Today’s Woolness & Me post was written by Beate Herold from Nuertingen, Germany, who describes the multifaceted physical and mental benefits she has experienced as a result of growing and working with wool.

Wool rescued me. When my work got more and more computerized and pressured, woolly sheep came into my life. Working and caring for them means working with my hands, being connected to nature and feeling real in what I am doing as a contrast to my work in the office. It is wonderful sitting in a meadow among my sheep, looking at them, spinning or picking their wool: to me this is real WOOLNESS. It always feels like a bit of a holiday during the busy daytime. Wool helps to keep me mentally and physically well.  When I am developing woolly projects or spinning wool from my sheep I feel totally absorbed.

Beate Herold and sheep
Beate Herold and Mia the sheep; Mia is a crossbred Tyrolian Mountain and German Merino

When the menopause arrived I had to face hot flushes which caused frequent changes of pyjamas during the night. Then I remembered wool’s fabulous qualities, especially that wool can absorb approximately 30% of its weight before it feels damp. So I changed from cotton pyjamas to woollen underwear. I also made a duvet and pillow with wool filling from my sheep and now have a perfect sleeping environment. Feeling snugly wrapped into the best from my sheep: this is real WOOLNESS to me!

Making a duvet with wool filling

Some of the best things wool has brought me are global connections with fellow wool workers. Lots of wonderful people have come into my life through wool: shepherds; handspinners; weavers; dyers; felters; and knitters. We meet at sheep and wool markets, guild meetings, spinning classes and private WOOLNESS-get-togethers at which we spin and talk all day long about sheep and wool. Working with wool has introduced me to lots of different textile traditions from many different countries. Working with wool has also changed my view on textiles completely and whenever I spin in public I speak about the qualities of wool, trying to convince people to start wearing wool. I tell them working with wool is not old fashioned; that it develops one’s creativity; and that it is sustainable and best for our environment, too.

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