How is a wool duvet different to other types of duvet?
Synthetic, feather, and down duvets are all insulators, they trap heat and don't release it, this is fine when you first get into bed but during the night your body gets hotter and hotter when really to get a good nights' sleep your body temperature needs to drop slightly. Once you overheat you automatically wake up, throw the duvet off, pull it back on again, throw it off....you know the story, poor quality sleep all around.
Wool isn't an insulator, once it's in the duvet it works in the same way as when it was on the sheep, it regulates body temperature.
How does wool regulate your body temperature?
Wool is a fibre that constantly reacts to heat and moisture. When the wool is on the sheep it constantly adapts to either move heat away from the body or trap heat near to the body depending on the weather, and that's exactly what it does when it's in a duvet.
Are wool duvets tog rated?
No, the tog rating system measures how well a duvet insulates, but as we already know wool doesn't just trap heat, it also lets heat pass through when your body starts to get too hot. So the tog rating system cannot apply to wool duvets, we do use it as a general guideline though.
If you don't use a tog rating what do you use?
Wool duvets are generally sold showing the grams of wool per square metre. The thicker the wool the slower it will be to dissipate heat, just like on a sheep. So choose your duvet weight according to your needs.
The light weight, at approx. 300/350 gms of wool per m2. is for warm blooded people, those who live in a warm house, or prefer a very light duvet. . This can be used as a summer /autumn/spring. This can also double up as a 'throw' for very cold winter nights. (it might be too warm for very hot summer nights but then who has a duvet on then!)
Then we have the medium weight at approx 400/450 gms per sq metre which is the most versatile duvet and idealy suited to the mild and damp British climate where extremes of temperature are rare.
We also have a winter weight of 500/550 gms per sq metre for those who really feel the cold, or live in very cold areas and houses.
Why are the wool weights variable in each category?
When wool is in a light carded state it is very difficult to keep it consistent, unlike polyester which is heat bonded and very consistent in weight.
All wool duvet companies experience the same problems of producing a completely consistent weight of wool. Some duvets we have seen are as much as 100 grams per m2 different to the weight shown on the label.
But we are honest enough to tell you that! We actually check the weight of each Baavet and work within a 50 gram tolerance.
So can you use any old wool in a duvet?
To be honest, yes you can, even polymered wool or chlorinated wool but there are certain wools which are much better than others.
A great wool duvet is made using a short springy fleece that holds together well once carded but doesn't go flat under pressure, that's the type of wool we use. Wools like Merino or Wensleydale are what's known as lustre wools, the fibres are very long and very smooth, that's great if you want to knit a jumper or weave a cloth but really they are too flat for duvets, no bounce, no loft, and no cosyduvet feel to them. And if you do find a merino wool duvet you can be sure the wool in it isn't very good, all the best stuff is kept for the clothing trade.
So what wool is used in an I AM Organic wool duvet?
Well not any Merino for sure, and not the pure Welsh Mountain, that's way too coarse, best left for carpets. We spent months researching and testing wools in association with the Wool Authority Testing Station (where wool for the whole Northern Hemisphere is tested ,hence our knowledge of competitors duvets) which is only 20 miles from where we live. We found there are excellent British breeds and specifically Welsh Breeds, especially pedigree sheep breeds and cross breeds, which have good micron wool size and staple lengths which we can then blend into just the right optimum British wool, with excellent thermal properties yet with the lightness and loft (bounce) that we want in our duvets. We need good quality wool that has little or no kemp, (that's spiky sheep hair in poor quality wool) We use wool from specific traceable farms who all rear their sheep in accordance with Soil Association Organic standards, again we are the only company able to do this.
Is an I AM Organic duvet tumble dryable?
No. Wool, unless it has been chemically stripped of it's outer layers, will felt if tumble dried.
We don't treat the wool in any way other than to wash it commercially to remove the greasy lanolin. This means that sometimes there maybe a slight wool smell (it's the lanolin that smells by the way) but in time and with airing that will always go. Remember it's also the lanolin that dust mites hate so a little left in the wool helps.
Is my I AM Organic wool duvet machine washable?
Yes, if you have a very, very, gentle wool cycle on your machine, if you're not sure then a gentle handwash will do, then spin and line dry, but DO NOT TUMBLE DRY. You will be amazed how quickly your Baavet will dry out.
Anyway wool is an extremely clean organic fabric, you only have to dig into the fleece on a sheep's back and see how clean it is. Its much a cleaner filling than polyester or down, both of which attract dust. So we suggest you air your Baavet on a sunny day and let nature do the cleaning for you.
Can a wool duvet be dry cleaned?
British dry cleaners have now been advised NOT to dry clean duvets, this is because conventional dry cleaning uses a chemical solvent base which stays in the duvet for some time after cleaning. Look for a dry cleaners that uses green earth technology for a chemical free alternative www.greenearth.com
Is a wool duvet itchy?
No, the wool comes as a fine soft fibre that is covered in a high quality closely woven cotton cambric fabric. The wool never comes into contact with your skin.
Will the wool move around and felt or clump?
Not if it's quilted properly and carded into lofty layers which when quilted won't move unlike feather which clumps or wool duvets that aren't quilted. It won't felt with movement either.
Is the I AM Organic duvet really British?
Yes, we can guarantee that the wool is from British farms and the entire process from carding to packaging is done in Britain. In fact in most cases our wool comes from specific Welsh farms. Only the cotton comes from abroad, Britain just doesn't have the right weather for growing cotton, unfortunately. We now even make our own cotton bags rather than from abroad and we have all the embroidery and printing done here.