What we Learnt During Wool Week

Now in its sixth year, Wool Week is recognised across the world as a week to raise awareness of, and celebrate, wool. Over 100 companies participated in the first Wool Week which saw London’s historic Savile Row turned into a farmyard for fifty sheep to graze. The Campaign for Wool is behind Wool Week, a global community of sheep farmers, designers, manufacturers and consumers working to educate as many people as possible about the benefits and versatility of wool in fashion, furnishings and everyday life. Sheep get the Royal seal of approval too, as the organisation’s patron is His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. 

There have been events across London and the UK this week including performances at Paul Smith and public craft workshops in Mayfair. If you haven’t been involved so far, today is the day to get involved as its Woolly Hat Day! Woolly Hat Day is in support of ‘The Mission to Seafarers’ charity that provides care for seafarers around the world. For the event, The Campaign for Wool asked five leading knit pattern creators to come up with new woolly hat patterns, available to download on the website. They only ask that you donate to the Mission to the Seafarers before you whip those knitting needles out.

We’ve been checking out the #woolweek tweets this week and are amazed by the amount of love for wool. Wool is hugely versatile and buying it supports farmers working all year round to give us such a wonderful fibre.

Here are some woolly facts for you:

  • Wool is a protein fibre grown by sheep and thus is 100% natural. Being natural, wool is renewable and biodegradable making it a very environmentally friendly option for clothing and home furnishings.
  • Merino wool, from the Merino sheep, is particularly good for sporty base layers and socks because it's a natural antimicrobial so it discourages bacteria to form and hence keeps you smelling sweet!
  • This year a sheep from Australia set the world record for the heaviest fleece when he was discovered running wild with seven-years worth of growth. Champion shearer Ian Elkins took 45 minutes to get it off.
  • The fastest sheep shearing record is also held by Australia, at 39.31 seconds to shear a single sheep!
  • Wool fibres resist tearing and can be bent back on themselves over 20,000 times without breaking. Due to this crimped structure, wool is also naturally elastic, and so wool garments have the ability to stretch comfortably with the wearer.
  • Wool has a naturally high level of UV protection. Much higher than cotton or synthetic fibres.
  • Wool reacts to changes in body temperature, leaving the wearer cool in summer and warm in winter.
  • Alpaca wool comes in 22 natural colours, the most of any wool-producing animal.
  • Sheep aren’t stupid. A study found that they can recognise the faces of up to 50 other sheep for two years.

 Are you a knitter? We'd love to see what you made for Wool Week. Tweet us your pics and tips at @LoomTreeOnline to inspire us to get the needles out at Loom Tree HQ. 

Emma Waight