Wool is one of those amazing materials that takes care of so many problems naturally. Don’t think of that itchy, rough sweater in the back of your closet. We’re talking about something totally different. We didn’t discover it ourselves until we started a family. Wool is a perfect fit for babies and moms due to its many amazing qualities. Whether it is used for breast pads, diaper covers, or for baby’s bedding, wool has a lot to offer.
Antimicrobial… less laundry to wash
Due to the lanolin in wool, it is naturally antimicrobial. This translates to convenience when it comes to laundry. When urine or breast milk comes in contact with wool – even saturating it – wool is self-cleaning due to lanolin’s anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. For example, despite urine leakage on a sheepskin, it will smell fresh and clean when nighttime comes again. How wonderful to only have to wash once a month, despite potty training issues! In the case of urine soaked wool diaper covers, the wet wool cover only needs to be hung up to dry while baby wears a fresh wool cover. The next day, the hanging cover is ready for use again! Likewise, nursing mothers are able to alternate between two pairs of wool breast pads, washing them only when needed – about every 2 to 4 weeks.
Especially in hot, humid Houston, moms are all too familiar with the smell of sour milk mixed with sweat – an unappealing mix for baby when it comes to nursing. How exciting to find something that totally takes care of that problem! Since the lanolin in the wool is antimicrobial, odor is not an issue. Also, because of the porous structure of wool, moisture evaporates from the skin as moisture is wicked away.
The fibers in wool can absorb about 40% of their own weight in moisture, which is approximately ten times as much as any synthetic fiber is capable of. Amazingly, even when wool is soaked, it feels dry due to its porous structure.
Dust and mildew resistant
Besides being antimicrobial, the natural lanolin in wool aids in repelling dust mites and mildew. Another reason mildew and dust mites find it hard to survive in wool is due to its dry, porous nature.
Wool supports good sleep due to the fact that it is effective at moderating temperature and humidity. Tests have shown that when sleeping under a wool-filled comforter, people’s heart rates are significantly lower, which is a good thing. In addition, the tests showed that humidity next to the skin was significantly lower, about 2/3 of the time! While most people think of wool as great for cold weather, the fact is, it’s perfect for warm and cool environments. Wool does a better job than all other fibers when it comes to handling body moisture, in heat or cold. The make-up of wool translates to moisture being absorbed and evaporating very efficiently. This is because of how porous wool is, with fibers meshed in such a way that millions of air pockets are created.
Natural breast protection
Since wool is such a fabulous regulator of moisture and temperature, it is the perfect choice when it comes to breast pads. Skin is kept dry and able to breathe, allowing sore nipples to heal. Scandinavian midwives have, for centuries, advised mothers to protect their breasts with wool pads, which regulate body temperature, to prevent plugged ducts and mastitis. For this reason, wool breast pads are worn to cover the entire breast. Due to this, mothers love the fact that wool breast pads are more flattering, without breast pad lines showing through clothes.
Fire resistant…safer bedding
Wool is naturally fire resistant, due to its special chemical make-up and moisture content. This makes sheepskins, wool mattresses and blankets perfect for bedding.
Easy to maintain
When it comes to washing wool products every 2 to 4 weeks, care is easy. The purpose of washing wool is to restore lanolin to the wool. Rather than washing with regular detergent and rinsing, wool is soaked or washed in a lanolin wash and not rinsed. This is important to know, because rinsing the lanolin from the wool will take away many of the benefits. The lanolin is the natural wax that needs to remain in the wool in order to help make it so amazing!