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February 23, 2008 - 11:49am

We love wool. We use a lot of it. We stuff it into our mattresses, wrap it round our futons and use it to fill our pillows, cushions, bolsters and big wool bags. We’ve felted it into thick rugs and slippers and used it for hanging basket liners. We’ve got fleecy blankets, naturally coloured Welsh throws, British bedsocks and knitting yarn for doing your own thing. It’s keeping us toasty - it’s what we’ve got insulating our roof and what we’re wearing under all our layers of clothes at this time of year. It’s good to work with - when you’ve been on filling duty your hands feel all soft and lovely from the lanolin. It squashes up small and then expands to fill anywhere you put it. That’s what makes our mattresses so springy and cosy. When we brought our first ‘bale’ home to our workshop it was all tied up into a dense block and when Jon cut the strapping it exploded out of the van and trapped him against the wall. Wool is a seasonal product, a lot of people don’t think about that. We tend to buy for the year and try to make some good guesses about what we’re going to need. Storing a year’s worth of wool takes quite a space. This year’s wool is from Herefordshire, it’s certified organic which is important to us. Organic wool is produced under strict guidelines covering environmental concerns, animal welfare and the use of harmful chemicals. Our wool is washed by a certified organic process too - no acids, bleaches or finishes. Wool is naturally flame retardant so our mattresses are safe to sleep on for all sorts of reasons. Especially since it means we don’t use any added chemical fire retardants in our products. We used to be biochemists and we don’t like what we’ve come across in the furniture industry when it comes to that sort of stuff. What we do like is that we can make so much use of such a wonderfully versatile and traditional product that is produced so close to home.