Wool, Wellness and You

As you can see from our website, the theme for Wovember 2017 is “Woolness: where wool meets wellness”. We are really looking forward to exploring this subject this Wovember and talking about the myriad ways in which wool can contribute towards, and promote, wellness. So what do we mean by “wellness?” You may have heard the term attributed to health care or in association with self-care and these are definitely areas of WOOLNESS to explore! However, at Wovember we are also interested in an expanded definition of the term. When we say “woolness” we are talking about how wool can contribute to mental and physical wellness of the self; wellness of the environment; the land, the community. Examples of woolness, considered from this broad perspective, could include:

– wool’s role in mopping up marine oil spills [article link]
– high-wool-content fibre crafts and their use in social justice work in the USA [about The Yarn Mission]
– wool and knitting as tools to help quit smoking [article link]
– wool work as therapy for stress and the psychological consequences of living with long-term chronic illnesses [website link]
– knitted or felted wool for customising one’s walking stick or crutches [article link]
– wool’s role in protecting soldiers from trench foot during the first and second world wars [article link]
– how 100% wool (mostly from Wales) is helping the community of Painscastle to map its own area and foster a shared sense of place [link here]
– wool’s role in treating lower back pain [article link]
– conservation grazing as a way of healing particular landscapes and promoting biodiversity [article link]

…there are many other facets of woolness, but these examples hopefully give you a flavour of what we mean by the term, and gives you ideas for continuing to develop the definition… and that’s really important, because this Wovember we’ll be handing over one of our daily post slots to you.


Wovember Words has traditionally been our elevenses digest – a short post each day, published at 11am, and featuring woolly words, or a snapshot of a broader wool tradition or history. This year, that slot is for you. We want you to write about how wool, sheep, yarn, crafting or wool-work contribute to wellness for you. As the above examples demonstrate, any project in which wool is being applied to benefit the health of individuals, landscapes or communities counts as a WOOLNESS STORY that we would love to share with the world this Wovember!

You can write about how wool in any form contributes to your environment or community; how it enriches you through your wool-work, whatever that may be. You could write about your continuing research or immersion with wool or about sharing and learning your own knowledge of wool, sheep, land or craft with others. Essentially, you can write about any way in which you feel wool is positive and life-affirming for you and we especially welcome posts that broaden the definition of wool and wellness and give fresh new perspectives on how wool can be used to make the world a better place.

To contribute

  • Your post will be well-written and typed at 12 point font
  • Posts should be 350 words MAX. We cannot accept posts longer than this
  • You must include one photo, which illustrates your post and which is 1080 pixels wide (or minimum of 500kb)
  • Send your post, typed and saved as word document to wovember@gmail.com . Please put ‘Woolness and me’ in the subject line. (please don’t post your piece in the comments below)
  • Final Submission Deadline is 30th September 2017.

We cannot guarantee to publish every post that we receive, but we will be in touch with those who are successful by November 1st.  You can also blog yourself on this topic by using the blog prompt throughout November – Wovember: Woolness and Me.

Tag us in your social media connected to your blog and we will do our very best to share your content with our followers!
Hashtags to use this Wovember include #woolness #wovember2017 & #woolnessandme.

We look forward to reading your posts on wool and wellness, and will have further updates soon about our plans for Wovember 2017!

8 thoughts on “Wool, Wellness and You

  1. Hi

    I live in Pays Basque France and considering to start a spinning class . I am from San Francisco and new here and searching for wool to spin that is clean. Seems like very few spinners here .

    Can you recommend a wool – knitters group here in the Pays Basque region ?


    1. Hiya, we are excited about your proactive approach to starting a spinning class in the Pays Basque region and wish you all the very best with your positive, community-enhancing plan.

      Can we also take this opportunity to politely remind you that WOVEMBER is a campaign website and an annual celebration of wool organised by two volunteers, and not a central information point for all wool workers? This website was established to celebrate wool’s unique material properties, and to campaign against global fashion brands’ abuse of the terms WOOL, WOOLLEN and WOOLLY. Though we frequently receive comments like yours, we are *not* a directory of local wool-workers and are unable to provide a service that connects you or anyone else with details of individual wool-workers in your region.

      We can, however, highly recommend Ravelry for the type of thing you are looking for; Ravelry is a massive, user-led platform of over five million (possibly six million?) users from around the world, who spin, knit, crochet, weave, felt etc. and create forums through which individual wool-workers can find one another.

      Kind Regards, Felicity Ford, Team Wovember.

  2. I’ve just read the paper on using woollen underwear to treat low back pain that you provided the link to. Fascinating reading, who would have thought that such a simple remedy would have such an effect. I’m really looking forward to seeing what else you have in store for us this Wovember. Thanks for all your hard work.

  3. I’m so sad that I missed the deadline to contribute. I wrote a theatre piece in January that involved an audio file of me talking about how spinning helped reduce my mental chaos of finding the lump on my breast, with the subsequent surgery. I printed the story out on Japanese mulberry paper, cut it into long strips, and the performance consisted of playing the audio while I spun the paper into thread. Now that I’ve passed my six-months-after-radiation mammogram with flying colour, I’m re-editing and re-recording the audio before turning it into a video.

    1. This is an amazing story, thank you for sharing it with us. So happy to read about how your creative practices have helped you through a really tough journey and even happier to hear you’ve passed your six-months-after-radiation mammogram with flying colours, all power to your continued growth and recovery x

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