WHY WOOL?

Using wool bedding will afford you a number of noticeable advantages compared to other materials. Increasingly the world is becoming more aware of wool’s green and eco-friendly credentials. Unlike synthetic, down or feather duvet fillings, wool has excellent wicking qualities which means it will help regulate the micro-climate around your body.

Wool has the natural ability to draw up to 30% of its own weight in moisture away from your skin from where is just evaporates through the fibre.

It will therefore cool you down in summer when you need to, without causing you to break into a sweat. But conversely, wool will keep you warm as toast in winter so no more waking up needing to grab an extra layer in winter or tossing off the overly hot quilt.

Wool can even accommodate thermal differences between sleeping partners; adjusting your warmth needs relative to that of your partner while still keeping your individual micro climate just right for you – great for sharing and no more fighting over the duvet! Wool duvets greatly reduce the incidence of night sweats especially associated with children, and ladies going through the menopause or if you are carrying a little extra weight.

Under a wool duvet you can expect a marked increase in the quality of sleep in addition to the quantity. Our customers report that they sleep through the night and wake feeling refreshed and well. Wool is a good insulator but more importantly, it breathes and therefore in a duvet it regulates the level of moisture around your body.

Southdown Duvets sheep being sheered
Jessica Cross rolling the fleece
Southdown Duvets packed ready to ship

Pure down is a better insulator but does not breath and allows moisture to build up around you. Feather/down combinations are poorer insulators and even worse when it comes to moisture build up. This is the reason why under down/feathers and synthetic duvets you wake feeling overly hot and sweaty. The night sweats and clamminess are made even worse by using bedding with synthetic fills.

Wool is hypo-allergenic – it will help reduce problems associated with skin irritations and will not encourage the presence of dust mites or mould and so helps to control allergies and breathing problems. Wool is therefore a perfect solution for customers who suffer from asthma or are allergic to feathers.

Many are not aware of the problems associated with feather and down bedding. Over time, feathers deteriorate into a protein dust which can then cause all kinds of health issues. Apart from generating this dusty residual, the presence of the dust can attract dust mites into your bedding. Recently cited as “feather duvet lung” (The Guardian, 18/11/19) doctors now note that constantly breathing in this dust from a feather / down duvet and pillows every night can in fact cause irreversible scarring of the lungs. Lesser symptoms include waking up in the morning with a headache, blocked stuffy nose and breathing difficulties. This does not happen with wool and is achieved through the scouring of our raw wool, the end product being dust-free and of no interest to dust mites. Because wool wicks moisture away from your body from where it evaporates through the fibre, not only you but also the duvets remains comfortably dry so there is no dampness which might encourage the growth of mildew or mould.

Our duvets are not moth-proofed so are not treated with any harmful chemicals such as pentachlorophenol (nasty stuff that causes eye infections, breathing difficulties and skin problems among other horrible ailments). Wool is safe because it is a natural flame retardant. It won’t ignite easily and does not spread flames as synthetics do. Since our duvets are designed to be used all year, moths are not an issue. If you are planning to store your duvet for some months in a cupboard then we recommend dry-cleaning it and storing it in the green carrier bag which it will have arrived in. Some sandalwood or moth balls in the cupboard won’t go amiss.

Southdown duvets available to try before you buy
Primrose Cottages home of the Southdown Duvet

Also, unlike thermoplastic fibres, wool will not melt into a sticky mass, which can adhere to the skin and cause severe burns. Wool simply smoulders down to an ash that is non-sticking and cool to the touch. Most importantly, it does not generate toxic gases when it burns.

Wool is sustainable and it is obtained without cruelty unlike down and feather duvet fillings. 70 per cent of the down and feathers used in bedding and clothing come from China and you don’t want to know how this down is “collected” – it’s really nasty. Our sheep don’t particularly like being sheared but it’s over in minutes and they appreciate being freed from their heavy fleeces. Moreover, the annual shearing is a vital part of appropriate animal husbandry and caring properly for the sheep.

Wool is durable. Wool fibres resist tearing and are much hardier than cotton, silk or rayon.

Treat it with respect and your wool duvet will last for years. Wool is cost effective – over ten years your wool duvet would have cost 4p per night, that’s half the cost of an electric blanket. Yes, our sheep do contribute to carbon emissions (they politely bleat “excuse me” every time they break wind, promise), but their addition to your carbon footprint is minute compared to that of that coal-fired power station that runs your electric blanket. Not exactly a financial commitment that will keep you awake at night!

Why Southdown wool?

In theory, almost any wool can be used to make a duvet – you will find perfectly acceptable Merino and Texel products on the market, for example. However, only Southdown wool makes an exceptional duvet. This is because of the very dense physical properties of Southdown wool. It has a short staple, which is the length of an individual fibre – about 2-3 inches, making the wool soft, very bouncy, similar to cloud-like cotton wool which lends itself to the perfect duvet filling. The technical term is “loft” and the loftier the wool, the better it contributes to fine bedding.

Fancy a Southdown Duvet of your own?

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