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Mohair throws

5 Reasons Why Wool is Not Just for Winter

April 13, 2018 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

Despite the seemingly endless winter there are definite signs that Spring is afoot: tulips and primroses dotting gardens and lanes, longer evenings, ducklings paddling along behind their mamas, loud and joyful birdsong, and when the sun does shine there’s a power to it that just isn’t there in winter. It might seem like the time to be packing away your woollen blankets and clothes, storing them carefully for the Autumn. But don’t rush for the suitcases and packing bags just yet. Wool is not just for Winter.

Here are 5 reasons why we love wool in the Spring and Summer too:

1.Chilly evenings

Even late into Spring the evenings can still have a chill in the air. Once the central heating goes off and you’ve burned all your firewood it can be lovely to reach for a cosy woollen blanket as you read in bed, or curl up on the sofa in front of a movie. A natural wool throw will help you make this transition from fully heated house to flinging open the windows, keeping you warm when it’s time to hunker down.

2.Outdoor adventures

spring wool throw

As Spring gets underway we start planning camping trips and picnic outings. A wool throw is never far from hand on these outdoor adventures, whether used as an extra layer over a sleeping bag, or as the base for a casual picnic with friends. And woolly socks are pretty much essentials if you are sleeping outdoors as they will keep your feet toasty all night long, which means you will sleep better. Wool helps to regulate body temperature and wicks moisture away from your body, meaning you won’t wake up sweaty and overheated.

3.Stylish interiors

A less-than pristine sofa or chair can be given a new lease of life with the simple addition of a wool throw. Choose contrasting colours to make a statement, or opt for something neutral that adds a note of muted texture and tone. If you don’t want the expense of re-upholstering a chair, a throw is a great way to get the look you want at a fraction of the price. And if you change your mind in the future you can simply use the throw elsewhere and replace it with something new.

4.Sporty layers

merino wool base layer

Merino wool is much-loved by sportspeople, from runners to cyclists, hikers to climbers. Thanks to its superfine yarn it can be spun into lightweight layers that are ideal for wearing as a base layer, providing some extra warmth but with no extra bulk. Wool is anti-bacterial and moisture-wicking so you will feel fresh and dry, and if there is a sudden downpour it will keep the rain off you while you dash for shelter.

5.Getting crafty

wool yarn spring summer - why wool ?

Now might be the time to take up a new craft or hobby, like knitting or crochet. These crafts are easy to learn and can be very relaxing. You can take your project with you wherever you go too, from the bus ride to work to sitting in a children’s play area watching your kids. Natural wool is a great basis for simple garments like scarves and cushion covers, and once you’ve honed your skills you can use the huge range of different woollen yarns to create beautiful handmade items that you – and others- will really treasure.

So, whilst it might be a good time to retire your chunky woollen sweaters, don’t rush to pack away the wool. There’s plenty more use for those wool throws, cosy socks, fine base layers and balls of yarn yet.

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From Lambs to Lagom: Why wool is everywhere this Spring

March 16, 2018 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

There are few more happy-making things than seeing new lambs frolicking in their fields. As Spring approaches we take a celebratory look at why wool is everywhere this season, from lambs to lagom.

lambswool spring

Lambswool

Fluffy white lambs are one of the traditional Eastertime symbols, adorning cards and merchandising everywhere. We love their carefree tumbling and their gangly legs, and they represent rebirth and renewal as the seasons turn. While these new additions won’t be shorn in their first year, their fleeces will be perfect for shearing next year. This will produce the supersoft lambswool so beloved by fashion and home textile makers. The older sheep will be shorn shortly after the lambing season is over, ready for the warmer weather. This wool will then be sorted, washed, picked and combed in preparation for dyeing. The lifecycle of your wool throw or cosy sweater begins with these little bundles of fun gambolling around the countryside.

Lagom

Replacing ‘hygge‘ as the new Scandi-inspired trend, ‘lagom’ offers more than a moment of comfort or happiness. The concept of lagom comes from Sweden and is a longer-term idea of finding balance and peace by just having enough. Translated it means ‘just the right amount’. To live with lagom means to avoid excessive consumerism, to create a balance between work and personal time, to be moderate and frugal. It has inspired people to live more sustainably, choosing clothes and homewares that have a reduced impact on the environment. Like natural wool. Living more sustainably means buying good quality items that will have a long lifetime, things that are produced with are as free from harm as possible. Wool is a durable, long-lasting material, and means that those investment pieces, like wool picnic blankets or baby throws, will keep on looking beautiful for years. There’s a simplicity to wool that chimes perfectly with the idea of lagom. Just right.

pure wool throw

Lightweight wool

As the weather warms up you may not need your really chunky knitwear but there is still a place for woollies. Spring can bring sudden changes in temperature, with snowfall and frosts still a possibility. The answer here is to wear layers and to include lightweight wool garments made from merino wool. This is less bulky whilst retaining all the benefits of wool: temperature regulation, moisture wicking, durable, dirt-repellant. You can get highly sophisticated sportswear ‘skins’ made from merino wool to wear as a base layer, or opt for a simple transitional piece like a merino sweater paired with a linen shirt or bigger cardigan if it’s chilly.

Lazy evenings

Despite the fact that the evenings are lighter for longer, there is still something delicious about curling up indoors under a warm, soft wool throw after a long day. Whether you love to read or catch up with the latest Instagram stories, creating a moment of stillness and cosiness in the evening is great for your wellbeing. It’s not quite warm enough to sit outside in the evenings where we are, but it won’t be long. And you can be sure we’ll have blankets, hot drinks and food at the ready.

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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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5 Essential Ingredients For a Snug and Cozy Autumn

September 27, 2017 Tags: , , , , 1 Comment

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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What’s So Special About Mohair?

September 13, 2017 Tags: , , , , 1 Comment

We’ve looked at different types of wool in previous posts, and this week it’s the turn of mohair. This beautiful wool is known as the ‘Diamond fibre’, due to its high lustre and inherent strength. But what else is special about mohair?

How to distinguish mohair wool?

Well, first it’s important to distinguish it from another type of wool, angora, which comes from the angora rabbit. Mohair wool actually comes from the angora goat, named after Ankara in Turkey where the goats flourished after moving down from the mountains of Tibet centuries ago. See how things get a bit confusing? Just remember: the angora goat is a large, curly-fleeced creature (from which we get mohair wool); the angora rabbit is a super-cute fluffball of far smaller proportions (from which we get angora wool).

Mohair wool - Angora goat - WoolMe

Mohair goats are now farmed worldwide, with the main areas of production in South Africa and Texas, USA. They are shorn twice a year, then the fleece is washed, combed and ‘worsted’ spun into yarn. It is sometimes mixed with other fibres, but is fantastic on its own. Mohair wool is used in a huge range of products, from bespoke tailored suits to soft scarves, upholstery to teddy bears. The finer wool from younger goats is usually used to make clothes and wool throws, whilst the thicker wool is used for heavier items.

mohair-teddy-bear(Image courtesy of Merrythought.co.uk)

So why is mohair so popular and revered?

The answer lies in its properties. As the fibres have fewer scales on the external layer than sheep wool, mohair is extremely soft, which makes it perfect for people with sensitive skin or who find sheep wool a bit itchy. It is also insulating, without absorbing heat, so it regulates your body temperature. Unwanted odours are avoided thanks to its natural anti-bacterial properties, and it will wick away moisture from your body to keep you feeling fresh and warm. Elasticity is another brilliant function of mohair, as its fibres can be twisted and shaped without being damaged. Mohair is lightweight and also non-flammable unless exposed to an open flame, which has resulted in it being used in some airline upholstery. But don’t let its light weight fool you – this is one tough yarn, withstanding up to three times the rubbing of sheep wool. It also takes dye remarkably well, making it a great choice for vibrant colours.

mohair throw - WoolMe

Want to see for yourself? Snuggle up with one of our elegant mohair throws and experience the joys of this special wool.

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Mohair vs. Cashmere – Which One is Better for You?

July 17, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

With these chilly summer afternoons most of us start looking for new ways to keep ourselves warm. With warm water bottles and wool socks quickly going out of style one of the best ways to stay warm is a cosy wool throw or a blanket. With the huge variety of throws to choose from it might be a challenge to find the one that is just perfect for you. Today we are going to answer two questions: what is mohair throw and what is cashmere throw. Read on to find out the unique qualities of these two fibres.

What is mohair wool - WoolMe

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