Thursday, February 7, 2019

An Accidental Experiment


Most sheep and/or wool folks have heard the statistic that wool can absorb 30% of it's weight in water and still feel warm, but if you are like me, you might not fully understand what that actually means.  I accidentally conducted a very scientific study last weekend.

We'd gone to eat dinner at our local Mexican restaurant.  Without opening a can of worms, there are still places in Kentucky (historically a tobacco raising state) where people can still smoke indoors.  Yes, I hate it.  Some nights are worse than others.  This was a bad night.

When we got home, I took my shirt and sweater and hung them over the porch swing to air out over night.  The next morning I picked up the sweater and noticed it felt a little damp from the foggy night air, but I would have still felt comfortable putting it on. 

When I reached for the cotton turtleneck, I quickly pulled my hand away.  It was sopping wet and COLD.  Amazingly cold.  Cold and wet enough that I no longer have any confusion about which fiber could put you in the ground and which could save your life.

One other note - the wool sweater aired out completely with no residual smoke smell.  The cotton turtleneck headed for the washer.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my cotton turtlenecks.  I'm just going to continue to pair them up with a wool sweater :-).


16 comments:

  1. I saw a bit on the weather channel the other day, where they compared clothing made of different fibers when wet and cold.

    Cotton -- wet and cold! Synthetic -- wet and cold!

    Wool? Warm! They said that there was something about wool fiber that actually generates heat when wet.

    Yay, wool!!!

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  2. I loved the pictures of Hank yesterday! He looks great!!
    My sister makes me all-wool mittens, and that is the only thing I ever wear. I wear them in the barn, for hiking, for everything. They are GREAT! I get them wet all the time when draining the hose, and they are still toasty warm. Even when twenty below zero last week!!!! Regarding hose draining, you must have a much more cooperative hose than I do. Even if I drain the dang thing three times, there is always some residual drop of water that seems to freeze, multiply and cause HUGE problems. Every day, I drain the hose out, coil it up, and bring it in the cozy living room of my house before I dare use it again!!! The hose knows!!

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  3. Last week during that bitterly cold weather, I wore a wool sweater to work on the coldest day which registered -16 at 9:30 that morning. The next day, which made it up to about 5 above, I chose a heavy cotton sweater. Both days I wore a turtle neck under them, wool socks, wore my wool coat, a wool shawl under the coat and my wool mittens. On the coldest way, the wool kept me toasty warm (almost too warm). On the "warmest" day, I felt a little chilled by the time I got to work. Just the substitution of the cotton sweater over the wool one and it wasn't nearly as warm. I have the feeling my cotton sweaters are going to become tote bags.

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  4. Always good to be reminded of how great WOOL is!

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  5. Cotton turtleneck and wool sweater is my favorite combo too 😁.

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  6. I remember a comment a rescue ranger in the National Parks made about saving hikers in the west. He said "First, we'd get them out of the jeans." Cotton does not keep you warm when the temperature does down, and heaven help you if it gets wet. He always wore wool.

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  7. I've also read that wool has natural antimicrobial features.it's no wonder it has been the go to material through history!

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  8. THAT'S how you wear those "strong wool" sweaters! I thought you just had tough hide! ;-)

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  9. Let's face it wool is the fiber for so many reasons! It is warm and wears well! Cotton is cotton and I love all my 100% cotton items. WOOL is the best!

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  10. There is nothing better than wool - nothing! There are so many positive aspects to it - not the least, is that it comes from sheep!

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  11. Wool is the most amazing fiber ~ so many good things. Love that sweater!

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  12. Cotton turtlenecks with wool sweaters. It’s what all of us fashionista shepherdess’ wear.

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  13. Hooray for WOOL! I get SO tired of customers coming into the store and whining "wool is scratchy", and wanting (ick) acrylic/polyester. Wool is wonderful. It's definitely the most eco-friendly of ALL fibres.

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  14. Wonderful confirmation of what WE all know but which the wider world is clueless about. Wool is also naturally fire retardant and won't burn until it reaches about 1100 degrees F. A spark will char the fiber and then self extinguish. It's the super fiber!

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