We want to help you get the best from your Woollykins for years to come. Here are our favourite natural wool care products and mending essentials.
Our wool care products are designed especially for preserving and protecting your woollens.
Mending is a great way to ensure you get the most from your woollens.
We love Disana's cloth nappy system. 100% organic and totally plastic free for all natural, toxin free nappying. We used the Disana system for all three of our babies.
Our skin is our largest organ and via its two-way pores it an absorb into the body harmful chemicals it comes in contact with. Therefore it is so important to consider the clothing we wear day and night, especially for babies and children. For proper growth and development the touch and warmth babies encounter from birth should be as nurturing as skin on skin contact. That's why nature's unprocessed protein fibres like wool and silk, which are closest in structure and behaviour to human skin, have been the first choice for babies throughout the ages.
Choose Organic and un-treated natural fibres for the clothing and nappies they spend most of their time is of upmost importance today, in this chemical and a intensively farmed world we live in. Here are Woollykins we've hunted down what we believe is the finest, low-impact, minimally processed, organic clothing for you and your children. Our favourite brands Disana, Engel and Cosilana, German brands that are at the forefront of Natural organic textiles all carry the IVN Best & GOTS labels meaning that all aspects of the materials and manufacture of the garments meet the highest standard in organic and ethically made textiles that cannot be subject to any chemical treatments like Superwash or chemical moth deterrents.
Wool is comfortable, healthful and healing. If you think of wool as being heavy and itchy then think again! Merino wool is known to be the finest wool on the market. It has a high warmth to weight ratio making the garments light and an excellent body temperature regulator. However not all merino wool is equal and the processing of the wool needs to be taken into consideration.
Pure wool can absorb up to a third of its own weight in moisture without feeling damp. Thanks to its lanolin content, the fibre also offers protection from external wetness, with pearls of water forming on its surface. Wool is not electro statically charged, and so its attraction to dirt or odour is minimal. The scales on the surface of the fibres actually repel dirt. Woollen clothing therefore seldom needs to be washed and usually simply airing will suffice.
Merino wool is the perfect fibre for socks. Wool is a protein fibre, and works in harmony with the human body due to its similarity to human hair. In contact with sweat the fibre surface turns to sour pH-values hampering the development of bacteria and funghi. This environment causes the skin to tighten, avoiding blisters even on long hikes. For that reason you should wear woollen socks only for one day, and then air it for two days. It is sufficient to wash socks worn/aired like this every 2 months. Most washing detergents are alkaline and neutralize the above mentioned effect so you should only wash our wool socks with gentle wool detergents or shampoo, and if possible by hand.
Caring for Wool Garments
Wool is an excellent investment for clothing and when washing is necessary here are our tips:
A note about darning. Darning is back, thank goodness. If you haven't tried darning, once you do you'll be actively seeking out garments with holes to darn! Mending is a highly satisfying thing in today's age of disposable clothing. Here are some instructions on darning.
One of our suppliers Ruskovilla, a Finnish natural clothing brand, were the first to introduce clothes made out of certified organic silk to the Nordic market. The silk they use comes from Central China from an organic silk farm located in the Sichuan province. For millennia the mountain slopes have been used to manufacture silk according to the age-old traditions of diverse cultivation culture and handicraft-intensive labor.
Silk is produced by mulberry leavers eating bombyx mori. Organic Silk is created without the use of any chemicals or treatments using insecticides, pesticides or synthetic fertilisers. Compared to regular mass production silk organic silk differs mainly due to its high quality: after eating the organically farmed mulberry leaves a single caterpillar can produce up to 1500 meters of uninterrupted and high-quality filament silk. Out of this filament silk Ruskovilla makes its organic silk clothing.
Silks light and breathable protein fibres are similar to human skin and therefore it feels extremely pleasant to wear. Due to the smooth structure it is well-suited for people with allergies or sensitive skin who can’t wear other materials. Silk also evens out temperature differences and can soak up moisture without feeling wet.
Organic silk production is handicraft-intensive and includes many steps. The bombyx mori caterpillars spin a cocoon around them out of thin silk thread. The cocoons are then collected by hand, brushed to remove the fragmented outer layer and after that the up to 1,5 km long uninterrupted silk thread is reeled. According to the organic manufacturing principles also other plants besides mulberry trees are grown in crop rotation around the farm, and the farm workers are taken care of so that they have a safe, equal and just working environment.
Burette silk is the waste of the regular silk production. But waste with a very special benefit. The silk comes from the cocoon of the silkworm after the metamorphosis is complete and the moth has pierced the cocoon to exit.
The silk worm secretes antimicrobials in the inner and outer layers of its cocoon to protect against disease and mould. These inner and outer layers are used for Burette silk garments and are highly prized for their healing properties because of these antimicrobials which help to heal the skin when get irritated. The healing and anti-inflammatory properties of these antimicrobial materials is highly effective on human skin. Only mulberry silkworms add these antimicrobials into their silk. Because the silk worm breaks the cocoon to exit the fibres are not as valuable to the silk market because the single thread cannot be reeled in one long thread but is spun instead, but the antimicrobial benefits make this fibre especially suitable for a child's sensitive skin.
Silk also feels pleasantly smooth and cool to wear. Raw Silk can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in fluid without feeling damp.
Burette Silk is:
Disana's Raw Silk Nappy Liner is very effective if your baby is susceptible to nappy rash. Placed directly on baby‘s skin, the healing properties of raw silk work quickly and any redness is soon cleared up without any use of powder or cream. Silk is sensitive to high temperatures and will shrink if washed in hot water. Silk articles should be treated with special care.
Although cotton is a natural fibre, its cultivation is often problematic and involves high usage of water and agricultural chemicals. The use of organic cotton ensures that soil fertility and biodiversity is enhanced due to the diversified cultivation and the non-use of GMOs. As a consequence, the health of the farmer is improved and their risk of being contaminated by hazardous chemicals minimised. Water is not polluted by chemicals and therefore aquatic life is maintained and unharmed by cotton production. The used water is recycled and dyestuff is removed so unnecessary pollution is avoided. Since skin can 'breathe' and absorb what is placed on the body, the natural purity of organic cotton from farming and processing greatly reduces the impact of the harmful chemicals being exposed to the child's skin.
In the Disana Nappy Set, organic cotton is used whenever high fluid absorbency is required - namely in nappies and liners. Once absorbed, the fluid is quickly distributed over the whole fabric. A knitted organic cotton nappy with a weight of 85g can therefore absorb and contain up to 100ml of fluid. Thanks to its chemical composition as a carbohydrate fibre, cotton is resistant to heat, mechanical pressure and many chemicals. It can therefore easily be machine washed at 95°C. A hot iron will increase the volume of the cotton and leave it feeling softer and fluffier.
Baby alpaca fibre is incredibly soft and lightweight. It is known for providing super insulation due to the microscopic air pockets in the fibres, so it keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The same air pockets make the fibres feel as light as air and yet the fibre is very strong, meaning it lasts longer than most other similar fibres like wool, cashmere and silk. It's more resistant to shrinking and won't mat or pill as easily. Alpaca fibre tends to drop over time as it doesn't have the elasticity that wool does which means the garments will often grow in length which can be quite useful and feels as if the garment is growing with you.
Peruvian baby alpaca fibre comes from animals that graze the Andes naturally as they have done for many generations and are managed by small holders at altitudes of 3000-5000m. At those heights food cannot be grown so alpaca farming provides an income to families living in these extreme conditions. Since the area is not cultivated or chemically fertilised or the animal's diet supplemented with feed, they graze on organic mountain pasture although Organic Certification is technically not possible in these conditions. The animals are sheared by hand once a year by skilful small holders.
Pima cotton grown in Peru is the world's finest cotton, prized for its exceptional durability, softness and brilliant lustre. Thanks to ideal growing conditions and naturally rich volcanic soil it has an extra-long staple length and requires less fertiliser than commercial cotton making it more environmentally sound. Careful hand harvesting of Peruvian Pima Cotton results in a brilliant shade of white that is perfect for dyeing without the need for bleaching. The extra long fibres makes the cotton softer, more absorbent and stronger meaning garments hold their shape and last longer.
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