Over my 35 years of experience, I have tested each and every possible natural fibre available on our beautiful earth and I have made mattresses with them. I wanted to not only make fully organic mattresses, I also wanted to make the most comfortable, luxurious and long lasting mattresses.
After testing every possible fibre, in every possible way, wool made the cut.
Wool is Resilient
Unlike most fibres, wool is very resilient. Resilient means that it springs back to its original state after we put pressure on it. The wool we use has 27 to 33 microns, which means that the fibre is quite a bit thicker than the wool fibres used to make thread. It is also a lot more nervous than softer wool like merino wool for example. A nervous wool fibre has a zigzag look to it, which makes it more resilient than a thin straight wool fibre.
This is what a close up view of the 2 different wool fibres would look like:
You can imagine that this is a very important aspect for us since our customers sleep on our mattresses for about 8 hours a day, for the rest of their lives!
Wool Regulates Heat and Moisture
Wool fibres, unlike synthetic fibres, will absorb moisture. Wool can absorb about 30% of its weight and still be dry. When you get out of bed, this moisture evaporates. This makes for a much cooler sleep. Synthetic fibres, on the other hand, cannot absorb moisture, which means that the moisture is not absorbed and stays on you.
Natural (the only one!) Fire Retardant
In North America, we have very strict fire retardant laws which obligate us, mattress manufacturers, to put our mattresses through a fire test on a yearly basis. That’s where wool comes into play. When wool is in contact with fire, it melts instead of starting on fire. That is one of the reasons why we put wool in the cover of each mattress. If the mattress was to be in contact with fire, the wool would melt and would create a barrier that would stop the fire from spreading throughout the mattress.
Dust Mite Repellent
A lot of people are allergic to dust mites. Here again, wool is a superstar!
Why you ask? Because of a natural oil called Lanolin. The organic wool that we use here, at Obasan, has about 3 to 5% of Lanolin in it. Lanolin repels dust mites, which means that they are not able to live within the wool layers of the cover and therefore, they cannot live in the mattresses we make.
Since I was a young child, wool always had a soothing effect on me. It keeps you warm and cozy in the winter and regulates the moisture in the summer, which makes for a cooler feel during these hot and humid months.
In which products do we use this wonderful fibre?
Where does the wool come from?
Stretching 3500 kilometers from Bolivia all the way to the tip of South America, Argentina—roughly the size of India—covers a vast swath of climates and geography. This is a country where you can climb South America’s highest peak, hike the Patagonian steppes, wander amongst throngs of curious boisterous penguins, or trek to one of the world’s truly great waterfalls. With its glacier carved formations and immense stretches of open green pastures, Patagonia alone will keep you enthralled for weeks.
When you think Argentina you think: passion, Patagonia, sheep, Tierra del Fuego, wine, soccer, and of course, tango.
In my quest to find the world’s finest and purest materials for our mattresses, I had a chance to visit this extraordinary country, specifically, southern Argentina, to the stunningly pristine landscape of windswept Patagonia.
Not only was I looking for the right type of wool we need for our mattresses (which is a coarser-type wool), I also wanted to make sure the wool had proper organic certification and that the sheep were well cared for. From Buenos Aires, I flew south to the city of Trelew in Patagonia. This city is driven by the wool business and it’s easy to see why: the only thing surrounding this isolated city for thousands of kilometers are sheep. Once you leave the city, there’s nothing except a desert landscape—no cities, no factories, no agriculture, not even trees. All that exist are sheep eating the only vegetation that grows there, a type of shrub. Vast and remote, it’s unspoiled raw nature in all directions.
I met with the son of the family sheep farm, Willy Gallia, and he showed me every aspect of the plant, including a thorough look at how they wash, process and store the wool. I was even allowed to take photos wherever I wanted, which is extremely unusual in a manufacturing plant.
When I came back from this amazing trip, I knew that this was the perfect wool to use in our luxurious organic products.
In conclusion, on this wonderful adventure, I fell in love with Argentina and most importantly; I fell in love with wool all over again!
-Owner at Obasan and Sleep Expert-