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Wool Week 11-17 October

Did you know that the Speaker of the House of Commons sits on a ‘ WoolSack’ and has done for centuries.  The reason why? Wool was the most signifcant source of income for the Royal Purse, and as far back as 13th century British wool was our major export to the rapidly expanding textile industries of the Low Countries and Italy, firing the economic engine of Europe

Sadly this is not the case any more – since late 1960s with the introduction of man made fibres, the wool industry has been in decline with a continually shrinking share of the market.  Today the price of wool is so low that some farmers are forced to clip their sheep at a loss .  In order to highlight this crisis the National Campaign for Wool, fronted by HRH Prince of Wales,  has introduced ‘Wool Week’ 11-17 October, with the intention of educating consumers about wool and encouraging them to buy more wool products, from carpets to clothing and home insulation

“We want consumers to buy more wool,” said John Thorley chairman of the National Sheep Association. “It’s a great product – natural and sustainable, it’s warmer and wears better than man-made materials, but if we don’t use it we’ll lose it

The National Campaign for Wool has attracted the backing of wool organisations all over the world, including the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Campaigns by big retail names including Marks and Spencer, John Lewis and Harvey Nichols will also be launched as part of this initiative

For Wool Week, The Great English Outdoors is showcasing its, Autumn Collection beautifully tailored jackets and waistcoats, designed and made in UK; with carefully selected coordinating accessories including woollen scarves, riding ponchos and wraps

The Great EnglishOutdoors is committed to the promotion of the Woollen industry, especially in Wales.  For the last 20 years we have worked tirelessly to promote the Welsh woollen industry from the shop in Hay and on the website, commissioning, buying and selling products made by the few remaining Welsh woollen mills and trying to draw attention to their colourful and fascinating history.

Woolly Facts From The Great English Outdoors: Did you know?

  • Wool is comparatively stronger than steel
  • Wool is a naturally absorbent fibre, absorbing up to 30% of its weight in moisture
  • 73% of the total wool produced is used in clothing & accessories, 15% in home furnishings and 7% in industrial products
  • A pound in weight of wool can be spun into 20 miles of yarn
  • Low grade wool is being developed to clean up hazardous spills.  Wool absorbs 10-30 x its weight in oil
  • Wool fibres trap air because they are crinkled.  The trapped air makes wool warm without being heavy.   Thin wool fabrics keep the body cool, they absorb moisture away from the body
  • Wool offers natural resistence to mildew and mould as it repels moisture or allows moisture to pass through its fibres without retaining any
  • Wool fibres have tiny overlapping scales like roof tiles, allowing wool to repel rain, snow and liquid spills with ease
  • Wool is durable, lab tests show that wool fibres resist tearing and can bend back on themselves more than 20,000 x without breaking
  • Wool fabrics resist creases, wool is the most resilient fibre because its natural crimp helps it retain its shape.  Wool can be stretched up to 70% of its natural length and return to its original shape once tension is released
  • Wool is naturally fire retardant, and safer to wear having its own natural fire retardant properties, it can resist flame without the chemical treatments involved in fire proofing
  • Wool is a renewable resource, biodegradable and kinder to the environment than oil based synthetics
  • Wool provides a home and diet for many insects including moths.  Many people are unaware how to care for wool.  The Great English Outdoors has formulated its own Wool Wash to condition your fabric and repel moths at the same time

We make and source beautiful things from natural materials

We are specialists in hand made Leather goods including studded Dog Collars and wallets from 200 year old Russian Reindeer Leather; offering for sale a range of ethical tailored Clothing and wool knitwear and a collection of useful but beautiful Homeware made from HornLeatherWool: old and new Welsh blankets and textiles; Slate and Wood . As well as an eclectic selection of one-off collectibles in our Originals section

Take a visual tour of our shop with our You Tube clip

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