Wool Christmas presents ideas for 2017

As I write this, there are only a few more weeks left until Christmas. This means it is time to urgently think about Christmas gifts. I get tired of giving and receiving gifts we don’t really need or are just a gag and often thrown out the next year. So I tried to come up with a list of ideas with wool Christmas presents that are practical, long-lasting and often also beautiful. Hopefully, you find a gift idea that will give joy to one of your loved ones on Christmas.

Wool chilling pants

My most favourite wool Christmas present this year are the chilling pants from Pally’Hi. They are comfortable as well as stylish. After having eaten too much Christmas pudding these pants will be a hit. These wool pants can be worn in winters as well as summers as the fabric has a perfect weight. The merino wool used is also very soft and comfortable on the skin.

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Image source: Pally’Hi

Wool socks

Wool socks are of course a classic Christmas present. I always get knitted wool socks from my mother each year. However, you can choose very elegant wool socks that will complement any Christmas outfit as well. Another popular wool sock choice are hiking and skiing socks. These will keep everyone’s feet warm and dry during any outdoor activities.

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Wool bedding

How about you gift a good nights sleep for Christmas? Wool bedding helps to improve our sleep. Read how the wool can improve your sleep here. Therefore consider gifting a wool pillow, duvet or mattress protector this Christmas. There are many options on the market in all needed sizes and weights. The Wool Room offers bedding in US, UK and European sizes.

Better sleep in Deluxe warm duvet by the Wool Room at Wool Lifestyle

Image source: Wool Room

 

Wool slippers

Slippers for Christmas are another cliche. However if you surprise your loved ones with these wool slippers from Mahabis US for example you will see only happy faces . The new wool slippers on the market look stylish and are super comfortable. (Please note that the Mahabis link is an affiliate link. When you buy Mahabis slippers through this affiliate link you help this website sustain itself to offer free content. Click this Mahabis US link for more details).

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Image source: Mahabis

Wool sweater

Another Christmas gift classic is a sweater. Handmade or bought, a wool sweater will always be handy and wonderful to wear. This season has many wool oversized sweaters which makes the holiday season even more comfortable. Make sure you choose a merino sweater to ensure that also your sensitive skin loved ones enjoy your gift.

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Wool underwear

Underwear is a typical gift for Christmas. This year make it wool. The term wool underwear is very broad. It can mean longjohns as well as delicates. Both can make a great Christmas present. Longjohns and longsleeved tops are perfect for cold winter days to wear underneath your clothes. At the same time, they can be comfortable to wear around the house. Long underwear is also great for children to play in during the winter inside the house. If you prefer to gift everyday underwear you will also find many options. Here are a few examples from Dilling underwear (German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish and Finnish website, UK to follow in 2018).

Image source: Dilling Underwear

Wool bag

It is not so easy to find wool bags however if you do they are a perfect gift. You can find handbags, backpacks, briefcases as well as travel bags made out of wool. Often the material is felted wool. However, there are also bags made of wool fabric combined with nylon which is a lighter alternative to the wool felt. Here are photos of my own wool bags.

Have a look at the brand new Lasso bag which is a very cool backpack. You can read a full product review here.

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Image source: Lasso

Hey-Sign also has wonderful bags of all kind of shapes and colours.  Link to Hey-Sign.

      

Image source: Hey-Sign

 

Wool blanket

My motto is – you can never have too many wool blankets. Wool blankets are a perfect gift for everyone you know as there are wool blankets for every occasion. A baby or children blanket for the little ones. A picknick blanket for the outdoor lover. A car blanket for the car enthusiast (did you know that a wool blanket helps with car sickness). A blanket for the sofa for the tv-series addict. A beautifully designed blanket for the interior design home decorator. And a wool blanket for everyone else who just likes to be cosy on long winter nights. Wool blankets come in all sizes, colours, patterns and especially fineness of wool fibre. Many people remember wool blankets to be scratchy. However, there are many super soft merino wool blankets available as well. I currently love the ones from Waverley Mills but you can also find a large choice at the Wool Room.

Waverley Mills plaid wool blanket Wool Christmas Presents on the Wool Lifestyle Blog

Image source: Waverley Mills

Felted wool storing boxes

I am a big fan of these felted wool boxes as they are practical to store things in and very decorative. I keep my many wool blankets in one and my sewing projects in another. A friend of mine stores her children’s toys in them in the living room. These boxes come in different sizes and a wide range of colours from Hey Sign.

Image source: Hey-Sign

Felted wool table mats

Another great felted wool product for Christmas are table mats. These also come in all sorts of colours shapes and sizes. You can even mix and match the colours on your table. Felted wool table mats cannot be washed in the washing machine, however the felted wool does not stain easily. Small food stains can be removed with a damp cloth. These examples below are from Hey-Sign.

Image source: Hey-Sign

Wool bed for pets

Maybe your dog or cat should also not be forgotten on Christmas? Our loved pets also enjoy the comfort of wool. They especially like to sleep on a wool blanket or cushion. You can either hand them down one of your old wool blankets or go for a luxury wool bed for your pet.

My dog made his wish for Christmas very clear by climbing on top of my wool blankets I keep in the Hey Sign basket mentioned above…

Do you have a good idea for wool Christmas presents? Please let me know in the comments below. And until then, happy wool Christmas gift shopping!

The most comfortable wool shoe ever?

If you want to know what heaven for your feet feels like, you have to slip into a pair of Allbirds Wool Loungers. Seriously! The first time I put my bare feet into the merino wool loafers I could not believe how soft and comfortable a shoe can be.

The company Allbirds produces two types of shoes, the wool runners and the wool loungers. The wool runners are a sneaker or trainer type shoe with laces while the wool lounger is more of a loafer without any laces.

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Colours – basics and limited editions

The wool lounger comes in two basic colours – light grey and black. I think of the black more of a dark grey or chark coal colour. These two colours are always available in addition to a series of limited edition colours which keep on changing. As I write this blog post, Allbirds offers 6 additional special edition colours such as plum, moss, ocean blue etc. It is definitely worthwhile checking the website every so often to see the latest limited edition colours.

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Material – super soft merino wool

The material used for the Allbirds wool loungers is very soft merino wool. The merino wool used comes from New Zealand and is manufactured into knitted fabric in Italy. The insole is also made out of wool.

Comfort

What is amazing about the Wool lounger is that there is only one seam on the inside of the shoe. This seamless cut of the shoe ensures that there is no friction and zero potential for blisters. The wool fabric is, as already mentioned, super soft but also flexible. The fabric adapts very nicely around your foot. In addition the fabric and the entire shoe are also very lightweight.

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Wool properties in action

Wool has a lot of great properties of which a few come into play with the Allbirds wool loungers.

Antibacterial means less odour

Our shoes tend to start to smell, once bacteria from our sweat start to accumulate in the fabric. So basically it is not our sweat that smells but the bacteria that start to grow afterwards. Bacteria however don’t like wool all that much and therefore don’t start to grow on the wool fabric. And less bacteria on the wool lounger means less stink from our feet.

Breathability – moisture wicking

Wool is also a very breathable fibre. This means that once our feet get a little bit warmer from walking or in summer, the moisture vapour that starts to build up around our feet will be absorbed by the wool shoe and released into the air. This ensures that our feet stay dry and cool – like an air conditioning system.

Insulation – staying warm

While wool can keep our feet cool, it can also do the opposite in cold weather conditions. Wool has insulation properties that will ensure that our feet stay warm. Wool fibre has a very fine crimp. This crimp forms tiny air pockets within the fabric. These air pockets act as an insulator, similar to a thermos flask.

Stain repellant – staying clean

Due to the wool fibre structure it is also naturally stain repellant. Any dirt, tomato sauce or coffee that accidentally hit your wool loungers will not be absorbed by the wool fibre, it will either roll off by iteslf or just sit ther on top of the fabric to easily be removed with a moist cloth.

Water resistant but not waterproof

Wool is also to some extent water repellant. So a little summer drizzle or a few drops will not be a problem and your feet will not get wet. However, if you need to walk in your wool loungers through heavy rain, indeed the shoes will get wet and also heavy. Wool can absorb water up to 35% of its own weight before feeling wet, but once this treshold is reached the shoe will feel wet and heavy.

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Care instructions

The shoe can be washed in the washing machine’s wool cycle. Once washed the shoe should only air dried and not put into the tumble dryer. The insole can also be washed but Allbirds also offers the insoles to be bought individually at a price of $25 USD. However, due to wool’s properties, you will not have to wash your wool loungers often, as airing will do the trick.

Price and shipping

The wool lounger is available for $95 USD and $160 NZD. For the moment Allbirds only ships within the US and New Zealand. If you happen to be in San Francisco or New York, you can also visit the Allbirds store to inspect the wool loungers before falling in love and buying yourself a pair.

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About Allbirds

The company Allbirds was founded by Tim Brown from New Zealand and Joey Zwillinger from the US. Their goal was to create a shoe made out of natural materials and using the positive attributes of merino wool. The company first launched their product successfully on Kickstarter and has since grown into a successful business.

Allbirds is quite transparent about their supply chain and is trying to reduce the product’s and company’s environmental impact wherever possible.

To find out more about the Allbirds Wool Lounger, visit the company’s website here.

If you manage to get your hands on a pair of Allbirds Wool Loungers, then please tell me if you agree that this is the most comfortable shoe there is so far. Leave a comment below, I would love to hear about your experience.

 

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The inventors of the Lasso slippers have just released their latest product, the Lasso bag, a felted wool backpack.

The Lasso bag is made from one single piece of waterproof wool-felt all made locally within a 500 km radius away from Paris.

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The idea behind the backpack is the same as with the slippers – the backpack arrives flat-packed at your doorstep and you give the product the final touch by assembling it yourself. The assembly is done with a strap that holds together the backpack. The straps to assemble the bag are at the same time the straps to carry the bag on your back.

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The team behind Lasso are skilled product designers who have given a lot of attention to detail to the design of the bag. The bag has a large pocket for any 15″ laptop and 2 small ones for phones, key and other accessories you want to keep tight. A 3D mesh at the back has been added for comfort while riding your bike. There are no additional gimmick pockets, no logo, no special design feature nobody needs. It is just a simple elegant backpack for everyday life.

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The bag comes in two different colour options – brown and black. However, to me, the colours look more like greige and dark charcoal. The strap to assemble the bag comes in 6 different colours: charcoal black, wool grey, brick red, peacock blue, pumpkin orange and kiwi green. You can always pick and choose your own colour combinations.

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All materials used for the bag are manufactured in Italy and France. The felt is made in Florence, Italy, in a factory using solar energy produced on site. It is made from 70 % wool and 30 % viscose to make it water repellant. It is very soft, yet very durable and will not tear apart from heavyweights in the bag.

The strap is made in Cholet, in France, from thick polyester wire with a very tight double stitch, making it very strong and stable.

All the assembly and logistics is done in Troyes, France. The packaging is a simple cotton tote bag, it protects the backpack, let it breathe during transport and is made so that it has a second life, instead of throwing it away.

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Manufacturing a product entirely in Italy and France reduces the carbon footprint of the product. At the same time, it was important to the Lasso team to make sure that all employees involved working on the product were working under good working conditions with minimum wages, health insurances and health & safety facilities.

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The bags are available for sale on the Lasso website at the price of 189 EUR.

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Visit the Lasso website and check out their other great products.

If you want to hear the full story behind the Lasso company, you can listen to an interview with the founder Gaspart Tiné Berès on the Wool Academy podcast here.

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