Wool - a fantastic material!
Properties of wool
We mainly use wool in our horse products because we consider it a superior material. Some of the most important properties of wool are that it
- regulates heat
- absorbs moisture
- are water-repellent
- is self-cleaning
- is naturally antibacterial.
That's how it works
What do we really mean when we talk about wool breathing, regulating heat and being self-cleaning? How does it work and why?
The wool fiber differs from other textile fibers by its structure. The fiber is made up of keratin and has small scales which together with the wool fat lanolin create the absolutely fantastic properties as a textile material. The properties were discovered thousands of years ago and the fiber has since been used and adapted to the textile needs of the time.
The wool breathes
The wool fiber is curly and this means that a lot of air fills in between the fibers. When the wool is processed and shrunk, millions of small air pockets are formed. That, together with the hydrophobic ability, means that it is perceived as breathable. That is to say, it maintains a dry and airy climate against the body.
Wool regulates heat
Through all the air pockets that are created between the wool fibers, it insulates well between different temperatures. Because it also has the ability to breathe, there is an equalization that makes the heat perceived as pleasant. Wool constantly reacts to changes in body temperature and maintains the wearer's thermophysical comfort in both cold and warm weather. Wool also feels dry and warm against the body even when it is damp, unlike other textile materials.
Wool absorbs moisture
Wool is hydrophobic and can attract water vapor, for example moisture and sweat from the body. The wool then conducts the moisture away from the body and evaporates it into the air. Wool can absorb moisture both between the fibers and inside the fiber. That's why it feels dry even when it's damp. Wool can hold up to 30% of its own weight in moisture. It is when the humidity becomes higher under the wool scabbard than outside that the wool actively works to absorb the moisture and then transport it through the material until equilibrium occurs on both sides.
The wool is self-cleaning and water-repellent
The wool's fibers are covered with scales. They look like little hooks and they are also the ones that cause the wool to tangle easily. The scales also contribute to a mechanical friction which means that dirt and particles do not stick as easily. You therefore only need to wash about every five times compared to other textiles. The lanolin, which is a glandular oil from the skin, causes the scales to stick together and provides a waxy surface that prevents water and dirt from adhering. Most of the lanolin is washed away during processing to weave textiles or felt the wool, but the finished product still retains some of its water-repellent properties through both the lanolin residues and the scales of the fiber.
The wool is naturally antibacterial
Through its fiber structure, wool prevents water, dirt and mold from building up on the surface or in the fibers themselves. Because the wool cleans itself and has the ability to transport away moisture, it also inhibits bacterial growth. It simply reduces the conditions for bacteria to germinate and it also helps to create a climate against the body that is not so favorable for bacteria.
Environment and nature
In addition to all its fine properties, wool is also nature-friendly in that it is a waste material, it is biodegradable and it requires relatively low environmental wear and tear during processing. The greatest wear and tear occurs during washing, but that process has been improved through specific waste management. Wool that comes from Australia and New Zealand has been treated with chemicals against parasites, but our wool products have an origin within the EU for the most part. This means that we avoid these chemicals, we have shorter transports and there are environmental requirements in manufacturing and emissions.
As a material, wool is also environmentally friendly because it requires very little care and therefore does not wear out nature when we use it. For example, you can use a wool chamois many more times before you need to wash it, compared to a cotton or polyester chamois. It saves water, energy and chemicals.
Wool for the horse
For the horse's needs, we would like to say that wool is an ultimate material. Perhaps it is so simple that it resembles the horse's own fur? Both fur and wool have developed over millions of years and have the task of protecting the animal against both heat and cold, drought and torrential rain. It must also stay clean and not contribute to skin infections or other skin diseases.
Have you become more curious about our wool products?