Why is wool the more sustainable option?
What makes us so unique? Let’s start at the very beginning, looking at the materials we choose to use and why. We have thought very carefully about this, right down to how we make our fabric. We use quality yarn and traditional techniques on our domestic knitting machines to make our fabric in-house, allowing us to be really creative since we can experiment with small batches and offer bespoke designs. The material itself also provides us with endless opportunities to be creative, and the passion our founder, Mairi, has for textile design comes through in each and every one of our creations.
Did you know?
Wool from animals is one of the first fibres to be manufactured into cloth. The knowledge and ability to spin wool into yarn developed several thousand years B.C, encouraging trade among tribes of the Mediterranean sea. Today, wool yarn is produced not only from sheep but also many other animals such as camels, goats and rabbits.
So, what makes wool environmentally friendly?
Wool has many advantageous qualities, namely its longevity compared to other synthetic and manmade fibres: its natural resistance to fire, strength, and versatility. It also biodegrades naturally into the land, which gives nutrients back into the soil in the process, something plastic and other non-natural materials simply would not provide. It also uses less water and energy to make than cotton and synthetics; on average, wool fabric uses 18% less energy than polyester. Another great eco-friendly feature of wool is its ability to be washed less often and at lower temperatures, as well as the fact that it lasts much longer than synthetic fibres and cotton. Finally, the yarn we source is from non-mulesed sources, a technique which takes animal welfare into consideration, making it a much kinder option.
Did you also know?
Sheep were one of the first ever domesticated animals, alongside dogs and goats. Sheep farming has an extremely long tradition, and the first sheep that had wool long enough for spinning made their appearance around 6000 BCE in ancient Mesopotamia.
How is wool made?
1) Shearing – the first step in the process is harvesting the wool from the animal, usually in early spring or summer. Shearing is a skilled profession, which, as long as it is carried out by a professional who has been trained to shear carefully and sympathetically, can be beneficial to the sheep. Of course, we have bred sheep over time to produce more wool, but wool is also a natural product of the sheep’s lifecycle and according to the RSPCA, shearing keeps them cool in the warmer months and reduces the risk of parasitic infection and disease.
2) Washing – this removes grease and other impurities. Wool is carried through a series of basins with soapy water.
3) Mixing - the wool is passed through dryers and mixed with wool from different batches. This alters the colour, and creates a uniform length and diameter.
4) Dividing - The wool passes through steel “fingers”, dividing it and laying strands next to each other. This produces slivers or continuous ropes.
5) Twisting - coarser rope fibre is twisted into rope-like structures. Finer fibres are combed and prepared for spinning into yarn..
Watch how we create our fabrics below
It’s important to us that we share how well-considered our choices are here at Stocky & Dee. As a company with dogs at the heart of what we do, we want our choices to be compassionate and reflect our goal to provide you with a more sustainable alternative to fast fashion, which extends to the dog world! More than this, our fabrics offer a timeless, classic feel to all our products.