2:50 pm on Thursday, April 16th, 2015
World War one & two had a large and important influence on sheepskin flight jackets. We will explore some of this rich history and the impact it had on these jackets. In world war one most airplanes did not have an enclosed cockpit, so the pilots needed to wear something to keep them warm. World war two saw planes flying at even higher altitudes which caused cockpit temperatures to be even colder, so the need for a thick, warm flight jacket was essential equipment.
The U.S army had established the Aviation Clothing Board in 1917 and began distributing heavy duty leather flight jackets to help keep the pilots warm. These jackets came with high wraparound collars, zipper closures with wind flaps, snug cuffs and waists and some were trimmed and lined with fur.
The best known and most historical flight jackets in the United States are the A-2 and G1 jackets. In addition to these jackets, shearling jackets were recognized for being the warmest flight jackets. A shearling coat kept Lt. John A Macready warm enough to set a world record in April 1921 when he reached an altitude of 40,000 feet in his open cockpit style plane.
Today flight jackets are usually associated with the MA-1. These coats have become very popular worldwide as they are very warm and comfortable. In North America they also known as bomber jackets, in particular in the colder areas.
Flight jackets that were born out of the need to keep early pilots warm, have become a worldwide fashion staple that keeps people warm and stylish.
3:03 pm on Thursday, April 9th, 2015
Wool coats are beautiful and help to keep winter’s chill at bay. However, they do need to be cared for in slightly different ways than coats made from different materials. These cleaning tips are not too difficult or time consuming and help keep your coat looking good for many years.
- Use a soft suede brush to clean the wool as this will remove surface soil and lint before you hang your coat. A lint brush will also work well to clean your coat before hanging as well.
- Hang your wool coat on a sturdy and broad wood or plastic hanger. This will help to avoid having the weight of the coat stretch the shoulder areas out of shape. Also, do not hang your wool next to dirty items, as the wool can absorb some of the odor.
- Be sure to act fast and blot spills up on wool immediately. Ensure you blot and not rub the spill, as rubbing will spread the spill and push it deeper into the wool.
- Bring your wool coat to a dry cleaner twice yearly. A good time to bring your coat to a cleaner is the beginning and the end of the season.
- Store your wool coat in a garment bag as this will help prevent moths and other insects from infesting the wool.
Wool coats are very stylish and practical due to wool’s many benefits, such as its breathability, so use these tips to keep your wool looking good for many years.
3:32 pm on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015
Wool is a beautiful natural fiber that looks and feels amazing. However, this fiber comes loaded with some important health benefits. We will look at some of these amazing benefits and how they can benefit your health.
- One of the most important and well known benefits, is how wool can prevent bedsores. This is due to wool being a very springy fiber and how it supports and distributes your body weight better than any natural or synthetic fiber. Studies have shown that using sheepskin wool will dramatically help to prevent bed sores.
- Wool can actually help to keep your heart rate lower. A study was done to measure the effects of different fibers on people while they slept. They found that wool tended to keep the skin drier, but more amazing was that the test subjects had lower heart rates. This lower heart rate indicates a deep sleep, which is very beneficial. The test subjects with other fibers had a normal or higher heart rate compared to the people sleeping on wool.
- Wool can help to provide allergy relief due to its natural properties. Wool is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites. This resistance to dust mites is due to the lanolin in the fibers which repels dust mites. Also, the fact that wool dries quickly helps to keep dust mites away.
- Wool has a natural temperature regulating property. Wool is able to do this by wicking perspiration away in hot temperatures and creates an insulating barrier in cold temperatures, which helps you retain heat. The benefits are that you will be more comfortable and drier.
As you have just read about some of the incredible health benefits of wool, go ahead and enjoy nature’s amazing fiber and feel better.
2:48 pm on Thursday, March 26th, 2015
- The most widely known sheep product is wool , which is used in many different types of clothing. It’s also used to make carpets and other diverse products, such as being used to fill mattresses and create tennis ball covers.
- Lanolin or wool wax, is a byproduct of wool. Lanolin is used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, as well it is used in making tape, printing inks and motor oils. Almost all beauty aids such as lipsticks, mascara and shampoos contain lanolin.
- Sheep cheese is used to make some of the world’s most famous cheeses . Cheeses such as Rogquefort, Feta and Ricotta are made using sheep’s milk. Sheep’s milk is also used to make yogurt, butter and ice cream.
- The skins from the sheep are used to create high quality leather. Also, sheepskin is commonly used to make the chamois cloth that is used for car washing.
- Persian lambskin is often used in fur coats and in fur trimmed accessories.
- Alternative uses for wool are increasing. For example, bricks reinforced with wool are stronger and less toxic than traditional bricks.
- Wool is being used for science and technology as the wool proteins are being used to create new wound dressings, bone graft implants and medical sutures.
As you have just read, you can see just how versatile sheep are and how they are used for so many items. So when you next wear your wool sweater, remember how amazing sheep really are!
2:47 pm on Thursday, March 19th, 2015
- This industry produces around 2.1 tons of wool per year. The top wool producing country is Australia, which makes about one fifth of the total wool production.
- This industry employs millions of people worldwide in the production, harvesting and throughout many processing stages.
- Wool is the world’s leading animal fiber and is produced in around 100 countries on around half a million farms.
- The yearly retail value of wool products is around US$80 Billion.
- There is nearly 816,000 tons of fabric produced yearly by this industry.
- A full two thirds of the wool harvest is used in the manufacturing of garments, and about one third is used for carpets, upholstery and rugs.
- This industry takes care of more than one billion sheep, with a high focus on animal welfare.
- There is over two million tons of yarn produced yearly.
- The IWTO (International Wool, Textile Organization) represents more than 200,000 commercial farms and several million small farms worldwide. They also represent more than 4000 wool and textile manufacturing companies.
- As of Jan 1, 2014 there were 5.21 million sheep in the United States.
- Australian merino wool is generally considered the highest quality, which is due to several factors. The primary factor is the experience and expertise of Australian farmers and how they select superior animals for breeding.
Wool is nature’s answer to our clothing and fiber needs. This natural fiber outperforms man made fibers, and can be used for a wide variety of garments and products. When you buy your next wool garment, you can feel confident that you are supporting a natural and environmentally friendly product.
5:51 pm on Thursday, March 12th, 2015
The sheep shearing process is where the wool fleece of a sheep is cut off by a shearer. This is a specialized process that requires a lot of skill so as to not injure the sheep. There are a few steps and important things to consider with regard to sheep shearing. Here is a list of some of those processes and general considerations.
- A sheep will be taken from the catching pen and then taken to the stand on the shearing board. Then the actual shearing is done using electric shears. A professional sheep shearer can shear a sheep in under a minute. The shearing is typically done in the spring in 8 hour shifts.
- Skirting the fleece is done right after the sheep is sheared. This is the process where you take the raw fleece and basically take out all the stuff that you do not want in the fleece. Things like twigs, skin fragments and leaves can be removed.
- Packaging of the wool is done after the skirting. Small producers put the fleece in cardboard boxes or plastic garbage bags. The wool will be pressed from large producers and the fleece will be put in large square bales, with clear plastic. The wool is then stored in a dry, clean place until its ready for market.
- Here are some world records for sheep shearing; One sheep was sheared in 38 seconds, 720 sheep sheared in 9 hours and the blade shearing record is 321 sheep in 7 hours and 40 minutes.
Shearing is a crucial and valuable step in the process of getting the wool fleece off the sheep and into the hands of producers who then create various wool items.
5:01 pm on Thursday, March 5th, 2015
Wool is an amazing natural fiber that has many benefits and can be used for so many items. The question is; what are the steps needed in order to process wool from sheep, which then goes into producing fabrics. Here are the major steps involved in wool processing:
- Shearing of the sheep is typically done once per year, often in the spring. The fleece recovered from a sheep can weigh between 6 – 18 pounds.
- Grading and sorting of the fleece, is the breaking up of the fleece based on quality.
- Cleaning and scouring is done to the wool to remove contaminants such as; sand, dirt and grease.
- Carding is the process that disentangles the wool and straightens it so its suitable for processing.
- Threads are formed by spinning together the wool to create one strand of yarn.
- Weaving is the process in which the yarn is woven into a fabric. There are two basic weaves; the plain weave and the twill. Woolen yarns come from fabric using the plain weave, and worsted yarns are created using the twill weave.
- Finishing is the process where the wool fabric undergoes a series of finishing procedures. These processes are: fulling (fabric is immersed in water to make the fibers interlock); crabbing (this permanently sets the interlock); decating (which is shrink proofing) and sometimes the fibers are dyed.
Wool is an exceptionally practical and beneficial fiber that nature has provided for us. It can be used year round due to it’s comfort and heat regulating abilities. Go ahead and enjoy nature’s gift to us with this incredible fiber.
4:30 pm on Thursday, February 26th, 2015
There are many different types of wool that can be used for clothing items. Wool is the fiber that grows on certain animals like; sheep, goat, camel, and rabbits. Since wool comes from a variety of animals, there are several different varieties, each with its own unique properties. We will go over some of the more popular types of this amazing fiber.
- Merino wool comes from merino sheep and is very popular due its very high quality. This wool produces a very fine sheep fleece and is very soft and breathable. Merino sheep produce a much finer fiber that standard sheep’s wool, which means it does not have an itchy or coarse feel to the fiber. Most merino sheep are raised in the mountain regions of Australia and New Zealand.
- Cashmere is a very soft fiber that comes from the Kashmir goat. Since each goat can only produce a few ounces of cashmere per year, this causes cashmere to be one of the most expensive fibers in the world.
- Angora wool is an amazingly soft fiber that comes from the fur of an angora rabbit. Angora wool has the highest heat retention ability of any natural fiber. This wool is very fragile because the fibers are so fine, which means pure angora fibers are combined with other wool to make garments.
Wool is certainly an amazing fiber that has many benefits. It is breathable, water resistant, and helps to wick away moisture from the body. Go ahead and enjoy what nature has provided us with, in this perfect fiber that is practical and beautiful.
4:30 pm on Thursday, February 19th, 2015
Stains can happen in an instant, so its good to be prepared with some suede cleaning tips. Suede is a beautiful material and will provide many years of enjoyment. However, there are a few tips to keep in mind that will keep your garment looking great for many years.
- If a wet stain occurs, fast action is very important. Use a white dry cloth or paper towel and try to blot up the stain as quickly as possible. Be careful to blot and not rub the stain as you do not want to push the stain into the nap. After you have cleaned the stain, let the suede dry at room temperature, as applying heat may darken the suede and leave spots where the stain occurred.
- Dry stains can occur over time due to dirt and dust that settle in the nap of suede. The first step is to rub up the nap with a dry clean cloth. Then brush the suede with a soft bristle brush. If the stain is still there, you can use a clean pencil eraser to rub it off.
- Once you have cleaned the stains, its best to apply a suede water and stain repellent to protect against future stains and water spots. Make sure you follow the product application instructions.
- Suede garments should be taken to a professional cleaner at least every other year. This cleaning process will deeply clean and restore the nap to allow your suede to look like new.
You will always be in style with suede, so follow these basic tips to keep it looking great for many years to come.
11:43 pm on Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
Due to wool’s amazing properties, it makes for a very safe and green option for your home. It has some very unique and valuable qualities which makes it ideal for use all around your home. Most people know about wool rugs and sweaters, but wool is also being used for some lesser known products that help to make your household safer and greener. We will look into some of these uses and qualities of this natural fiber that makes it such a green and safe choice for your home.
- Use wool for your home insulation. Its a natural, renewable and sustainable product that requires a lot less energy to produce than its man made counterparts. Also, due to wool’s very high inflammation point, it will help to reduce the spread of fire in a home. Another benefit is that unlike fiberglass insulation, wool is very safe to handle, which makes it easy to install.
- Wool rugs make an ideal choice for babies to crawl on, due to its benefits. Wool is naturally fire resistant but benefits your baby in other ways as well. Due to wool being springy, it allows for a high level of comfort for your active, crawling baby. Also, wool is very stain resistant due to its protective outer layer which helps to keep dirt on top of the carpet. This will make baby stain cleanup much easier.
Nature has given us an amazing natural fiber in wool, so go ahead and use it all around your house as a safe and greener choice.