Properties of Wool
Apart from keeping the body comfortable and warm, medical sheepskin possesses many unique properties that you may not be aware of.
Wool helps the body regulate temperature by both insulating from the cold and dissipating heat. This is thanks to efficient airflow between the fibres enhanced by the natural crimping of un-spun wool. In cold conditions, warm air is distributed through the sheepskin, keeping the whole body equally warm. Sheepskin is a wonderful material to sleep on in hot weather too. The University of Sydney demonstrated this in their sleep research, which found that participants sleeping on wool in hot conditions (29° Celsius) slept for significantly longer, had faster sleep onset and woke up less frequently during the night than participants sleeping on a mattress covered only by a sheet (Woolmark, 2011).
Wool has the natural ability to wick moisture and is known as a hydrophilic material for its ability to absorb moisture without actually feeling wet. Wool can carry almost one-third of its own weight in water before feeling wet to the touch, making it a popular fabric for traditional-style reusable diapers. Wet skin is very uncomfortable and over time can cause maceration and weakening of the skin, so this ability to wick moisture is a great benefit for both comfort and skin protection.
Reduces Shear and Friction
The outermost layer of protein on a fibre of wool makes it very smooth – making it easy for the fibres to move against each another and accommodate movement. This means that your skin moves across the surface with less resistance, keeping the shear and friction forces to a minimum. These forces can be a contributing factor towards a feeling of discomfort when seated or lying down.
Improved pressure redistribution is a proven quality of medical sheepskins. Every wool fibre acts like a tiny spring, absorbing pressure without flattening out and becoming solid. In pressure mapping images you can see the difference that a Shear Comfort Cushion-It makes in reducing peak pressure points compared to resting on a non-cushioned surface.