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Article: Sleeping with wool

Sleeping With Wool – Nature’s Natural Air Conditioner.
  
With its unique natural properties wool is a remarkably versatile fibre.  From fashion apparel to high performance activewear to luxurious bedding, wool lends itself to a diverse, sometimes surprising range of uses.
 
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You cannot go into any fashion shop today without seeing a range of wool garments amid the racks.  Wool is used in the fashion industry not only for the regulated warmth it provides but also for its raw natural texture complemented beautifully alongside other fabrics like cotton, silks and linen. You can dress your bed and home using these same principles, combining texture, weaves, tone and colour that all adds interest to your room.
 
Today wool blankets can be machine washed or dry cleaned time and time again and never lose their shape, warmth and texture.  It is this promise and quality guarantee that has played a huge role in the growth and success of New Zealand Wool Blankets.  
 

Lasting Quality, Natural Style
 
New Zealand Wool Blankets Ltd is one company that knows and appreciates the benefits of wool. “In New Zealand we are lucky, we have a beautiful country and raising sheep is something we do well. We are proud to be manufacturing one of NZ’s renewable resources into luxurious products which last a lifetime”
People want longevity and adaptability, yet you do not want to compromise style. NZWB offers an extensive range of colours, styles and sizes to suit all bedrooms. “Colours still reflect a neutral palette, although we are noticing a trend toward brighter and more vibrant colours. The underlying theme continues to be comfort and luxury”
 

 
Soft and Light
 
“Most people like to use wool throws to add colour and interest to a room” In the bedroom they are the perfect accessory for a splash of colour at the end of the bed. Another great advantage to wool throws is they are soft yet static free and the natural weight of the fabric helps to keep them lying flat on the bed or over a chair creating an elegant setting. “Traditional fringed throws are still popular, however the recently introduced  finishing styles such as blanket stitch and woven edge appeal to those with a more modern décor”

 
 
Perfect Climate control
 
When it comes to sleeping with wool a recent study conducted by the University of Sydney and The Woolmark Company  has established that wool bedding is conducive to a good night’s sleep.   It was found that wool bedding:
 
  • Breathes more naturally than synthetic products.
  • Increases the duration of the most beneficial phase of sleep known as REM, or Rapid Eye Movement.
  • Regulates body temperature by ensuring the body gets to a comfortable sleeping temperature more quickly - and stays there for longer.
 
These findings should not be too surprising as wool has been used to make life more confortable for humans for over 8000 years. 
 
 
Warm in winter, Cool in summer
 
An aircell blanket is the perfect air conditioner for the microclimate of your bed. The properties of wool are further enhanced with an open cellular weave.  “We get calls from all over the world searching for wool aircell blankets. Our weave known as Thermacell is a lightweight aircell that enhances wool’s natural insulation allowing freedom of movement, making it ideal for everyone, especially the very young and old”
Perfect all year round, one layer is ideal for summer, add another for perfect winter warmth.  The traditional satin edging has been updated and replaced with a new woven edge design which is unique to the Thermacell weave.
 
In an age of throwaway synthetics and the static electricity that is the plague of lightweight synthetic fabrics buying wool is an investment in something real and lasting.  Moreover it seems more relevant today to use a sustainable, renewable material. Wool is also animal friendly, no animals are killed in the process of gathering wool!
 
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APPENDIX – additional information on the functionality of wool
 
But How Does Wool Work?
 
Wool is one of the best insulators that nature has provided us with.  It’s most remarkable quality is its ability to maintain a comfortable body temperature in any season. Wool fibers create a lining of still dry air next to the skin to hold in the heat during the cold months.  The result is wool produces warmth in winter without overheating. 
 
The surprising thing is wool also keeps you cool during those hot and humid summer nights, because of its natural moisture wicking properties.  Evaporation of moisture is our body’s natural way of keeping cool.  Wool assists this process by drawing moisture from the body during sleep, adsorbing it into cells, and reducing skin temperature.  When you are cooler you toss and turn less and sleep more soundly in a deeper REM state.  Therefore wool bedding actually works like your own personal heating and cooling system. 
 
It’s amazing to think that the average person looses nearly a pint of water vapour during an eight-hour sleep. So where does all that moisture go?    Wool can absorb up to 30% of its own weight without feeling damp or clammy.  The cells of the wool fibres are porous, so they quickly and efficiently absorb and evaporate moisture – unlike other materials which actually hold moisture and create mildew.   Wool blankets and underlay are especially good for people who experience “night sweats”.
 
Another plus for wool is the fact that it is hypoallergenic and resistant to bacteria, mold and mildew, which can trigger allergic reactions with some people.  Dust mite allergens are the leading trigger for asthma attacks, but dust mites need moisture to survive so they don’t like wool.  Other types of bedding, such as down, feathers, or synthetic materials are more of a haven for dust mites.
 
 
Quotes by Sarah Farmiloe, CEO New Zealand Wool Blankets

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