The Wonder of Wool exhibit debunks many of the myths about this fabulous fiber.
Myth: Wool has a bad odor.
Truth: Wool is much more resistant to retaining odors than synthetic fabrics like polyester and polypropylene. Sheep’s wool is also naturally resistant to wrinkling and static.
Myth: Wool is itchy.
Truth: Not all wool is itchy; it depends on what kind. When you think of scratchy wool, army blankets come to mind. These use shorter fibers that are not usually combed to lie flat and their larger scales can scratch the skin like barbs. But modern wool fabrics made of longer fibers of combed fabrics are a lot more comfortable and in fact are some of the softest fibers on the planet.
Myth: Wool is only for winter.
Truth: Wool is actually ideal for summer clothing and cool bedding for hot summer nights because it is breathable and regulates temperature. While synthetics are passive, wool is active, reacting to changes in one’s body temperature to keep you warm when you’re cold but releasing heat and moisture when you’re hot.
Myth: Wool can’t get wet.
Truth: Wool is both water resistant and wicks moisture. Wool fibers are actually hollow with a durable, flexible and water-repellent exterior, absorbing up to 30% of its weight in moisture vapor without becoming damp or clammy. Meanwhile, the hard outer layer protects against outside moisture from rain and snow. And unlike cotton, which absorbs moisture and tends to remain wet, wool actually wicks perspiration and allows it to evaporate quickly, keeping you warmer.
Myth: Wool is hard to wash and clean.
Truth: On the contrary, recent innovations mean many wool garments can be machine-washed and tumble dried. And because wool is bacteria resistant, it doesn’t need to be washed as frequently as other fabrics and many spots can be removed with a wet cloth instead of washing the whole garment.
Myth: Wool is flammable.
Truth: Not only does wool insulate against high temperatures and act as a natural fire retardant, it self-extinguishes when the source of flame is removed. More importantly, when it burns, it doesn’t melt and stick to the skin. This is why it is a preferred fabric for firefighter and military uniforms, as well as for bedding.