Living naturally in a synthetic world Part 1 - Wool

Sheep in a field

Wool is a natural, sustainable fiber obtained by shearing sheep. 
It's durable, warm, naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial.

One thing that turns people away from wool is that it's itchy. The reason for this is because of how it's processed. 
Large manufactures use formaldehyde to strip the wool of impurities. 
This leaves the wool dry and thirsty because the natural oils have been stripped away which in return causes you to itch. 
This can be easily fixed by adding lanolin back into the wool.

SheepLanolin is a natural oil produced by wool bearing animals. It's naturally waterproof and provides protection for the wool and the animal's skin against harsh climates. 

You can purchase lanolin and lanolin based soaps which are used to clean wool here(affiliate link)  

Using lanolin on your wool clothing will re-hydrate it making it softer and will keep it looking new longer.
Always hand wash your wool with a specialized wool soap and air dry it as it will shrink in conventional dryers and washers are hard on clothing. Hand washing also applies to Cashmere, Angora and Alpaca.

Use wool dryer balls instead of conventional dryer sheets which are full of toxic chemicals. They do cost more, but they are reusable so you'll be saving money in the long run and they are better for the environment which is a win, win for me.

We are always on the lookout for wool, but what we like in particular is Merino.
Merino is the finest and softest wool. It's commonly used for base layers and sweaters for the winter months and tee shirts for summer months.

The Merino base layers cost more than the traditional synthetic ones, but they are so much more comfortable and will keep you warm without causing you to overheat. 

For the summer months Merino tee shirts are great because they are lightweight and they allow air flow which keeps you cool.

Because of it's antimicrobial and antibacterial properties wool is popular with travelers as you can wear the garments for a few weeks without washing them. 

Black and white sheepSomething to keep in mind about wool is that it breathes and it will keep you warm even if it gets wet. 
This is something I love about wool. 

My husband and I hunt with our dogs in the winter months and we used to wear synthetic base layers, but synthetics don't breathe, so we would become overheated and oddly enough there were times we couldn't get warm. This is not ideal when you're walking several miles in the dead of winter. 

A few years ago we switched to wool base layers and what a difference that made! We stay comfortable and warm without overheating. 

Wearing wool has changed our view of the cold winter months. They are no longer unbearable, but enjoyable.  It has also changed our view of synthetic materials and has made us more aware of the materials we buy. 

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