How does wool work as an insulator?

How does wool work as an insulator?

It is common knowledge that a wool sweater will keep you warm and dry if you find yourself in wet, chilly weather, while cotton will leave you feeling cold and damp. But, why does wool work so well as an insulator? And, does it have uses beyond sweaters?

 

How Wool Works

Wool works as an insulator for the same reasons fiberglass works well. According to HowStuffWorks, the natural properties of the fiber contain many tiny air pockets. These air pockets prevent heat from moving away from your body, or heat from the air moving toward your body, keeping your temperature regulated. Wool also has a natural property that allows it to take up water without losing the air pockets, this is why wool continues to insulate even when damp. Water is an excellent heat conductor. So, when cotton becomes wet, its air pockets are filled with water which quickly conducts heat away from your body, causing you to become chilly.

Organic Wool

According to the Organic Trade Association  organically raised sheep are fed only certified organic feed. The use of synthetic hormones and genetic engineering is prohibited, as well as synthetic pesticides which are typically used to treat external parasites such as ticks. Organic wool keeps harsh toxic chemicals away from the sheep and ultimately you.

Wool works well not only as all weather insulated clothing, but also as bedding. A wool comforter or an organic wool mattress pad may be the key to not only keeping you dry and your body temperature regulated in any season, but a healthy choice for your bedding needs.

What are the best uses you have found for wool?

 

Photo “Sheep – 6” courtesy of A Roger Davies

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