softness of natural wool
Several visitors have come into our Wood Shed, hands firmly in pockets, saying “This is nice but I’m allergic to wool.”
They like the look, the smell, and even the cautiously-tested feel of the wool products. However, they have experienced rashes and discomfort in the past and are certain they are allergic to wool, all wool, anywhere any time.
A tentative customer might feel a tuft of raw fleece. They will give a surprised, positive response to the natural oil feeling. (Approximately 0.3% of the population has a true allergy to lanolin. They should avoid our wool products.)
The concerned visitor, most often a woman with sensitive skin, then might be willing to handle our washed and carded wool. It isn’t prickly. It is soft and retains some lanolin. The reaction is one of surprise, but still big caution. One lady tested it on her wrist and in her elbow, then tucked a piece into her bra. She reported rediscovering it awhile later, forgotten. She revised her conviction that she is allergic to wool.
Almost all ‘allergic to wool’ reactions are to commercially processed wool that has been treated with sulphuric acid and often an insecticide.
Virtually all commercial processing of wool uses sulphuric acid and other chemicals. That technique strips all the lanolin and vitality out of the wool fibre, leaving it dry and brittle. A broken wool fibre has two small barbs that prick. All wool fibres are composed of scales with pointed ends. If these are brittle, lacking their natural lanolin, they will be far more prickly, causing an ‘itchy’ reaction.
Topsy Farms wool is processed using only soap.
The absence of chemicals and our process of using only soap to wash leaves each wool fibre soft and vibrant and flexible. We preserve the integrity of the wool which leaves the yarn and the Queen blankets, Wraps, Lap Robes and Throws full of air and resilience.
Take a look. Give them a try.
The Campaign for Wool was initiated by Prince Charles in England, as a result of his desire to increase the market for British and Commonwealth wool and to promote awareness of its environmental benefits. The Campaign expanded to Canada in the past two years, with Holt Renfrew as a major participant.
Buyers from Holt Renfrew’s chose Topsy’s products for their Campaign for Wool shop
The 5 minute interview with Sally, explores why our wool products are unusually soft and not prickly as a result of our caring pasture-raised sheep practices and the gentle, chemical-free wool processing techniques used.
Wei Chan asked about the startling impact of being contacted by the Princes’ Charities, on behalf of Prince Charles and was met with a laugh.
Please enjoy our cheerful radio discussion.