Ecological Benefits of Wool Showcased

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Ecological Benefits of Wool Showcased

HRH The Prince of Wales marked the Campaign for Wool's fifth anniversary yesterday at Clarence House by highlighting two of wool’s most beneficial technical properties – its natural flame resistance and biodegradability.

To demonstrate wool’s ecological and safety benefits, The Prince first buried a wool sweater alongside a synthetic lookalike, both of which are to be dug up during Wool Week, in four months’ time. Being a natural product, wool is naturally biodegradable. In warm and humid conditions wool can decompose in as quickly as six months, while garments made from polyester and nylon can take up to 40 years. 

The Prince also presented a screening of a burn test in which a wool duvet, jacket and carpet were each set alight, along with synthetic counterparts. The contrast in flammability made for compelling viewing. Wool’s complex cell structure, combined with a high water and nitrogen content, gives it a high ignition point and a tendency to self-extinguish. Petroleum-based synthetic fibres in contrast are highly flammable, burning easily and spreading quickly.

We’ve prepared Fact Sheets on Wool’s Biodegradability and Fire Resistance which describe more fully why wool behaves the way it does. Please download and use them as you see fit to help explain how wool is not only one of the most ecological and sustainable fibres in the world, but also one of the safest.  

Wool and Flamee Resistance_IWTO Fact Sheet

Wool and Biodegradability_IWTO Fact Sheet

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