Photo: Carlyle Routh
Photo: Carlyle Routh
Wool's beautiful, warm, and has many other benefits you don't even know about. Here's why you shouldn't think twice about investing in pieces made of this hero fibre.
You likely have something made of wool in your closest and you might reach for it during the cold winter months for extra insulation. But did you know that there's a lot more to this fibre than just keeping you warm? We spoke with Vancouver-based Jennifer LeBrun, founder of ULAT Dryer Balls and member of the Campaign for Wool committee, to learn more about the elements of the hard-working fibre. Below, five amazing benefits of wool that you might not know about, plus five gorgeous wool sweaters to buy now and wear all winter long.
1. It can help you sleep
If you suffer from insomnia or just want a deeper sleep (who doesn't!) swap your cotton bedding or pyjamas for those made of wool, a breathable fabric that will help regulate your temperature while you catch some Z's. “When you're cold, wool will retain your heat to keep you warm and, in the summer, when you're feeling rather hot, it releases the extra heat so that you can sleep comfortably," says LeBrun. Researchers at the University of Sydney conducted a study that found that wearing wool to bed can lead to an extra 15 minutes of sleep.
2. It's environmentally-friendly
This is probably the most well-known benefits of wool—the production of this fibre is not as damaging to the planet as others. LeBrun shares that wool is one of the only fibres that is “completely full circle,” meaning you're helping the sheep that need to be sheered, supporting farmers who are making an income from the wool and who rely on sheep for grazing for better crops, as well as the artisans who sell the products. Not to mention it doesn't need to be washed as often, ultimately reducing the amount of water waste.
3. It's great for working out in
While you may reach for a wool sweater to keep you warm, it's actually great for sweating in. “A lot of athletic wear uses wool now because of the wicking properties,” says LeBrun. “It's a great fibre to keep you comfortable in the condition you're in whether you're running, sitting and watching TV or by the fireplace having a glass of wine.” Plus, wool has natural anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties that are key elements to look for in clothes that you're meant to sweat in.
4. It's easy to care for
Unlike other clothing in your closet, wool clothes are actually quite easy to care for. “You don't have to constantly wash it,” explains LeBrun. Because it doesn't harbour bacteria like other fibres might, hanging it out in some fresh air and sunlight can do wonders. Not only does washing the product less save water (and money!), it also means that the product will last you longer.
5. It can help reduce eczema symptoms
Studies have proven that extra-fine merino wool clothing helped decrease eczema symptoms in children. LeBrun adds that eczema can flare up when coming into contact with certain chemicals, like those used to produce synthetic fibres and those used in household items like dryer sheets, and that people who have used wool dryer balls have seen their eczema symptoms disappear.
Ready to update your wool wardrobe? 5 stylish picks ahead!
1. A salt and pepper wool sweater is a fall wardrobe staple. This one is made of 100% Italian wool and pairs well with everything from jeans to leather skirt to trousers for the office.
The Soft Wool Rib Turtleneck, $204, everlane.com.
2. This wool-blend sweater is business in the front and party in the back with the gorgeous braided detail.
Deacon, $349, linethelabel.com.
3. Not all wool sweaters need to be oversized and chunky—this one, which is made of a fine merino wool, features a tie detail at the neck giving it a touch of sophistication.
Tie-front Pullover Sweater, $115, jcrew.com.
4. This 100% merino wool sweater will keep you comfortable all winter long, from your morning commute to winter activities.
Women's Merino 250 Base Layer Crew, $125, smartwool.com.
5. This classic crewneck 100% wool sweater will brighten up a cold day. It also comes in a soft peach shade!
Acne Studios, $393, shopbop.com.