Wool on the dining room table

For a very long time now, I have been contemplating to get some felted wool placemats for my dining room table. Being a wool fan aside, I find the texture of the felted wool builds a nice contrast with dishes and cutlery.

There are many different retailers who offer felted wool placemats. As I have been a fan of the Hey-Sign products for a very long time, I knew they also had many different shapes of placemats in their wide colour range. Their range covers placemats in rectangular, rounded corners, oval and stone shape. All shapes are available in their wide colour collection of 43 colours. In addition, the felted wool placemats come in 3 mm and 5 mm in thickness.

I chose the rectangular placemat in dark grey in 5 mm thickness for my dining room. The dark grey goes well with my white china and also matches my dark grey felted wool sofa. Of course, by choosing dark grey I also thought the colour would not get dirty so quickly.

Felted Wool Place Mats by HeySign

Size

The dimensions of the placemats I chose are 45 cm x 35 cm. This is actually quite big and only works on a relatively large dining table. I used to always have much smaller placemats, so when I first set the table they felt quite huge. On the other hand, it is nice to be able to fit the plate, cutlery and glass(es) onto the placemat.

Felted Placemat out of wool by HeySign Wool Lifestyle Blog

Stain removal

I just mentioned above that I chose a dark colour because I thought stains would not show so easily. That brings me to the question of what to do when food or drink does get spilt on the placemat? Whenever something spills, the best thing is to immediately remove it. You will notice that any form of liquid will just sit on top of the felt which makes it easy to soak up with a paper napkin or cloth. If a stain has dried up or entered a little bit into the felt, you can remove the stain with a wet cloth (not too hot) and some wool detergent.

Tea time with felted wool placemats by HeySign Wool Lifestyle

Washing of placemats

If you feel the whole placemat should be washed, then you can just hand wash it in lukewarm water and some wool detergent. Rinse the placemat thoroughly and let it dry flat on a towl. It is possible to also wash the placemats in the washing machine on a wool cycle, however, that might cause them to shrink a little bit and make the edges irregular.

Placemat out of wool from HeySign

Flexible design

The placemats go well with different interiors. I tried setting the table with my placemats at my parent’s dining room. You can see from the picture that their interior design style is totally different to my own. But still, I found the placemats adapted well to the different styles, dishes and cutlery.

Grey felted wool placemats

Durability

My husband and I have been using the placemats now for around 3 months and we enjoy them at every meal. They still look as new as when they arrived, although we use them every day. There is no pilling or anything else happening. As placemats are usually not exposed to any abrasion, I expect the placemats to stay so beautiful for a very long time. If something changes, I will let you know here.

Wool placemats from HeySign

Price

You might find prices for one individual felted wool placemat quite expensive. I tend to agree as it is quite an investment into decorating your dining room table. However, as always with wool, the investment will pay off in the long term. I used to have 4 cotton placemats which cost altogether less than one felted wool placemat. However, they also started looking not so nice after a couple of washes. You will also find placemats made out of synthetic felt or made of a blend. Whenever I saw synthetic placemats in restaurants or a friend’s home, they tended to pill easily and look less and less appetizing.

Wool is always an investment, but as with everything else, when you invest in good quality it pays off in the long term, gives you more joy and in this case is also better for the environment.

Are you thinking of getting a felted wool placemat? Which colours and shapes are you thinking about? There are many wonderful brands to choose from, just have a look online and you will find the right one for you and enjoy them for a very long time. You will also find placemats out of synthetic

I thank Hey-Sign for supporting my idea to write a blog post on felted wool placemats. Hey-Sign kindly sponsored the six placemats.

How to include wool in your wedding

My husband and I are celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary today. We were looking at our wedding photos and it reminded me how we tried to integrate wool also into our wedding. In today’s blog post, I share with you some ideas on how to integrate wool into a wedding or into similar family and friends celebrations.

Wool Wedding Dress

One thing was very clear for me, I definitely wanted to wear wool at my wedding. Of course, it proved to be very difficult to find a wool wedding dress in a store, so I decided to sew my own dress for the civil wedding ceremony. As a background, in Germany, all marriages need to be sealed by a registrar. Many couples, therefore, end up having two weddings, one at the civil registry office and one in church. For us, it was the same, so I decided to make my civil wedding dress out of wool and for the church wedding I bought a gown off the shelf.

I found this off-white, very fine worsted merino wool fabric out of which I sewed a simple 50s style dress. I lined it with silk to keep it all natural fibres. The dress was very comfortable to wear despite heat and rain during the day.

Wool Wedding Dress

Wool throw

I also wore a wool shawl or wool throw together with my wool dress when it got a little bit chilly. The shawl was made out of very lightweight merino wool. It was perfect for summers and felt luxurious to wear.

Wool Wedding Wool Scarf

Wool Suit

Of course, I also convinced my husband to wear wool during our wedding. He wore a blue Hugo Boss suit during the civil wedding. At the church wedding, he first wore a cut made of wool which we borrowed at a suit supply store. In the evening he wore a black tuxedo from Hugo Boss also made of wool. He looked stunning in all three attires.

Wool Wedding Wool Suit

Wool Yarn for Programme

Besides out clothes, I also wanted to include wool in other ways in our wedding. For the church wedding, we had a little programme printed for the ceremony. To bind the several sheets of paper from the programme together, I used a white handknitting wool yarn. I did the same for the menus on the dinner table.

Wool Wedding Wool Yarn for Programme

Wool Give Aways for Guests

For our guests, we also had a wool give away. We bought heart-shaped key rings out of wool felt. We ordered a bunch of different colours and put a key ring for each guest on their dinner plate. We bought our key rings at Hey-Sign who offer a wide range of felted wool key rings in all different shapes and colours. Hey-Sign only offers wholesale, but they will be happy to put you in touch with a retailer who offers their products.

Wool Wedding Wool Felted Key Rings by Hey-Sign

Table Placemats

Another idea I had but was not able to implement was to use felted table placemats (Hey-Sign also has beautiful ones). We had a wedding with 120 guests, so buying wool table mats was outside of the budget. However, for a smaller wedding, this might be feasible. An alternative could be to have a centrepiece wool placemat to be part of the table decorations.

 

Live Sheep

The night before our church wedding, we invited our guests for a dinner held in the stables of a farm. We asked the owners of the farm if they could let their sheep graze in the close by paddock next to the stables. We had also other goats and donkeys graze next to the house and it was lots of fun for the children as they arrived at the venue to see the sheep and other animals grazing.

Wool Wedding farm animals

Sorry, I could only find an image of the donkey greeting our guests.

 

Did you have a wool wedding yourself? How did you manage to include wool? I would like to hear about it.

Wool Wedding Dress

The simplest wool product with maximum usability

What is a wool kerchief? That is what I asked myself when I first came across a 42-inch by 42-inch (or 106 by 106 cm) piece of soft merino wool fabric from North x North on Kickstarter around a year ago. Turns out a wool kerchief is one of the simplest wool products I know with the highest number of ways to use it.

What is a wool kerchief

I had the chance to talk to Chad North, the founder of North x North, on the Wool Academy podcast. During our discussion, Chad explained that the wool kerchief is like a Shemagh, just instead of being made out of cotton, it is made out of merino wool. The format of the piece of merino fabric has been specifically chosen to allow it to be used flexibly in many different ways, especially during outdoor adventures.

 

Over 100 applications

The wool kerchief can be used in the most classic form of a head protection against the cold as well as the sun. It can be worn in different ways around the neck and face. It can be used as a blanket and as a tool to carry things and many many more ways. The image below actually demonstrates this perfectly. Overall Chad North found over 100 ways on how to use the wool kerchief.

 

NorthxNorth Kerchief Uses

After our interview, Chad was so kind to send me one of his wool kerchiefs without any expectations for me to write about it. While he told me that he was going to send me one I was thinking that I don’t really have a use for it as I am not an outdoor girl at all. My outdoors involves a 1-hour walk in the woods with my dog each day, mostly on paved and graveled paths, that is as outdoorsy as I get. But anyways, who says no to a free gift and I was curious how the wool kerchief would actually feel and look like.

 

Soft and light

When the wool kerchief arrived in the mail a couple of days later, the first thing that surprised me was how soft the merino wool fabric was. Chad had been searching for the perfect fabric for over a year. He sources the fabric from a manufacturer in Australia. The next thing that surprised me is that the material was also quite light.

7 colours

My wool kerchief is black and the wool kerchief is available in a total of 7 colours – black, commando (military green), indigo, stone (beige), charcoal, cayenne and flame (red).

Traveling with the wool kerchief

As I mentioned, I enjoy the outdoors, but I cannot call myself a real outdoor person. However, I was about to go on a trip to South Africa and decided to take the wool kerchief with me to see if I had any use for it. And indeed I did.

I first started using the wool kerchief on the plane. I tend to feel a bit chilly so it was nice to have this extra piece of wool fabric with me that I could sling around my legs or around my shoulder to stay cozy.

Protect yourself from the sun

On arrival to Port Elizabeth, my colleague and I headed immediately for a walk along the beach. As there was not enough time to cover myself with sunscreen I got out my wool kerchief to put around my back and shoulders to protect me from getting sunburned.

Wool Kerchief by NorthxNorth - protection from sun

Keep warm

The next day we met with some more colleagues for lunch outside of Port Elizabeth at a Restaurant along the coast. It was this kind of temperature that it was pleasant enough to sit outside but once you sit in the shade you feel a bit chilly. I had a sweater to keep warm on my upper body but I was still cold around my legs. I got out the wool kerchief and covered my legs with it.

Wook Kerchief by NorthxNorth - keep warm

Sit on it

I also found it useful as a kind of a blanket to sit on at the beach or beside a pool. The wool kerchief is much lighter and less bulky than a typical picknick blanket or a towel and therefore more handy to bring along. Also, you can fold it several times to function as a pillow on a bench or hard wooden chair.

Wool Kerchief by NorthxNorth

Get your own

Overall I really found the wool kerchief practical and it is now a permanent companion when I travel.

Check out the NorthxNorth website for more inspiration on how to use the wool kerchief especially in the real outdoors.

If you want to learn more about Chad’s story and how he started his business, you can listen to my interview with him on the Wool Academy Podcast.

Wook Kerchief by NorthxNorth - keep warm