Campaign For Wool Technical Information
Technical Properties of Wool – Courtesy of The Campaign for Wool
HEAT AND MOISTURE REGULATION
- Due to its superior insulation characteristics, wool carpet provides a warmer, safer, more comfortable surface on which to stand/sit than hard flooring.
- Wool fibre has a hydrophobic (water repelling) exterior and hydrophilic (water loving) interior that confer its unique moisture management properties – properties that are not shared by synthetic fibres such as nylon.
- In contrast to most synthetic fibres, wool has the capacity to remove large amounts (up to 35% of its own weight) of moisture from inside a room, before the fibre even begins to feel wet.
- Wool’s chemical structure means that it has the ability to actively absorb and desorb moisture and to gain and release heat depending on the external and internal environment – thus buffering a room against environmental changes.
- A wool carpet’s ability to absorb moisture may result in a reduced propensity for condensation within a room.
- Significant energy savings and comfort/health improvements are achievable by installation of wool carpets.
- Exposure to unwanted or excessive noise has been shown to result in a range of negative health impacts, including hearing loss, loss of concentration, sleep deprivation, stress, headaches, ulcers and a higher incidence of respiratory complaints.
- Wool carpets out perform hard flooring in terms of their capacity to suppress unwanted noise.
- The fibrous nature of wool carpets and upholstery means that, unlike many other materials, wool products can reduce, at the same time, a) airborne sound, b) surface noise, and c) sound transmission.
- Wool carpeting is a healthy and comfortable choice for a flooring system as it provides thermal insulation allowing the room in which it is installed to remain a comfortable temperature while aiding in sound absorption.
- Wool carpets have exceptionally low levels of flammability and represent the logical choice for creating safe, healthy indoor environments.
- Wool is naturally flame resistant, and its performance exceeds that of all other commonly encountered textile fibres.
- Wool has a low heat of combustion and a low rate of heat release.
- If wool comes into direct contact with another burning surface, it won’t melt or stick, and is self extinguishing once the initial ignition source is removed.
- Wool forms an insulating char when it burns and evolves less smoke and toxic gases than formed during combustion of most synthetic fibres.
- Because of its unique moisture retention properties, wool carpeting is less prone to building up static electric charge than synthetic fibre carpeting.
- Use of wool carpets provides a safer and more comfortable work environment than synthetic products, particularly in applications where static electricity is of particular concern – aircraft carpets, buildings with sensitive electronic equipment, fuel transfer facilities, etc.
CONTROL OF INDOOR AIR POLLUTION
- Wool carpet is an efficient absorber of potentially harmful indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide, effectively removing them from the environment.
- Wool carpets out perform nylon carpets in terms of their capacity to purify the indoor air.
- Under normal circumstances, no risk is posed to human health by emissions from carpets, and selection of wool carpeting may even permit optimisation of the process for indoor air quality improvement.
- Interior textiles such as carpeting can act as filters for particulate pollutants and subsequent cleaning provides an easy means of managing human exposure to such hazards.
- Particulate pollutants such as mite allergens are no more likely to build up in wool carpet than synthetic carpet and are readily removed by vacuuming.
- Carpet has a much reduced propensity for disturbance of particulate pollutants (allergens, etc) than hard flooring.
- Wool’s ability to effectively buffer heat and moisture, in combination with its propensity to control indoor air pollutants, make it ideal for creating safe and healthy interior environments.
WALKING COMFORT AND SAFETY
Non Slip / Impact Resistance
- Carpets provide a safe, comfortable living and workplace surface for people of all ages.
- Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in under-5-year olds, and cause injuries in the elderly.
- Particularly when wet, wool carpets have a higher coefficient of kinetic friction than hard flooring surfaces, meaning the propensity for slips/ falls is much reduced.
MERINO FOR PERFORMANCE ACTIVEWEAR
Heat and Moisture Management
- Merino fibre has a hydrophobic (water repelling) exterior and hydrophilic (water loving) interior that confer its unique moisture management properties , resulting in enhanced wearer comfort and performance.
- In contrast to most synthetic fibres, wool has the capacity to remove large amounts (up to 35% of its own weight) of moisture from the skin surface, before the fibre even begins to feel wet.
- A fabric’s ability to allow the transmission of water vapour through its structure will significantly affect the comfort of the wearer. The ability of Merino fabrics to do this surpasses that of synthetics.
- The chemical structure of Merino fibre means that it has the ability to absorb and desorb moisture and to gain and release heat depending on the external and internal environment – thus buffering wearers against environmental changes.
- As it absorbs moisture, Merino fibre releases a small but perceptible amount of heat. In an apparel or hosiery application this prevents the wearer from chilling in wet, cool conditions. In hot conditions the reverse effect occurs, affording a natural means of buffering the body’s microclimate.
Odour Supression / Ease of care
- Body odour arises as a by-product of bacteria, which proliferate in warm moist environments (e.g, when sweat is allowed to remain on the skin for a period of time).
- Merino fibre, through its complex chemical and physical structure, resists the development and proliferation of odour to a much greater extent than synthetic materials or cotton.
- Merino apparel and hosiery is readily laundered to remove soil or other contaminants of potential relevance to health – and efficient shrink resist processes are employed to enable full machine washability.
- UV radiation reaching earth from the sun can have deleterious effects on human health when overexposure occurs.
- Merino fibre is a very efficient absorber of potentially harmful UV-A and UV-B radiation.
- Fabric construction is also a key determinant of the extent to which textiles will protect a wearer from UV radiation.
- Summer-weight Merino garments have been consistently shown to offer a higher degree of UV protection than fabrics constructed of competing materials.