Why wool blankets are a sustainable choice for your home
Why Wool blankets are a sustanable choice for you and your home.
Choosing a wool blanket or throw for your home can be a daunting task. There are so many blankets on the market and we are often guided by colour, price and ease of washing. We are so used to putting everything in the washing machihne and tumble drier it has become second nature. This has led to the leaking of microplastics and pollutants in the water and subsequent damage to the environment. Most marine life has microplastics in them and there has been resrach which suggests that humans also have plastic in their bodies from contaminated food and drink from microplastics.
Therefore, when it comes to choosing blankets or throws for your home, it can be tempting to choose synthetic materials like a fleece blanket made from polyester or nylon. After all, synthetic fabrics are often cheaper and easier to care for than natural materials like cotton or wool. However, synthetic textiles come with quite a lot of downsides, from their contribution to plastic pollution to their lack of breathability and durability. In contrast, natural textiles are often much more comfortable to use, last longer and have less negative impact on the environment. I am often asked how to wash wool blankets and I have even been asked if they need to be bleached clean. We as a nation, are so used to man made fibres that we often get thrown we we are first introduced to the beauty of natural fibres.
Comparison of natural fibres and synthetic fibres.
Let's compare synthetic fabrics with natural fabrics, and see why wool is one of the most sustainable choices when choosing the best blanket or throw for your home.
Choose wool blankets rather than synthetic blankets by understanding the downsides of man made throws
What are synthetic fabrics made from?
Synthetic fabrics are man-made materials that are produced using chemicals and petroleum products. Thats oil. This includes polyester, nylon, and acrylic. Synthetic fabrics have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their affordability and versatility. However, synthetic fabrics also come with a range of negative impacts, particularly on the environment.
Why are synthetic fabrics bad for the environment?
One of the biggest issues with synthetic fabrics is their environmental impact. Synthetic fabrics are made using petroleum, which is a non-renewable resource that takes millions of years to form. The production of synthetic fabrics also requires a lot of energy, and releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Additionally, synthetic fabrics shed microplastics when they are washed, which can end up in our waterways and harm marine life. Microplastics sadly, can be found in nearly all marine life and if we eat fish, we ingest microplastics, Synthetics are literally poisoning us and the planet.
Synthetic fabrics also have poor breathability which can make them sweaty and uncomfortable in hot weather. Imagine, wearing a plastic bag! Synthetics, don’t breathe with you and allow air flow, and they also trap moisture which will make you and the syntetic blanket smell. This means they need to be washed frequently and they often look tatty very quickly and end up in landfill. A man made blanket can take laundered and replaced more often than natural fabrics. A nylon blanket can take 40 - 50 years to decompose and and polyester over 500 years. Plus, the chemicals will leach into the land causing yet more damage.
Synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon and acrylic are made from petrochemicals. When they're washed, microplastics are released into the water and can be ingested by fish in our oceans and waterways. This in turn can enter the human food chain
How eco-friendly are fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles?
I have often been asked to stock blankets made from recycled plastic bottles, however, I am always wary of micro plastics leaching during washing..
On the surface, turning discarded plastic bottles into fabric might appear to be an environmentally friendly choice, but it's not quite as simple as that. Using recycled plastic bottles as a raw material for fabric production can indeed help reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills or oceans. Secondly, producing fabric from recycled plastic bottles requires less energy and resources compared to producing synthetic polyester, acrylic or nylon from virgin petrochemicals.
However, recycling PET plastic bottles into textiles is not as sustainable as might seem. That’s because plastic bottles can already be recycled into other plastic bottles up to eight times without loss of quality. Diverting them from this process and making them into fabric misses the opportunity to recycle them in a closed loop system. Additionally, fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles shed even more microplastics during washing as the fibres are shorter, increasing water pollution.
Wool is an increadibly sustainable material . Sheep grow a thick new fleece every year, making wool the ultimate renewable fibre
What are natural fabrics?
Natural fabrics are materials that are made from plant or animal fibres. Common examples include cotton, linen, hemp, alpaca and wool blankets made from wool have been used for thousands of years and offer a range of benefits over synthetic alternatives.
Why are natural fabrics more eco-friendly than synthetic fabrics?
One of the biggest benefits of natural fabrics is their sustainability. Natural fabrics are made from renewable resources that can be grown and harvested without depleting the earth's resources. Additionally, natural fabrics have a smaller carbon footprint than synthetic fabrics, since they require less energy to produce.
Natural fabrics are also more breathable and moisture-wicking than synthetic fabrics, which makes them more comfortable to use in a range of weather conditions. Wool blankets will keep you warm without becoming sweaty, so they're perfect for helping you stay just the right temperature when snuggling up at home.
When it does come to the end of their useful life, natural fabrics can be recycled. If they do end up in landfill they're biodegradable, unlike synthetic fabrics which never decompose. Wool can biodegrade in as little as 4 months under the right conditions and releases beneficial nutrients into the soil as it does so.
Why wool blankets are a sustainable choice
Wool is a unique natural fabric that offers a range of benefits for both its users and the environment. Wool is produced from the fleece of sheep and is a renewable resource that's naturally grown and sheared each year. Additionally,wool has a lower impact on the environment than synthetic fabric production, since it requires less energy and produces less waste to produce. Sheep farming provides valuable stewardship in remote upland landscapes, where tender crops or livestock wouldn't thrive.
Wool also offers a range of unique properties that make it a great choice for clothing and home décor. Wool is naturally flame-resistant, meaning that it does not need to be treated with harmful chemicals to meet fire safety standards.
Wool is naturally resistant to odours and stains, meaning that it requires less washing than other fabrics. Wool fibres that are shed during washing pose no harm to marine life, unlike the microplastics that make their way into rivers and oceans when synthetic fabrics are washed. On the downside, you need to be more careful when washing wool to avoid them shrinking but you can wash them less often.
If a natural home environment is important to you, wool blankets are the best choice. They won't shed plastic microfibres into the atmosphere in your home so you can breathe and sleep easy.
Synthetic fabrics vs natural fabrics: which is best?
When it comes to choosing the best blanket or throw for your home, it's important to consider both the benefits and drawbacks of different materials. While synthetic fabrics may seem like a cheap and convenient choice, they come with a range of negative impacts for both consumers and the environment. Natural blankets like wool offer a more sustainable and durable alternative, with a range of unique properties that make them a great choice for clothing, bedding, and home décor.
By choosing 100% pure wool woven blankets, you can enjoy all the benefits of natural fabrics while supporting a more sustainable and ethical industry. Country Mouse makes all its blankets from 100% pure wool, plus they're all woven in the UK and Europe.
Country Mouse also has a range of recycled wool blankets which are made fromthe off cuts and remnants from the manufacture of our other wool blankets.
If you want to make a sustainable choice and choose a wool blanket then shop online at Country Mouse choose from our selection of wool balnkets which are available in Gotland Wool, merino, Swedish lambswool and recycled wool blankets which are an excellent eco friendly choioce.