Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Wool Primer, Part 1

24394_555507097714_55301941_32711496_8358030_nguest post by Marah Mumma

I asked Marah from Diary of a Devil Dog Wife to write a guest post on the basics of using wool in cloth diapering.  Marah has become one of my “blogging friends” – though we have never met, I feel as if I know her like a good friend.  She knows a lot about using wool products.  Marah went above and beyond what I asked for, and provided a mini-series on wool products.  Today we have part 1.  Be sure to come back for parts 2 and 3 later this week! 

The Wool Primer #1: Facts About Wool

Hello, Doable Diaper fans! My name is Marah and I blog over at Diary of a Devil Dog Wife. I am a stay at home mom to my 16 month old son, Kolt, full time college student, and wife to a talented Sergeant in the Marine Corps.

I was SO excited when Andrea asked me to write a series of guest posts about wool and cloth diapering! I first came across wool when I was searching for an overnight cloth diaper solution. I found many suggestions about using wool overnight. WHAT!?!? WOOL?!?! I was scared and intimidated. I wanted desperately to find an overnight solution, but wool?!?! Wasn't that only for cloth diapering experts? What about washing and lanolizing? I was worried I wouldn't be able to handle it or figure it out.

But let me tell you, it's EASY! I started out just using wool at night, but I now use it during the daytime, especially when Kolt is battling a rash. And I certainly plan on using wool this summer during the hot and humid days in North Carolina. I hope that through this wool primer, you will see the benefits of wool, the simplicity of using it, and venture out to try it yourself!

Wool fact #1

Wool has a built in climate control. It is a natural insulator to keep you warm in the winter and naturally breathable to keep you cool in the summer. Wool helps to keep you body in the optimal temperature zone for comfort and rest!

Wool fact #2 

Wool fiber is a naturally absorbent fiber and the original wicking fiber. Its coil-like shape pulls excess heat and moisture from your skin while you sleep. Wool fabrics can absorb up to 30% of their weight without feeling heavy or damp. Cotton fabrics begin to feel damp after 15%. The absorbent fibers "breathe" by wicking away moisture from the body and releasing it into the air. This is why wool can be used as a cover over prefolds and fitted cloth diapers.

Wool fact #3

Wool is naturally mildew and mold resistance. Wool's natural resistance to mildews and molds comes from the way it repels moisture, and lets moisture pass through its fibers without holding the moisture. Mildews and molds require moisture to live and grow. This means that wool covers only have to be washed about every two weeks or so, unless they get soiled!

Wool fact #4

Wool is durable. Laboratory tests have shown that wool fibers resist tearing and can bend back on themselves more than 20,000 times without breaking. Cotton breaks after 3,200 bends, silk fibers break after 1,800 bends, and rayon fibers break after just 75 bends. Wool clothing will last for years. Wool resists spills, dries very quickly and is mildew resistant. Therefore, you can rest assured that your investments in wool will last.

Wool fact #5

Wool is almost entirely non-allergenic. Although some people do have a rare natural allergy to Lanolin, the oil found in wool, most people's allergy to wool is a reaction to the many harsh and toxic chemicals that go into the treatment, and finishing of conventional wool garments and bedding. This makes wool a great alternative for those who are allergic to PUL, the water-proofing fabric found in most pocket diapers, all-in-one diapers, and covers.

Wool fact # 6

Wool is renewable and sustainable. Wool is a renewable resource that can be shorn from sheep annually. It is biodegradable and kinder to the environment than oil-based synthetics, which contribute to global pollution. Wool is sustainable. Wool from free-grazing sheep, treated ethically throughout their long lives, represents a traditional small-scale industry that once thrived in America. Today, many small organic farmers are returning to this sustainable industry to create clean and healthy wool that is produced without stress to the animals or the environment.

Wool fact #7

Wool fabric doesn't collect much static because of its absorbent fibers. Static attracts lint, dirt, and dust. Wool fabrics also clean easily because dirt sits on the surface of the fiber. The outside surface of the wool fiber consists of a series of overlapping scales, similar to the feathers on a bird, making it easy to brush off and for stains to lift out.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of the Wool Primer – Types of Wool Products!

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