Wednesday, November 08, 2006


So I was looking for some free patterns for that silk I bought yesterday, and came across this website called It's all anti-wool and calls for people to only buy alternative fibers, ie-silk, cotton, rayon, acrylic, any of those other natural fibers out there.

Now...I have no problem whatsoever knitting with alternative fibers, including acrylic, probably mostly because I'm a sucker for sparkles, fun fur, and obnoxiously bright yarns. But I also love wool. It felts, it smells wonderful, it can run anywhere from scratchy (felting wool), to softer than butter (merino, mohair, shetland, alpaca...).

What made me laugh was this list they used to convince people to buy alternative fibers:

Some of the consumer problems associated with wool:
It is susceptible to mildew and moth damage.
(well i have to give them that one)

It is not always machine-washable, and cannot be directly ironed.
(well DUH!...that's why God invented care labels for fabrics!)

It often damages easily and is not durable.
(If wool isn't durable, how come I can't rip it with my hands? And how come sheep aren't easily damaged? And why is it so freakin' popular among people who spend hours and hours knitting garments if it's so prone to damage?)

It tends to be expensive.
(um...define expensive. Because I've seen corn/hemp/acrylic/silk yarns all over the place more expensive than the wool I buy)

It causes allergies and/or extreme itching for many people.
(Many? I know one person in my life that a true wool allergy/irritation applies to. And I know a lot of people. These people just aren't wearing the right wool. lol)

It's very water-absorbent, and doesn't dry quickly.
(So don't wash it and use an umbrella. At least it stays warm when it gets wet)

It stains easily, but doesn't clean well.
(Have these people never heard of dry-cleaning? Or, you know, not wearing a wool sweater to do messy tasks?)

It's prone to retaining foul odors.
(I'm not even dignifying this statement. Let's just say I have a cheap acrylic couch that I got from a house full of smokers, and after two years, repeated washings, and 3 bottles of febreze, it still reeks of smoke)

It shrinks with every wash.
(Not if you wash it CORRECTLY)

Mainly, they claim that shearing sheep is cruel. Ok...Isn't there a breed of sheep out there that actually suffocates and dies if they AREN'T sheared, due to the incredible thickness and abundance of their fleece? And also, at least wool isn't hell on the environment like acrylic yarns that will never biodegrade and melt when burned, making acrylic not very recommended for children's garments or blankets.

Anywho...anyone else wants to comment, feel free. I just couldn't believe people having such an objection against something as good and wholesome as wool.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guess is this group is either PETA or a front for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). They tend to feel all people should be vegan and not use any animal products for any purpose, and tend to make up these lists of odd reasons, like you've posted, for why people should avoid particular animal products. Check them out at

11/08/2006 7:54 PM  
Blogger caffeinated katie said...

yes, PETA is mentioned prominently on the main page of the site, and I am definitely familiar with the strange and poorly organized protests of PETA, but it just struck me as strange that a resource as renewable and useful as wool was being attacked.

11/08/2006 10:28 PM  

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