Wool wonderful wool! This natural fiber has been used to make garments for humans since the stone age.
Nowadays, with our renewed appreciation for naturally derived materials (after a half-century long obsession with synthetic fibers which has caused widespread environmental devastation), wool is very much in vogue.
With is being National Wool Week, we decided to share with you these four interesting facts about wool.
1. The phrase "to pull the wool over someone's eyes", meaning to deceive a person, is believed to have originated in England in the 17th century when judges wore elaborate wigs which looked like sheep's wool.
2. Wool is flame-resistant. Because of the way that it is structured, it doesn't catch light, or melt or stick to skin when subjected to burning temperatures.
3. Wool is covered in microscopic scales which are designed to repel water and keep sheep dry. Wool fibres are also crimped so as retain their shape. In fact, they can be stretched by up to 70% and will bounce back.
4. Wool provides better protection from UV radiation than other synthetic fibres and is a completely biodegradable and renewable resource.
5. Lamb's wool is an early inception of the modern day cocktail, as detailed in a poem by Robert Herrick titled 'Twelfth Night'. Written c1648, it refers to a Christian tradition held on the eve on Epiphany, or the twelfth night after Christmas, when people would knock back a concoction of apple juice, sugar, nutmeg and beer to celebrate the wise men visiting baby Jesus.