Tell us a little about yourself and what you work on

My name is Linda Goding and I run Wynja Hantverk in parallel with working as a teacher.
Wynja Hantverk is a company where I work with textile crafts. I sew, weave and twine. For me, it is important to use natural materials and preferably reuse whenever possible. I also make use of Swedish wool that would otherwise be thrown away. Something I really enjoy is inspiring others to create. I hold workshops in, for example, felting and also sell materials for needle felting at home. Creating with your hands is something that can calm the mind, you get an outlet for your creativity and the wonderful feeling of having created something from scratch is something I want to spread further.

How did you come into contact with wool?

Growing up, textile creation was around me from my grandmother and mother. One summer we hired a sheep to accompany our goat and there was the first encounter with wool. I studied to become a textile scientist, focusing on hand weaving at the University of Borås about 15 years ago. There I started to learn more about wool and then I realized that it is a fantastic material.

Tell us about the wool and its properties

Wool is the fiber that, in my opinion, is the absolute best fiber. Wool is created only through sheep and grass so it is an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly process. Since the sheep are sheared 1-2 times a year, there is naturally more raw material every year.
Often the sheep are only sheared once a year and then the wool is not as sought after, but it is still possible to make a lot of it. If you grow, it is excellent to cover with wool that contains straw and rubbish. It is also said that deer do not like unwashed wool so that is also a good reason to put wool in the garden.
The wool is soft and warm. It can absorb up to about 35% of its weight in moisture and still warm.
Wool has a natural flame retardant. It is difficult to ignite and therefore the firemen use woolen garments. So if you are out in nature a lot around campfires, wool is absolutely best. A plastic fleece melts when it comes into contact with fire.
There are wonderfully warm and soft wool fleece sweaters that I really want to recommend.

"Wool has a natural flame retardant. It is difficult to ignite and therefore the firefighters use woolen garments."

Wool is naturally insulating. In addition to keeping warm, you can also use it to keep things cold. If you have a cold bottle on a hot summer day, you can put it in a wool mitten and it will stay cold longer. Wool also works well to insulate houses.

There are different breeds of sheep and thus different qualities of the wool. Some people feel that wool garments are knitted and it depends a lot on how long the wool fibers are that the garment is made of. In general, you can say that the longer the wool's fibers are, the less itchy it is. Then, of course, the type of wool plays a big role. Merino wool is a finer wool fiber and is therefore popular among underwear. Just make sure the wool is Muelsing free to ensure the animals are well.

Felt wool

Felting wool is a wonderful way to create different things. What happens during felting is that the small barbs of the wool fibers hook into each other. It is possible to felt both with water, soap and rubbing. It is the mechanical processing that makes it felt, not just that the wool ends up in hot water.
It is also possible to felt with a so-called Felting needle that has barbs on it and by poking the wool with the needle, it tangles up and with that technique you can form figures very freely.
In addition to felting with the wool, you can card and spin it into thread and knit, crochet and weave it.
The industry is trying to find ways to copy the fine properties of wool by creating new fibers. Acrylic is an example of a fiber that is common in the fashion industry for knitted sweaters. However, Acrylic and the other synthetic materials are made from oil, which requires more of the earth's resources. No single synthetic material has all the fine qualities that wool has.

So I would like to urge you to look at the patch on the inside of the garment, often in the left seam of sweaters, and see what material the garment is made of.
A wool garment lasts a long time and if it gets a hole, it can be repaired to extend the life of the garment.

How do you take care of your wool?

Wool is a material that can be perceived as difficult to care for, considering how it can shrink in a washing machine.
Since wool is such a fantastic fiber, it is self-washing. If you have a wool garment that feels a bit stale, hanging it out is fine and dandy, preferably on a damp day. What will happen then is that the wool washes itself.
If the garment has a stain, it is enough to wash the stain itself. Use a wool detergent and rub gently.
Through these self-washing properties, it means that a wool garment needs to be washed 5 times less than a cotton garment.

What are your favorite wool products?

My favorite items with wool are wool underwear, home-knitted thick socks, wool slippers, wool soles for shoes, mittens, hats and knitted sweaters.
I'd rather choose two or three layers of wool than a thick bulky winter jacket when it's a maximum of -10 degrees outside.
There are many wool blankets in my home. On a cold winter's evening, it's wonderful to lie down on a wool mattress instead of crawling between cold sheets. A woolen blanket under the cover is also fantastically warm.

Wool is such a beautiful material, so I think wool products fit nicely at home. A felt seat trap, woolen bowls, figures made of wool or why not a lantern made of wool that you can light tealights in. At Easter it is nice to hang small felted eggs in the Easter basket and at Christmas you can create lots of beautiful Christmas decorations for the tree.

I hope more people choose wool in their lives. It really is a fantastic material that is durable, warm and beautiful.

February 24, 2023 — Linda Goding

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