A New Application For Wool
Published On: 17/10/17
Most of us are familiar with Merino wool - its luxurious look and soft feel. It is both stain and odour resistant making it easy to care for. But what about the wool from the Herdwick sheep native to the Lake District of Cumbria in North West England? Its characteristics are wiry, dark and hard. Unsuitable for most types of clothing this wool has traditionally been used for carpets.
A significant decrease in the use of wool led to the region’s once thriving industry to dwindle.
Then a design company came up with a solution. One that would revive the region’s wool industry and keep its pastured landscapes looking as they have for centuries. The result - a durable, aesthetically beautiful composite material appropriately named - Solidwool.
"We had a wool. Now to find a use for it. Something which would reinvent this wool and give it value once again. To take the unwanted and make it beautiful."- Solidwool
Solidwool is a combination of wool and bio-resin. When the two are combined, the outcome is a dark grey composite with visible wool hairs. It has a warm appearance with a rock solid structure. Roughly 30% of the resin used is from bio-based renewable content sourced from waste streams of other industrial processes, such as wood pulp and bio-fuels production. Classified as a bio-resin, the manufacturer claims there is a minimum of 50% reduction in the carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions during its manufacturing process over traditional resins.
"Think fibreglass, but with wool."- Solidwool
The company behind Solidwool has created a range of everyday products for your home, business or design space.
Most recently at the London Design Festival 2017, a collaboration between Selvedge (an international textile magazine), Ercol (a furniture manufacturer) and Solidwool highlighted this new way of working with wool.
A limited edition of 30 stools was revealed, combining the solid oak underframe of the award-winning 'Svelto' stool (handcrafted in the Ercol's Buckinghamshire Factory) with a Solidwool top.
This exhibit's goal was to celebrate current designers who are finding new materials that connect to British heritage.
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