We recently started offering British wool as an alternative to our proprietary coil fibre. It’s a really interesting material so I thought it’d be well worth writing a blog post about.
First of all, it’s interesting to note that wool is likely one of the very oldest kinds of pillow stuffing. Sheep were domesticated about 10,000 years ago and while the earliest woollen clothes have been dated to around 3000 BC, it is conceivable that woollen clothes existed before that time but have failed to survive in the archaeological record. We can therefore imagine that wool has been in use as a product for at least 3,000 years and possibly up to 10,000!
Yet despite this ancient lineage, wool isn’t quite as popular as other modern pillow fillings.
Indeed, for the longest time you almost never saw a wool- filled pillow, but it is having a renaissance these days as people search for more ethical alternatives to modern fillings.
Yet it is not just the search for an ethical alternative that is spurring on this interest in wool, it is the fact that it is breathable, insulative and absorbent. This makes it warm in the winter and cool in the summer, making it a good choice for hot and humid climates
There is a small chance of having an allergic reaction to wool, although I suppose you will already know by now if you’re allergic or not. Personally, I find woolly jumpers pretty uncomfortable but that’s not a wool allergy – that’s wool sensitivity brought about by wool’s coarse fibres. Since the wool is encased in a pillow, that won’t be a problem here.
2. Is wool actually an ethical alternative?
3. The scent:
Wool certainly smells natural and there is no denying the aroma of fresh wool. It isn’t unpleasant, indeed to many it may even be comforting. It is the small of nature. It will eventually dissipate as the pillow is used and washed.
Importantly, it isn’t giving off volatile organic compounds, like memory foam does. You may have noticed when using a memory foam pillow that it absolutely stinks. This is a result of the nasty petrochemicals used in the manufacturing process off-gassing.
It should also be noted that our coil-fibre is completely odourless and hypoallergenic. No off-gassing here.
If you’re looking for a more ethical alternative to coil-fibre, then wool is a good option. It can keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. However, be aware that it is a natural product and therefore has a natural aroma. It is also quite a dense material and so may clump or flatten faster than coil fibre. That being said; our wool is also coiled and can be more easily broken apart and refreshed than normal carded wool.