in with your partner for the night? Share the cooking and have something unusual for dinner. Then snuggle up under a cosy blanket with a bottle of Proseco and a classic festive film, like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ or ‘When Harry Met Sally’. String up a sprig of mistletoe for a midnight kiss and the perfect romantic way to usher in another year.

2.For nature-lovers

In Japanese culture the first sunrise of a new year holds magical powers, bestowing good fortune for the coming months upon those who witness it. Steal away for the night to somewhere with an incredible view, and watch the sunrise. Take hot water bottles, a flask of soup and a drop or two of something warming, and sit under a woolly throw gazing at stars until the dawn breaks. You could choose somewhere dramatic like Stonehenge in the UK, the breathtaking Cape Inubo in Japan, mystical Ayers Rock in Australia or Bryce Canyon in Arizona. Or for something closer to home, simply head for the nearest beach, high hill or tranquil riverside.

sunrise new years eve

3.For party-animals

Some people just love to gather together their favourite people and celebrate in style with food, drink and music. For a party that embraces the fun aspect of fancy dress without causing your guests costume-induced stress, you could throw a ‘Hats, Tatts and Tashes’ party. People can come in a hat (of any kind, from a flamboyant sombrero to a jaunty top hat), or wear a fake tattoo (or sporting their real ones) or choose to adorn themselves with a novelty moustache. Simple bits of dress-up like this give your guests the perfect ice-breaker without making them go to too much trouble. Though there will always be someone who comes in all three.

4.For the escapists

You might want to get away from it all and escape to a country retreat for some peace and seasonal hygge. These cottages look divine, or you could hire a larger house and go with a couple of other families for a fun weekend away. Think scenic countryside, roaring log fires, good places to eat nearby, beautiful walks and lazy mornings with the newspapers and lots of coffee.

5.For the time-poor

If you are having people over for dinner on New Year’s Eve but realise you just won’t have time to cook, several companies will deliver or prepare (and you collect) delicious dinner-party-ready meals with a homecooked vibe. Whether you choose to fess up or pretend you whipped up the feast yourself is your own business… Try Cook in the UK or Magic Kitchen in the USA.

6.For the family

If you are celebrating with the kids gather up some classic board games and spend the evening being silly together. These games are always hilarious: Articulate, Headbandz, Twister, Cranium Junior and Cluedo. Order take-away pizza for a proper treat, so everyone can join the fun without someone dashing out to stir things in the kitchen. Get some indoor sparklers for a bit of midnight countdown excitement.

family new years eve

7.For the morning after

If New Year’s Eve just doesn’t do it for you but you’d like to celebrate somehow, you could hold a New Year’s Day brunch instead. Invite friends round mid-morning and keep a rolling pot of coffee on the stove. Serve fresh orange juice and ready-made frozen pastries that you can warm up at the last minute, sling some sausages and bacon in a low oven and serve with scrambled eggs and toasted bagels. Go for minimum fuss and maximum chilled-outness.

Whatever you do and however you spend New Year’s Eve, we at WoolMe hope you have a very happy 2018. Wishing you a year filled with joy, good health and prosperity.

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Do You Recycle Your Wool Textiles?

December 8, 2017 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

If you are doing a pre-Christmas clear out to make room for new lovely gifts, stop for a moment before you throw anything away. It might be that that ancient jersey with a hole in the sleeve, the much-loved wool throw that has become a bit threadbare or those cashmere socks that have shrunk in the wash, could have a whole new life. Here are some thoughts on how and why we should recycle our old wool textiles.

It has been estimated that around 3.3million tonnes of textile waste goes into landfill every year in the USA alone. Whilst wool makes up only a small percentage of this, reusing and recycling 2million tonnes per year of unwanted textiles could reduce carbon emissions by the same amount as taking 1million cars off the road. Pretty mind-blowing, no? Wool is a natural fibre and is the most easily reused of all textile fibres. In fact we have been recycling wool for hundreds of years.

So if you want to know what to do with your old woollies, this is the lowdown.

recycle wool textiles

Upcycling wool

If you are crafty, or have clever friends, give your old woollen textiles to them. Wool can be felted and made into all sorts of things, or unravelled and re-knitted into something new. Pinterest and Etsy are brilliant for inspiration for up cycling projects – if you’re quick you might even have time to make some decorations or Christmas gifts!

upcycling wool christmas - recycle wool

Donating wool

Giving woollen textiles to charity shops and goodwill centres can prolong the item’s life by several years, and avoids filling up landfill. Because of its natural durability wool lasts longer than other fibres, meaning your unwanted things can have long, happy lives elsewhere. You can often donate by filling charity bags for collection.

Recycling wool

Wool is perfect for recycling and new technologies have made this process even more efficient. Valuable or top quality woollens are closed-loop recycled, which means they are deconstructed and the fibre is reused as yarn in new items. Poor quality items are open-loop recycled, where they are taken apart and the wool is used in completely different products. Examples of these wool bi-products are fire retardant mattress padding, blankets and car sound insulation. These new uses can increase the lifespan of the wool fibres by up to 10 more years, which is pretty neat.

how to recycle wool

Discarding wool

As a last resort, wool can be discarded into landfill. Thankfully, as all its carbon comes from the plants eaten by sheep it is biodegradable and will fairly quickly decompose. In fact wool actually adds its nutrients back into the soil, making this far less damaging for the environment than throwing out other synthetic materials.

And once you’ve sustainably disposed of your old items and invested in some beautiful new textiles, you can prevent further waste by only washing them when absolutely necessary, buying good quality products that will have a longer lifespan, and then reusing or recycling these at the end of their time with you.

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Sort Your Holiday Shopping with our Gift Guide

November 28, 2017 Tags: , , , No Comments

If you are beginning to think about (or panic about) buying your Christmas or Holiday season gifts, we’ve got just the thing. Here is our simple guide to the perfect present: a woollen throw. Whether you are shopping for your mother or your teenage son, we’ll show you why one of our throws will make a great gift.

All our throws are made from top quality wool, which means they look and feel luxurious, and perfectly treat-y. They will last for years, keeping your loved one cosy and warm for many more seasons to come, which makes a wool throw a great alternative to disposable items with no longevity.

For a parent

Finding the right gift for a parent can be tricky. But whatever their age or stage in life, they will appreciate something sumptuous for their home, and something that will also keep them warm during the colder months. For a dad who likes to go fishing or camping, or putting his feet up in front of the game on a Sunday afternoon, our Luigi throw is a great choice. Made from a soft blend of wool and alpaca fibres, it has a timelessly classic plaid pattern that echoes nostalgic tartan rugs and country living. Or treat your mum to one of these exquisite cashmere Everest throws in an elegant herringbone weave. Perfect for snuggling up on the sofa, draping over shoulders or legs on cool summer evenings outside, or bringing along on picnics with friends.

dad gift wool throw - Gift Guide

For a teenager

If your teen has left home and started college, a decent wool throw is a brilliantly versatile gift. They can sling it over their beds for some extra winter warmth without having to splurge on heating bills, or take it to festivals in the summer where it can double as a nighttime blanket and rug for lounging on in the sunshine. Wool needs less washing than other fabrics, so this is a good low-maintenance present for teenagers who may spend more time socialising than doing the laundry. Choose something neutral that will work with whatever room they move to, like one of these supersoft Paula wool throws in grey stripes.

mother teen gift guide

For a grandparent

Tuck your grandparent up safe in the knowledge that a wool throw will help regulate their body temperature. Older people can often feel chills even on milder days, so having a cosy blanket handy is always useful. Go for something classic and simple, like our plait-designed merino Alessandra throw, or add a splash of colour to their day with something bold and patterned.

grandparent gift wool throw

For a partner

Gift the man in your life a gorgeous baby alpaca wool throw to snuggle up under with a glass of wine and a box set. Quiet time spent together can be hard to find amidst the busyness of life, but you can show how much you value cosy, simple moments with a present like this charcoal Bella throw. For her, how about a super-fine, luxurious cashmere throw? Choose a muted tone or natural colour to make sure it works with a range of bedlinen or sofa cushions.

There you have it, holiday gifts all wrapped up. No stress, no fuss and for many years of pleasure. Happy shopping!

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How to Bring the Beautiful Colours of Fall Into Your Home

November 10, 2017 Tags: , , , , No Comments

As the seasons change it’s the perfect time to reflect the shifts in colour and shape we see around us by making subtle changes in our interiors. Whether that means some new cushions in deep greys, a new set of linen bedlinen in muted taupe, or a cozy wool throw in leaf-brown. The big colour for this autumn is brown, mirroring the fallen leaves, woodland mushrooms and earthy hues as Nature hunkers down for winter.

We’ve put together these mood boards, using browns and greys, and lots of snuggly wool and natural materials, to help you find some fall inspiration:

Fall Colour Inspiration

fall colours interiors

Fall Interior Inspiration

wool fall autumn

To capture the feeling of coziness and drawing in, of the darker evenings and regenerative paring back, a simple wool throw is ideal. Easy, versatile and long-wearing, a throw in brown, grey or orange tones will mirror the colours of fall, whilst providing warmth and homeliness as we spend more time indoors.

Here’s a selection of our stunning wool throws in just the perfect fall shades. Like all our products, these are expertly crafted, super soft, brilliant value and enduringly pleasing to touch.

The Roberto wool throw in taupe

The Bella baby alpaca throw in grey stripe

The Roberto throw in steel grey

The Marcello merino throw in brown

The Bella baby alpaca throw in latte

The Marcello merino throw in orange

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4 Brilliant Innovations in Merino Wool Clothing

October 30, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

Merino wool is renowned for its softness, elasticity and versatility, making it a popular choice for clothing and home textiles the world over. But as well as snuggly merino throws, cosy base layers and durable winter woolies, merino is at the heart of some brilliant innovative clothing designs. Using ingenuity and creativity, several companies are harnessing the inherent qualities of this fabulous wool fibre and producing clothing that delivers on style, comfort, sustainability and price. Prepare to be amazed.

merino wool yarn

Allbirds wool running shoes

Allbirds founder Tom Brown grew up in New Zealand – home of the merino sheep. He had a deep understanding of how merino wool could regulate body temperature, wick moisture away from skin and minimise odour. But he couldn’t understand why no-one was making shoes from the stuff. So, along with partner Joey Zwillinger, he set out to do just that. The result of years of research, design and creative thinking is the Allbirds sneaker.

These shoes are made from natural merino wool, with a minimalist un-branded look. They come in sizes from child to adult and in a range of colours, and are fully biodegradable. And they claim to be ‘the world’s most comfortable shoes’. We can well believe it.

Wool denim

Despite being a staple in nearly every wardrobe, denim has its downsides. It can be cold, and once wet takes ages to dry, making it an uncomfortable choice in winter. An initiative by Woolmark blends merino wool with cotton to produce beautiful, functional denim fabric, with all the strength and look of traditional denim but with the benefits of wool. The wool fibres are kept on the inside of the garments, leaving the outward facing side looking just like normal denim. Yet this fabric feels much softer and is comfortable next to your skin, with none of the stiffness of traditional denim.

Wool denim is easy to care for, far warmer and feels drier to the touch, making it a great alternative to your trusty blue jeans on cold, rainy days or when working outdoors. Finisterre make wool denim products with an additional water-repellant finish for extra dryness.

merino-wool-denim

Aromatherapy merino wool clothing

If wellbeing via your clothes sounds like a way-out idea, think again. A new process called microencapsulation coats minute particles of essential oils in order to produce tiny capsules, which are then bound to the merino wool fibres in garments. Throughout the day these slow-release capsules give you your own unique aromatherapy treatment, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Natural, safe and harnessing the therapeutic benefits of essential oils, this new technology is perfect for sports and homewear. Depending on which oils you choose, your clothes can now help you relax or re-energise. Merino wool is the perfect partner for this therapy given its super softness and versatility. Imagine lying under a warm wool blanket after a yoga session, with the gentle scent of lavender wafting from your sweater. What bliss!

UV protection merino wool

Clothes offer some protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays, but for greater skin safety why not try out some UV-protection merino? The merino wool fibres of these garments have been treated with a special UV-absorbent finish during the production process, which is then fixed at the highest possible temperature. This ensures the clothes can offer far greater protection from UV rays than normal clothing, making it an ideal choice for everyday wear in hot countries, or for your holiday wardrobe.

Not only does UV protection merino wool shield your skin, the treatment also protects the wool fibres against the bleaching effects of the sun. These clothes are also machine washable and dry cleanable, making them a practical option for any household.

UV-protection-merino-wool

To complement all this state-of-the-art wizardry, let’s not forget the beautiful simplicity of a well-made, top quality merino wool throw, crafted with love and years of expertise. From shoes to sleep, merino has pretty well got it covered.

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5 Essential Ingredients For a Snug and Cozy Autumn

September 27, 2017 Tags: , , , , No Comments

With the weather turning cooler and the nights getting longer, it’s time to turn inwards and focus on ways to make our homes super snug and cozy for Fall. Making a home feel cozy is not just about paying attention to how things look or getting some wool blankets. It’s also about the smells, the tactile fabrics and the light that all contribute to that fuzzy glow. Remember the feeling when you were a child of coming into the house after playing in the snow, or running about outside in the cool air, and walking into a fuggy kitchen, full of the scents of cooking and warmth from the stove? That’s what we are aiming to recapture. A sense of safety and calm, of coming home.

We’ve gathered together a list of our 5 key must-haves for the ultimate in making sure you have a warm and inviting home that feels like a shelter in any storm.

Fire (or candles)

cozy-fall-home-fire - WoolMe

If you are fortunate enough to have an open fire or woodburning stove, now is the time to stack your logs and get the chimney swept. There is nothing that compares to the sight and sounds of a fire blazing in the hearth, and there is something deeply rooted about our wish to gaze into the flickering flames. If you can’t light fires in your home, try lighting a fire in the garden or on the beach if you can, just to connect to this ancient need for heat and light. Candles also bring the same soft light and cozy feel to a room, so stock up on good quality ones and light them as soon as the sun starts disappearing.

Wool blankets

Wool blankets - WoolMe

Essential for cozying up on the sofa in front of the TV, or slinging over your bed for some extra warmth, wool blankets or throws are great investment. Pure wool will regulate your body temperature and keeps you snug without overheating. Thanks to its anti-bacterial properties it’s easy to care for, and will last for years if looked after properly. In the summer your wool throw can double as a picnic rug, meaning you get maximum use out of it. Choose soft, muted colours for a minimalist look, or go for something bright to add a pop of colour. Go here for more on how to choose a wool throw.

Baking

Baking-snug-home - WoolMe

The smell of freshly baked bread is the ultimate in comfort for the senses. If you have time in the evening or over the weekend, make a large batch of dough and divide into smaller portions. Freeze these in bags so you can just defrost it in the morning and throw it in the oven later. Sharing fresh bread with friends and family is one of life’s joys, and will make your home feel magical. If bread isn’t your thing, think about dishes you can bake that are easy and have a satisfying aroma. Even if you only have time to whip up some store-cupboard biscuits, the scents and heat from the oven will warm your soul as well as your house.

New bedding

pure-linen-bedlinen - LinenMe

In the colder months, more than ever, our bed needs to be just the right temperature – not so hot that we are uncomfortable, but warm enough to let us sleep deeply and peacefully. Investing in some new bedlinen, preferably in a natural material like linen, will help you get a decent night’s sleep on those long winter nights. Opt for rich, deep tones if you want to add some autumnal colour to your bedroom, or keep things simple and calming with neutral shades. Buy top quality bedlinen that will last for years and that is practical (easy to wash and dry), so you can hunker down in a meltingly soft bed and sleep like a (well-behaved) baby.

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How to Choose the Right Wool Throw

August 21, 2017 Tags: , , , , , 1 Comment

how-to-choose-wool-throw

With the end of summer in sight (sorry!) our thoughts are turning to cozying up for autumn. We can almost smell the woodsmoke and hot chocolate already. If you are thinking of investing in a new wool throw for your home but need some help choosing the right one, here’s a handy guide. Whether you are looking for an extra-special luxe blanket, or a hardwearing wool throw for the family to snuggle up under, we can help.

For a luxe, exquisite wool throw

Cashmere is what you are after. Long renowned for its ultra-softness and incredible warmth, cashmere is the ultimate in luxury wool. Our cashmere throws are crafted from top quality cashmere wool, and spun into meltingly soft throws that are perfect for the bedroom or for lounging on the sofa (you might want to keep it all to yourself though). A cheaper option is one of our cashmere/ merino throws, made from a combination that blends the best qualities of the two types of wool into one gorgeous, superfine blanket.

cashmere-throw-blanket

For a great all-rounder

If you are looking for a versatile, hard-wearing throw that can withstand family life without stinting on style, go for a pure wool throw. These are perfect for cuddling up in front of the TV, or throwing on the grass for a picnic, or draping over a bed on a chilly evening. Wool will keep you warm without being stuffy, and has inherent anti-bacterial properties, so you can keep cleaning to a minimum. A good wool throw will last for years, meaning you could be investing in a family heirloom, with all the memories of family picnics, holiday film-watching and being tucked into bed woven into every fibre.

wool-throw

For some subtle pattern

If you want to bring some pattern into your interior, without going for all-out bold, statement pieces, one of our alpaca throws might be just what you need. Crafted from a blend of wool and supersoft alpaca yarn, these throws have a subtle plaid pattern and come in three delightful muted colour ways. Ideal for complementing the minimalist/ Scandi-chic look with a gentle swathe of colour.

alpaca-throw

For sustainable, long-lasting softness

Merino wool is used worldwide as an insulating material – from thermal undergarments to bedsocks – and with good reason. It is incredibly warm yet very soft and lightweight, making it a great choice for people with sensitive skins or who find pure wool a bit itchy. Our merino throws are produced from sustainably sourced wool and will last a lifetime if properly looked after, making them an ideal addition to an environmentally-friendly home in need of a pop of colour or some extra softness.

merino-wool-throw

For something bright and cosy, with a hint of luxury

Our mohair throws come in a delightful red and blue colourway, and are crafted from a blend of superfine merino wool and luxurious mohair. The design is bold yet charming, inviting you to curl up with a book under its warmth, or stand outside on a winter’s evening staring at the stars with it draped around your shoulders. Charming, unusual yet ultimately homely and cozy. What else could you need?

mohair-throw

And the fantastic thing about all these wool throws is that even if the sun shines on well into September, you can use them for wild camping nights sleeping outdoors, or impromptu picnics on the beach, or building the best sofa forts the summer vacation ever saw. Season upon season, a wool throw will bring you joy and comfort.

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Different Types of Wool: the lowdown on merino

July 16, 2017 Tags: , , , , , 2 Comments

One of the most popular types of wool used in textiles and clothing is merino. Soft, hardwearing and cosy, you will find this wool in garments from thermal underwear and sports base layers to woollen blankets and designer suits.

merino sheep

So why is merino such a superstar fabric? Well, the answer lies with Nature. Originating in Spain, Merino sheep now traditionally graze in the high altitude and extreme temperatures of the New Zealand Southern Alps, and the high rainfall areas of Australia. Their coats have evolved to produce a thick, warm fleece to ensure they survive the freezing mountain winters, and a finer coat that is grown in spring once the heavier fleece has been shed or shorn. Once humans started using the wool and harnessing these temperature-regulating properties, merino wool grew in popularity.

new-zealand-merino

But merino wool doesn’t just keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. Other beneficial qualities include:

  • Anti-microbial properties mean that merino doesn’t allow bacteria from sweat to develop into odours.
  • Moisture wicking Merino can absorb up to one third its weight in liquid, keeping moisture away from your skin. It will also keep you warm, even when wet, making it a popular choice as a base layer for skiing and winter sports.
  • Soft and silky Unlike some woollen fabrics, merino is superfine and soft to touch, meaning it is not itchy. It feels light, as well as snuggly.
  • Resilient Anything that has developed to withstand the extremes of mountain weather is going to be hardwearing and long lasting. Merino wool is strong yet naturally durable, and retains its shape due to the elasticity of the fibres.
  • Sustainable Naturally-occurring, biodegradable and renewable, merino’s eco credentials are something special too (though the controversial practice of mulesing to prevent fly strike means you might want to check the source of your wool if you want to be sure of ethical production).

Coral-Merino-Wool-Throw-Rhomb

Don’t just take our word for it, experience the magic of merino for yourself with one of our sumptuous merino throws. Our range of blankets come in a variety of designs, from simple block colours to multi-coloured patterns. Each one combines the luxurious comfort and cosiness of merino wool, with the functionality of this brilliant textile. Whether you are looking for a throw to curl up with on the sofa or a blanket to brighten your bedroom, we’ve got you covered.

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