Posted on February 06 2018
"I hate wearing wool."
I was stunned as I heard my mother utter her quiet confession. There I stood, covered almost head to toe in wool, singing its praises, on the first slightly chilly day of the year. How could she not love wool? How could she even go outside during the winter without it? How could she not know how great it is?
Sadly, I believe this negative view towards wool is quite common, especially among older generations. They hated growing up having to wear it, and they have passed their opinions right on down to their children and their children's children. But, do you know why they don't like wearing it? It's because they have been wearing the WRONG kind of wool!
For centuries, wool was the go-to fabric of many cultures because of it's durability and abundance. With the increase of the synthetic fabric market in the last couple of decades, wool clothing has almost become a thing of the past. And when we do think of it, we think of all of those old clothes that grace antique shops or live in our boxes of family heirlooms packed away with moth balls.
But, gone are the days of scratchy, itchy, and coarse wool blankets, sweaters and hats, because we have this beautiful thing called MERINO WOOL!
Merino Wool comes from Merino Sheep that are prized for having the finest & softest wool. This is fantastic news for us because it allows us to have all of the benefits of wearing wool, without all of those other issues that make wearing wool undesirable.
To say that we are wool-vangelists is an huge understatement! We live almost entirely in wool, especially during the cold winter months. We believe that wool is good for the body and the soul and is essential addition to any mission wardrobe.
And here's why:
-Merino Wool is anti-microbial. This means that your wool pieces are naturally protected from stain & odor causing bacteria. They will also kill or slow the spread of microorganisms including bacteria, mold, & mildew. Because of this characteristic, wool does not need to be washed as often.
-Merino Wool is felted. Felting of wool occurs upon agitation as the microscopic barbs on the surface of wool fibers hook together. This makes it possible for you to wash your merino wool pieces in the washing machine (but it is never a good idea to put them in the dryer....ALWAYS air-dry!)
-Merino Wool is absorbent and insulates even when wet. Wool fibers readily absorbs moisture, whether from the outside elements or from your own body. Wool can absorb almost 1/3 of its own weight in water, all the while keeping you warm. Most other fabrics, especially cotton, lose all insulating qualities when wet.
-Merino Wool helps the body maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is the ability for the human body to maintain stability in spite of frequent changes. When an individual is healthy, his or her body temperature retains a temperature 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The body can control temperature by making or releasing heat and wool can help the body maintain a stable temperature.
-Merino Wool is going to keep you warm, warm, warm. When serving in a cold climate mission, layering is essential. Layering with wool is going to give you your best chance at staying warm and comfortable as you are outside all day.
As much as we like to think that wool helps us stay warm during the cold winter months, it is also important to note that wool also helps us stay cool during the summer. I know that might be a little hard to believe, but the reasoning behind this practice is almost the same as why you should wear wool in the winter. First, it absorbs and evaporates moisture more effectively than most other textiles, making it a good temperature regulator. On a cold day, sure, it'll keep you warm. But on a hot day? The right wool will cool you right down. It's is also just plain easier to wear wool in the summer. It doesn't hold wrinkles like cotton or linen and of course the speed with which it evaporates odor-causing moisture (read: sweat) means it doesn't hold smells, either. All of which equates to less time ironing, dry cleaning, and generally fussing over how your clothes look, and more time, you know, actually enjoying the summer.
So know that you know the facts of why we love wool and how great it is, here are some products that we carry in our stores that might be beneficial to you as you prepare to serve: