Textile manufacturers often use harsh chemicals to treat fabrics. These toxic chemicals include formaldehyde, softeners, and synthetic chemicals. Companies use these chemicals to make their fabrics antimicrobial, stain resistant, sweat resistant, flame retardant, and anti-wrinkling. But, this can expose you to carcinogens.
On the other hand, when you buy and use wool products, you use an all natural material that is naturally antimicrobial, soft, sweat resistant, flame retardant, and anti-wrinkling. Therefore, wool companies do not need to use those harsh chemicals that could harm your skin.
Instead of synthetic blankets, invest in a wool blanket. Wool bedding is better for the environment, is far more comfortable, and has numerous other benefits.
Why You Should Use Wool Blankets
Wool blankets have been around for thousands of years. While many companies have replaced wool fabric with other fibers that are cheaper and more processed, wool remains the best product for blankets. It is even better than cotton. Here are ten benefits of wool blankets:
Benefit #1: Wool is Fire-Resistant
When you are camping, you know that a fire will keep you warm at night. However, leaving a fire unattended is dangerous, since a single spark can start a forest fire. You want to be safe, but you also need to keep warm.
Since accidents can happen while camping, it’s helpful to have a fire-resistant blanket with you. A wool blanket can protect you and your family. Given its fire-resistant properties, wool can help you control fire.
Be careful, though. Fire-resistant doesn’t mean that that wool blanket won’t ever catch on fire. It simply means that it takes extended exposure to heat and a consistent flame to consume the blanket. If you use the blanket to cut off the oxygen supply when extinguishing a fire, it should be safe.
Benefit #2: Wool is Antibacterial
Wool comes from animals like sheep, alpacas, yaks, and camels. Since these animals need bacterial protection in the wild, they naturally secrete a substance called lanolin which helps their coats protect them.
While most lanolin dissipates during the refining and manufacturing process, wool still has residual properties that help prevent the growth of bacteria and dust mites. Since lanolin is all-natural, it has properties that make it better than processed fabrics.
In the event there is some moisture on your wool blanket, it will self-clean, unlike other synthetic materials. It will absorb water and release it out into the air. This type of evaporation keeps the skin dry and prevents bacterial growth and dust mites.
Because of its antibacterial properties, wool allergies are not as common as they may seem. Statistically, wool allergies are rare. You may be sensitive to the fibers, but wearing clothes between you and your blanket can help minimize your sensitivity.
Benefit #3: Wool is Moisture-Wicking
Wool bedding can absorb moisture and condensation from your skin, but can also minimize your exposure to the weather. Wool can help prevent rain and snow from seeping through. This natural double-barrier is excellent while on the trail or when you’re sleeping, since you never know how the weather might change.
Besides keeping outside moisture away from the skin, wool wicks away sweat. When you sweat, that sweat cools your skin which is not what you want when it’s cold outside. Wool blankets absorb sweat and wick it away from your body, thus keeping you warm and dry.
Due to its natural fibers and properties, wool is thermophysiological. This means that it is comfortable to wear in all weather conditions because it helps regulate temperature.
Benefit #4: Wool is Stretchy and Flexible
The natural fibers in wool are strong but flexible. This elastic property makes wool an excellent option for all types of clothing, blankets, and bedding. It can be stretched for various uses but can still retain its natural shape.
After wearing cotton socks or polyester shirts for a long time, they eventually get worn out and need to be replaced. Wool products last significantly longer than synthetic fibers. It is much more durable and can handle the wear and tear it experiences on a hiking and camping trip.
Due to its flexible nature, wool folds up easily and does not wrinkle as severely. You can easily pack for your trip without worrying about it losing shape or form.
Stretch and flexibility are instrumental with your blankets. After the constant folding and sleeping on blankets, wool will last much longer than cotton. It will also keep you warmer.
Benefit #5: Wool is Sustainable and All-Natural
Natural wool comes from animals in a process called shearing. Shearing is necessary for the health of the animal, and it provides people with comfortable fabrics. Since wool naturally grows, it is sustainable and all-natural.
You don’t have to worry about harm to the environment when you buy wool. The animals need shearing, and we can use the wool fibers for clothing, blankets, and bedding. Since wool does not need to be processed nearly as much as cotton, polyester, radon, and other fabrics, it has a lower carbon footprint.
Benefit #6: Wool is Breathable
Wool is surprisingly breathable. When most people think of wool, they think of something heavy and musty. This misunderstanding couldn’t be further from the truth. Air circulates through the fibers which makes wool antibacterial.
Lanolin does not last through the manufacturing process, but since wool wicks moisture away from the body, bacteria cannot grow. Therefore, quality wool can air out and clean itself. All you have to do is let it hang for a few hours and your wool fibers will be as good as new.
Benefit #7: Wool Helps Regulate Body Temperature
Part of the reason wool is preferred by many is that it keeps you comfortable in all conditions. Consider the breathability, moisture-wicking, and antibacterial properties of wool. All of these aspects come together to keep you comfortable whether you are using a blanket or wearing a sweater.
Body temperature regulation improves sleep quality by using your body heat to keep you warm when it’s cold and releasing any excess heat when it’s warm. Wool bedding will help you have a better night's sleep, since it holds your body’s warmth in the winter but keeps you cool in the summer.
Benefit #8: Wool Requires Minimal Maintenance
Most people make a common mistake when caring for their wool products—they wash them. Wool does not need to be washed like cotton blankets. Putting your wool products in a washing machine could ruin them. Remember, wool is all-natural and antibacterial, so if animals don’t need to wash it, neither do we.
However, accidents happen at home and out on the trail, so spot cleaning may be necessary. If you need to wash your wool blanket or other types of clothing, wash by hand. Washing by hand allows you to control how much friction is applied to the wool fibers and can help you preserve your blanket.
The best and all-natural way to wash wool products is to let them air out. Hanging up your wool bedding and blanket for a few hours allows the wool to naturally release debris and odors using its antibacterial and breathability properties.
Benefit #9: Wool is Lightweight
A common perception about wool textiles is that they are heavy and clunky. This misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. When you invest in 100% wool products, they will be much lighter than expected. While wool is not as lightweight as cotton sheets, it is a better insulator and doesn’t make you sweat.
Wool is much lighter than you would expect it to be. For example, a large blanket (90” x 96”) weighs only 6.2 pounds. Therefore, your blanket is easy to pack and carry on the trails.
It’s essential to calculate the weight of your items before you hike or camp. It’s unrealistic to ask yourself to take 100-150 pounds worth of gear over several miles, so it’s best if you control what you bring and how much it weighs. Carrying multiple wool products provides you with flexible clothing and lightweight baggage.
Benefit #10: Wool is Versatile
One of the best things about wool is its versatility. While wool is mainly used for blankets, bedding, and clothing, it has other purposes.
Wool can be used as a temporary tent or covering if caught in bad weather. When you fold up an extra blanket, you can use it as a cushion for a seat or as your pillow at night. Wool also makes a great tarp. Due to its moisture-wicking properties, it can keep your food and clothing dry while traveling or hiking.
Wool is multifaceted and has many uses. We recommend you keep a wool blanket in the back of your car at all times, since you never know when you may need one. This natural material can do and be anything you want.
There are as many benefits of wool as there are uses. Regardless of what you use it for, the moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating properties make it stand above other blanket materials. It is easily sustainable and all-natural, among the many other benefits of wool blankets.Whether you're looking for new bedding or shopping for your next camping trip, don’t settle for synthetic, processed materials. For a versatile blanket that you won’t regret purchasing, choose wool blankets from Self-Reliance Outfitters.