Browsing Tag

benefits of merino wool

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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4 Brilliant Innovations in Merino Wool Clothing

October 30, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , 1 Comment

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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Different Types of Wool: the lowdown on merino

July 16, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , 3 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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