Wool, a comfortable material

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Tricolor is an original, collaborative and transversal project exploring the heart of the French wool sectors. The Tricolor project was initiated by Made in France Première Vision.

Wool is a noble and precious fibre.

Wool is warm, resistant, insulating and has many uses…

UIT Sud has fully investigated this fibre by compiling technical studies, and shares its natural technical characteristics and its many positive qualities in a particularly rich and educational tool: « Wool, a quality material. »

Discover these qualities in a series of 3 articles examining wool’s performance features:

_Eco-friendly
_Comfortable
_Healthy

Today, a close look at its comfort qualities!

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Warm… and fresh

When temperatures drop, you reflexively reach for wool, yet its thermal insulation capacity is actually just as effective against heat as it is against cold. In short, wool keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer … and that’s true for you and your home too.

The thermal insulation capability of wool fibre is due mainly to two things: first, wool stores a large amount of air thanks to its wavy texture, and second, wool’s scaled structure increases the surface of wool in contact with air while inhibiting its circulation, whether the air is hot or cold.

 

 

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Soundproofing

We can love music without necessarily wanting to hear that played by our neighbours – and in this case, there’s no better ally than wool, which is an excellent noise reducer and sound insulator, especially wool felt.

That’s why theatre curtains and carpets are traditionally made of wool.

Wool is just as effective at acoustic correction as it is at sound insulation. In fact, the crimp of the wool fibre adds volume and elasticity, which favours sound absorption.

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Low permeability to water

Without being completely waterproof, wool stands up well to water, whose drops trickle over its surface. This quality is just as useful for dealing with downpours as it is for protecting carpets.

Now you know why the pea coats worn by Brittany sailors are made of wool!

Wool’s water-resistance is due to the cuticle covering its fibres’ scales. This thin waterproof membrane helps make wool water-repellent with respect to liquid water, reducing its wetting speed to 50% in 10 minutes (the speed for cotton and cellulosic fibres: 300% in 10 minutes).

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Breathable

Stickiness isn’t really its style. If you feel good surrounded by wool, it’s because it breathes … or rather, it lets us breathe. When used in clothing, it’s as airy as it is warm; in houses, it regulates moisture and facilitates air circulation too.

Hydrophilic (or moisture-loving) in terms of water vapour, wool can absorb 35% of its weight without feeling humid or damp. Its semi-permeable fibre, thanks to tiny pores in its epicuticle, facilitates the wicking of perspiration (permanent perspiration in the form of vapour), delaying the transition to more bothersome liquid perspiration. In short, it limits moisture and sweating.

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Lightweight

And the featherweight champion is … wool! It’s true, wool is one of the lightest natural materials, which makes it as comfortable to wear as it is practical to work with.

With a density of 1.32 to 1.35 g/cm3, wool is lighter than most competing fibres such as cotton (1.51 g /cm3), linen (1.4 to 1.52 g/cm3) and hemp (1.48 g/cm3).