Crimped Wool

crimped wool

crimped wool

The benefits of wool in a mattress are many. For one, it can be bent back on itself more than 20,000 times without breaking, compared to about 3,000 times for cotton & 2,000 times for silk therefore it is resistant to tearing and helps add years of life to your mattress.

The outside of wool is a protective layer of scales called Cuticle Cells. They overlap each other like tiles on a roof. The exposed edges of the cells face away from the root end so there’s more friction when you rub the fibre in one direction than the other. This helps wool expel dirt and gives it the ability to felt. Wool felts when fibers are aligned in opposite directions and they become entangled. The scales have a waxy coating which stop water from penetrating the fiber, but allows for absorption of water vapor. This makes wool water-repellant and resistant to water-based stains.

The interior of the wool fiber is called the Cortex and make up about 90% of the fiber. It is made up of long tapering cells that overlap and are surrounded by the cell membrane complex.

There are 2 main types of cells in the cortex

  • The Orthocortical
  • The Paracortical

Each one has a slightly different chemical composition. In finer fibers, these cells are arranged in 2 distinct halves. In coarser fibers, the arrangement is less distinct. These are the cells that create the crimp in wool. The 2 types of cell expand differently when they absorb moisture, which causes the fibers to bend. When the cells are arranged in 2 distinct halves, there is more crimp. The more random these 2 types of cells are arranged, the coarser the fiber because it creates less crimp. Crimp relates directly to fiber diameter. The crimp in wool fibers makes it soft and springy to touch. Crimp will also add bulk and trap a large volume of air between the fibers, which give wool good insulation properties. Finer wools with more crimp create fabrics that drape better than coarser wool fibers with less crimp.

 

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Certified Organic Wool

Pure Wool logo

Pure Wool logo

In order for wool to be certified as “organic,” it must be produced in accordance with federal standards for organic livestock production.  Federal requirements for organic livestock production include:

  • Livestock feed and forage used from the last third of gestation must be certified organic;
  • Use of synthetic hormones and genetic engineering is prohibited;
  • Use of synthetic pesticides (internal, external, and on pastures) is prohibited, and
  • Producers must encourage livestock health through good cultural and management practices.

Organic livestock management is different from non-organic management in at least two major ways:

1) Sheep cannot be dipped in parasiticides (insecticides) to control external parasites such as ticks and lice.

2) Organic livestock producers are required to ensure that they do not exceed the natural carrying capacity of the land on which their animals graze.

Third-party certification organizations verify that organic producers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production.  The Organic Trade Association has developed standards that apply to the processing of organic wool.

 

Click to learn more about wool mattresses.

Click to check out some great organic mattresses.

Click to read about all the types of wool.

Click to read about wool the natural fire retardant.

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Will my wool mattress have a odor?

Sheep Shearing

sheep shearing

sheep shearing

Sheep shearing is the process by which the woollen fleece of a sheep is cut off. The person who removes the sheep’s wool is called a shearer. Typically each adult sheep is shorn once each year (a sheep may be said to have been “shorn” or “sheared”, depending upon dialect). The annual shearing most often occurs in a shearing shed, a facility especially designed to process often hundreds and sometimes more than 3,000 sheep per day.

Sheep are shorn in all seasons, depending on the climate, management requirements and the availability of a woolclasser and shearers. 

Sheep shearing is also considered a sport with competitions held around the world.

Today large flocks of sheep are mustered, inspected and possibly treated for parasites such as lice before shearing can start. Then shorn by professional shearing teams working eight hour days, most often in spring, by machine shearing. Typical mass shearing of sheep today follows a well-defined workflow:

  • remove the wool
  • throw the fleece onto the wool table
  • skirt, roll and class the fleece
  • place it in the appropriate wool bin
  • press and store the wool until it is transported.

Wool removal

A sheep is caught by the shearer, from the catching pen, and taken to his “stand” on the shearing board. It is shorn using a mechanical handpiece. The wool is removed by following an efficient set of movements, devised by Godfrey Bowen in c. 1950, (the Bowen Technique) or the Tally-Hi method developed in 1963 and promoted by the Australian Wool Corporation.

 

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Click to read about all the types of wool.

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Will my wool mattress have a odor?

Benefits of Wool

wool diagram

wool diagram

Natural Virgin Wool

  • Superior pressure Relief.
  • Adds Loft & Spring.
  • Natural Moisture & Temperature Regulator.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Inhospitable environment for dust mites.
  • Naturally Mildew and Fungus Resistant.
  • Removes Static Electricity.
  • Natural Fire Retardant.

Superior Pressure Relief + Adds Loft & Spring

The benefits of wool in a mattress are many. For one, it can be bent back on itself more than 20,000 times without breaking, compared to about 3,000 times for cotton & 2,000 times for silk. This allows wool to be superior in pressure relief when compared to cotton.

Natural Moisture & Temperature Regulator

Wool is also hygroscopic fiber; it takes up moisture in vapor form. Tiny pores in the epicuticle make the fiber semi-permeable, allowing vapor to pass through to the heart of the fiber. The capacity to absorb makes wool a “temperature regulator” is most beneficial to any futon mattress, as it keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Hypoallergenic

You are less likely to experience allergies or sensitivities with wool because wool is hypoallergenic. Many who think they have an allergy to wool aren’t actually experiencing an allergic reaction but a mechanical effect of rigid fibers. That is, coarse wool is more likely to prickle. Finer individual fibers, are far less likely to cause even sensitive skin to itch. This effect isn’t specific to wool. Very few people have an allergic reaction to wool itself, and even wool allergy tests may give an accurate indication of what to expect from actual wool for anyone except shearers since those tests include salts and lanolin that are removed from wool during processing.
Inhospitable environment for dust mites
Those with sensitivities to dust mites will be happy to know that wool is an inhospitable environment for dust mites, which prefer heat (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit) and humidity (above 75 percent), both of which wool lowers. Dust mites can trigger asthma symptoms, so it is important to lessen their effects. As many as 10 percent of the general population and (in some regions) 90 percent of people with allergic asthma are sensitive to dust mites.
Naturally Mildew and Fungus Resistant
You are less likely to experience allergies from mold and mildew because wool inhibits mildew, fungus, and rot. Wool has a higher resistance to bacteria and fungi than other proteins because of the water repelling membrane that covers the fiber and the chemical structure with sulfur crosslinks. This is also why wool biodegrades more slowly than other material you might compost.

 

Click to learn more about wool mattresses.

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Click to read about all the types of wool.

Click to read about wool the natural fire retardant.

Click to learn more about crimped wool.

Click to learn more about how wool is collected.

Click to learn about certified organic wool.

Will my wool mattress have a odor?

 

 

 

Types of Wool

The Micron System, the most technical and accurate system of grading, was largely developed at the Denver Wool Laboratory, USDA. The system separates wool into 16 grades according to the average fiber diameter as measured by a micrometer.

wool

wool

Today’s industry provides a broad choice of wool fibers, so the manufacturer may select those best suited for their end-product. The grades of wool vary with some breeds of sheep producing finer quality wool than others.

Types of American Wool Types of American Wool Types of American Wool Types of American Wool


The Best Combination

The best wool is usually a blend of some of the types of wool. This blend provides one with a combination of long and medium crimp wool that is naturally crimped without any added process that can add unwanted chemicals.

You can find this information and more at http://www.sheepusa.org/

Click to learn more about wool mattresses.

Click to check out some great organic mattresses.

Click to read about wool the natural fire retardant.

Click to see the benefits of wool.

Click to learn more about crimped wool.

Click to learn more about how wool is collected.

Click to learn about certified organic wool.

Will my wool mattress have a odor?

Benefits of Organic Cotton

organic cotton

organic cotton

Benefits Of Organic Cotton

  • USDA Certified 100% Natural Organic Cotton
  • Chemical free, organically grown.
  • Eco-Friendly Natural bedding.
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Grown in America.

Comfort – Cotton is widely regarded as an excellent choice when it comes to comfort. It is soft, smooth and feels amazing to the touch.

Hypoallergenic – All organic mattress materials are hypoallergenic because they haven’t been infused with Chemicals and cotton is the best material for those with allergies.

Organically Grown – Organic Cotton is grown from non genetically modified plants, that is to be grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides. Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic producers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production.

Click to read more about cotton mattresses.

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Click to learn more about egyptian vs. pima cotton.

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Will your cotton mattress have a odor.

USDA Certified vs. GOTS Certified

gots certified

gots certified

When you decide to buy organic cotton, even if it’s just a pair of organic socks, you’d like to think you’re getting a product that isn’t saturated in chemicals or off-gassing known carcinogens. And that the product was, throughout its production cycle, kinder to the planet than its nonorganic counterpart. That hasn’t always been the case.

The definition for organic fabrics and textiles has never been fully transparent. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Federal Trade Commission require that any article of clothing or fabric advertised as “organic” be made with fibers from USDA-certified organic crops, such as cotton or flax (used to make linen), but the regulation pretty much ends there. Any manufacturer can take that organic cotton, dye it with a bright blue dye that contains cancer-causing cobalt, and finish it with a chemical treatment that may emit formaldehyde. And the item doesn’t even have to be made from 100 percent organic fibers; it can legally contain a mix of organic and nonorganic materials and still be labeled “made with organic cotton.”

The USDA has a new rule regarding the labeling of textiles, even mattresses, that contain organic material, requiring that any textile advertised as “organic” must be third-party certified under National Organic Program standards throughout the entire production process—no more cancer-causing dyes or finishes and no more fudging the data on organic content. Manufacturers now must specify what percentage of organic material a given item contains.

GOTS Certified

However, because the National Organic Program standards apply to food, not fabrics, it’s unlikely that anyone will see a USDA Organic seal on a set of towels anytime soon. So the agency is encouraging textile manufacturers to turn to the International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS IWG), which is currently the only third-party certification set up to accommodate organic-fabric producers who want to adhere to the USDA’s new ruling. And in fact, the USDA specified the GOTS certification in its recent rule change. Any product that is certified under GOTS standards can be labeled organic.

While other eco-labels for clothing and fabrics address raw materials, chemical finishes, or labor standards, the comprehensive GOTS certification is the only program out there that addresses all of those and then some. Raw materials must be certified organic under National Organic Program standards, and at least 70 percent of the final product must contain organic fibers. Because some clothes need a synthetic fiber for elasticity or durability, the standard allows up to 10 percent of the content to come from polyester or rayon (up to 25 percent for socks, leggings, and sportswear).

WHAT IT MEANS: The next time you buy organic clothes, you can be confident you’re getting what you pay for. The GOTS standard for textiles is just as strict as the USDA’s organic standard for food, says Kelly O’Donnell, inspection coordinator at Oregon Tilth, one of 14 agencies accredited to certify farms and textile production facilities under GOTS. “We apply the same standard to our food, why not with our clothing?” she says.

Click to read more about GOTS certified cotton.

Click to read more about cotton mattresses.

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Click to learn more about what is natural fiber.

Click to read about how cotton is harvested.

Click to learn more about short vs. long cotton.

Click to learn more about egyptian vs. pima cotton.

Click to learn about the benefits of cotton mattresses.

Will your cotton mattress have a odor.