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.

9 ways to use a wool blanket in your home and life

I own a total of 10 wool blankets and all of them have been gifts from colleagues and friends. With each wool blanket that found its way into my life, one of my dear colleagues and I would say ‘Oh, you can never own too many wool blankets’.  Why is that? Because a wool blanket can be used and enjoyed in so many different ways.

Here is a list of places where you can benefit from a wool blanket in your home and life.

Sleep better

The classic use of a wool blanket is of course on top of your bed. Last night I was so cold in bed, I actually asked my husband to throw two wool blankets on top of me and my duvet. I like the flexibility of a wool blanket because you can just add or take away the wool blanket to adjust to the current weather and room temperature while keeping the same duvet. In summers I often only sleep under one very thin wool blanket. (If you want to learn more about how wool improves your sleep you can read this article here.)

Better sleep in Isabella wool bed by the Wool Room 1200x857

Wool blanket on the Isabella wool bed from the Wool Room.

Stay cozy on your sofa

Another classic use of a wool blanket is of course also the sofa. It is just pure comfort and coziness to cuddle under a blanket while watching a movie or tv. Always good to have more than one wool blanket around your sofa to offer also to your guests.

stephen-di-donato-119064 on Unsplash via Wool Lifestyle Blog

Photo by Stephen di Donato on Unsplash

Decorate your home

While a blanket is wonderful to keep warm and comfortable it is also a very decorative element in your home. Just look at any interior magazines or type into pinterest living room or bedroom and you will spot a (wool) blanket in majority of the images. Similar to decorative pillows, wool blankets also add that extra splash of colour and style.

Hinterveld Wool Blanket

Wool & Mohair blanket by Hinterveld

No more car sickness

Every car owner should also always keep a wool blanket in their car for two reasons. First, a wool blanket can be a life saver if you ever get stuck in your car during cold temperatures or snow. The wool blanket will help you stay warm while you need to wait for longer periods in your car. If you ever need to assist in a car accident it can also be vital for anyone injured to be protected from the cold with a blanket.

The second reason for keeping a wool blanket in the car is to reduce car sickness of any passenger. Especially new cars release a lot of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which can make us feel sick in our car. Wool, however, absorbs these VOCs and therefore improves the air quality inside our cars. (If you want to find out more about VOCs listen to the Wool Academy Podcast interview with Graham Ormondroyd here.)

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Photo by Josh Clemence on Unsplash

Enjoy a picknick

Enjoying a nice picknick or BBQ outside is always a lot of fun and a wool blanket should not be missing on this occasion. The insulation properties of wool are perfect to keep any cold temperatures or moisture from the ground away from you. If you happen to spill any food or liquid onto the blanket, you will be surprised how easy it is to quickly wipe away the liquid before it can get absorbed. Any food stains that do occur will easily come out with a damp cloth.

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Keep your baby comfortable

A wool blanket has also many flexible uses for a baby. A wool blanket will keep any baby snuggly warm in its pushchair or stroller. It can be used as a blanket on the floor to play inside or outside the house. The advantage of a wool blanket is that it does not catch fire, burn or melt which makes it very safe for a baby.

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Photo by Nathan Burrows on Unsplash

Cats and dogs also love them

Since I have my own dog, I was amazed to see how much dogs also love wool. Wherever there is a chance to snuggle onto or under a blanket, my dog goes for it. Especially in the winter time when we go on long car trips, Cooper lies on a recycle wool blanket in the car to keep him warm.

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Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

Wrap yourself

Some cultures like the people from Lesotho wear wool blankets as part of their traditional outfit which looks stunning. Nowadays you see many wool blanket manufacturers show their wool blankets also as an item to wear. A wool blanket can be an interesting addition to your fashion outfit that will also keep you comfortably warm and if needed can be easily taken off again.

Hinterveld wool blanket wrap

Wool poncho by Hinterveld

Travel around the world

I just returned from a trip to South Africa, which included an 11-hour flight overnight. Surely enough I traveled with my own little wool blanket to keep me comfortable during the flight. While I use the airplane’s blanket to cover my legs, I then also wrap my upper body in my own wool blanket to keep me warm and help me sleep.

I even made good use of the blanket during my stay in the hotel because the duvet that was provided was too hot and heavy, so I just used my wool blanket on top of the sheet to sleep in.

Travelling with my wool blanket makes me feel a little bit like Charly Brown, but somehow the blanket is a nice comforter, while also being very practical during a long trip away from home.

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Wool Blanket by Waverley Mills

Wool blankets are also a perfect and easy gift as you cannot go wrong with the size and they are helpful for so many purposes. Unless you choose a very bold design they also fit into everyone’s home and style.

How are you using a wool blanket in your life? I would love to hear your tips and trick on what all you can do with a wool blanket. Just leave a comment below.

The Wool Room Wool Blanket via Wool Lifestyle

Wool blankets by The Wool Room

 

Have a look at these websites to find your perfect wool blanket. I don’t get a commission from any of these brands, I just happen to like their products:

The Wool Room

Waverley Mills

Hinterveld

 

More and more research proves how important sleep is for our overall health. However, getting a good night’s sleep is not as easy as it seems. While regular sleeping habits are important it is also worth looking at what you sleep in, on and under. Over the past years, there have been several studies conducted to look at the effect of wool on our sleep. In this blog post, you will get an overview of how wool lets us sleep better and what type of wool products to consider for a good night’s sleep.

How does wool work in bed?

There are several properties of wool that come into play when we sleep in wool.

  • Insulation: The first wool property to mention is the most obvious. Wool is a good insulator. The wool fibre itself is wavy, which is also called ‘crimp’. This crimp creates lots of little air pockets that act as an insulator. In other words, wool keeps us warm at night.
  • Breathability: Many people feel too hot in bed and this is where the second property comes into play. Wool is a very breathable fibre. This means that it can transport moisture vapour away from the body and release it into the air. So once we start to get too hot, the moisture that our body creates gets absorbed by the wool and released so that we then don’t overheat.
  • Absorbs moisture: Another fabulous wool property is that wool can also absorb up to 30% of its own weight before feeling wet. So should we start to sweat a bit more at night, the wool would absorb the moisture but not feel clammy on our skin.
  • Fluffy texture: Another aspect of wool is its soft and fluffy texture that comes into play when we sleep on wool. This makes us feel more settled and we have fewer pressure points on our body.
  • Antibacterial: Last but not least, bacteria and dust mites don’t like wool as an environment to thrive on. Therefore wool bedding is also very suitable for anyone suffering from allergies.

Study results on sleep and wool

Over the years, several sleep studies have been conducted to prove how all the above-mentioned properties of wool actually impact our sleep. You can find a reference to the different sleep studies on this fact sheet. Here is a summary of the findings.

Fall faster asleep

Researchers found that wearing wool nightwear and sleeping in wool bedding helps us fall asleep faster. This was particularly significant in warm sleeping conditions of 29°C.

Sleep longer

The same study that found out that we fall faster asleep also found that we tend to sleep longer in wool. On average 7 minutes. This might not sound that much, but these minutes add up during a week, month and year. I am sure especially parents of little ones would appreciate those 7 minutes of more sleep.

Wake up less often

Research participants who slept in wool also woke up less frequently during the night. Especially during the hot climate conditions of 29°C.

Sleep more settled

Research also found that adults, as well as children and babies, have a more settled sleep when sleeping on a wool mattress, mattress protector or sheepskin. These products typically have a soft and fluffy padding which reduce the pressure points on our body when we lie down. In other words, it makes it more comfortable to rest our body and we have less of a need to flip, toss and turn our body during the night (postural activity) which lets us get more rest.

Higher sleep efficiency

All of the above lead to a better sleep efficiency. Falling faster asleep, sleeping longer and waking up less often ensures a better sleep quality which lets us recover better during our sleep.

Babies cry less

One study conducted on babies found that only 30% of the babies sleeping on wool cried while 67% of the babies sleeping on cotton cried.

Underweight babies gained more weight

One study looked at the weight gain of underweight newborns and found that the babies sleeping on wool gained weight at a 61% higher rate than babies sleeping on cotton.

Feel like you have a better sleep quality

Sleep wool study participants also felt that they had a better sleep quality when sleeping in wool. So, while researchers were able to measure objectively the different aspects of high-quality sleep, the participants came to the same subjective conclusion of having slept better.

Help with skin health

I once met a woman who was suffering severely from eczema. Once she started sleeping in wool, her whole skin condition improved dramatically. This kind of experience has also been proven through research. Several studies have been conducted on adults and children suffering from atopic dermatitis. All participants who wore wool started to have better skin conditions over a short period of a couple of weeks. You can read more about this research here.

Wool is not an allergen

Researchers have also confirmed that wool is not an allergen and therefore wool is also a safe option for allergy sufferers. Read more here.

Wool products

With the above you now have an overview how sleeping in wool lets you sleep better. Now let’s look at what kind of wool products are available for our beds.

Wool duvet

A duvet is one of the most important elements of our bed that has a direct influence on the quality of our sleep. If the duvet makes us too hot we wake up more often. If we feel too cold, we are also uncomfortable. The wool in a duvet helps with all these issues at night. Due to its breathability, it helps keep the right body temperature ensuring that we don’t get too hot or too cold.

Did you know that every night we lose 1 litre of liquid that evaporates through our skin? This moisture when trapped underneath a blanket makes us feel hot and eventually also wet. Wool absorbs the moisture without feeling wet and releases it into the air.

Wool duvets come in different weights depending if you tend to be more hot or cold at night, how warm your bedroom is and also what season of the year it is. I have an all season wool duvet that is made up out of two duvets that you can button together. One is very thin and lightweight for summer and one is a medium weight for spring and autumn. When I pin the two duvets together they are perfect for cold winter nights.

Sleep better in Delux All seasons duver by the Wool Room at Wool Lifestyle

Photo sources: All season wool duvet by the Wool Room

Wool blanket

Some summer nights are just too hot even for a breathable wool duvet. During these very hot summer nights, I sleep under a very very thin lightweight merino wool blanket.  It is important that the blanket is made of very fine merino wool and feels soft and comfortable on your skin. In winters this thin blanket can add some extra warmth on top of your duvet if you need it.

Wool pillows

Finding the right pillow for a good night’s sleep is also important and of course, there are also options filled with wool. If you can already sleep better under and on wool, then you will also feel comfortable with putting down your head on wool. When I get too hot in bed, I also sweat on my head. I used to hate the feeling when my pillow would then be all wet, cold and uncomfortable. With my wool pillow that does not happen anymore as the wool also absorbs the moisture without feeling wet and releasing it later on.

What I like about wool pillows is that you can adjust the amount of filling by taking the wool out or adding more. One thing you need to do with a wool pillow is to shake and loosen up the pillow from time to time, as the wool fibres tend to clump together over time.

Wool mattress protector

If you just want to test if you can sleep better in wool, then start with a mattress protector made out of wool. The wool in the mattress protector will absorb moisture, regulate your temperature and make you feel settled on the soft padding of the mattress protector.

Wool mattress

If you are also looking to buy a new mattress you can also invest in a wool mattress. Wool mattresses are either completely filled with wool or just have a layer of wool on the top surface.

Wool nightwear

While you can sleep on and under wool, you can also sleep completely in wool by wearing nightwear made out of wool. When you choose nightwear, make sure it is made of super soft merino wool that feels soft on your skin. My recommendation is also to choose a lightweight merino wool fabric over a heavy and thick fabric. This will help you not get too hot at night.

There is not that much wool nightwear available in the market yet. If you don’t find anything you like, you can also choose a soft lightweight merino wool t-shirt and leggings or merino loungewear to sleep in at night. That is what I often do.

Wool sleeping bags for babies

As wool duvets are not ideal for small babies, there are also wool baby sleeping bags available. Depending on if you live in a colder or warmer climate you have different options in regards to warmth. There are sleeping bags made out of wool fabric only which is great for hot weather. For colder weather periods you can choose a sleeping bag that is filled with wool. No worries, the sleeping bags can be washed to assist with leaky diaper accidents.

Sheepskins for babies

As described above, wool bedding also improves the sleep of babies. However, during the day, babies also lie around a lot before they can start crawling or walking. This is where a sheepskin makes a baby’s first year more comfortable and settled. You can put a sheepskin in your baby’s pushchair or just on the floor in your house when your baby plays or takes a short nap. The sheepskin has the same properties as any other wool bedding products. It regulates temperature so your baby does not feel too hot or too cold. The wool of the sheepskin absorbs moisture, so even if it is hot, your baby will not get overheated or sweaty. The soft padding of the sheepskin makes sure your baby can lie comfortably and feel settled. And of course, the wool of the sheepskin also helps your baby fall asleep more easily and be better rested.

Wool bed

Last but not least you can of course also have your bed covered in wool fabric. While a wool covered bed does not have a direct influence on your sleep there are other advantages.

One aspect we hardly even think about is fire safety. Wool is hard to set on fire which means any fire in your home would not spread so easily with furniture covered in wool instead of synthetic fabrics. In addition, when wool does burn no toxic fumes are set free, which is often the actual cause of death during a fire. More wool covered furniture including your bed will make your home safer.

As we learned earlier, wool is also not a good home for dust mites, therefore you will have fewer issues with dust and dust allergies.

Wool also helps with sick building syndrome. This means wool absorbs volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air and only releases them later on into the air. This improves indoor air quality. You can find out more about VOCs and wool here.

The Wool Room has beds on display covered with wool. If you already have a bed in mind but need the wool fabric to cover the bed you can have a look at Abraham Moon and Camira Fabrics.

Isabella wool bed by the Wool Room on Wool Lifestyle Blog 1200x1200

Photo source: Isabella wool bed by the Wool Room

Hopefully, you found this information about sleeping better in wool helpful. Do you have a tip on how to integrate wool in your bedroom to help you sleep better? Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you.