Frequently Asked Questions
- Washing & Product Care
- Returns, Shipping, Custom, Policies
- General Bedding & Sleep Questions
- Product Specific Questions
- Mattress Specific Questions
- Clearance Item Questions
- Wool Related
- Cotton Related
- Latex Related
- Chemicals, Dyes, Testing, Certifications
- Allergies & Chemical Sensitivities
Why is wool so special?
- Dust Mite Resistant: Wool ranks far above all other products (including cotton, down, kapok, and buckwheat bedding) in its ability to resist dust mites. Dust mites can't live in wool due to microscopic bristles on the wool fibers. Therefore it is a great choice if you have allergies to dust mites.
- Truly Hypoallergenic: Because wool resists dust mites, mold and bacteria it is great for alleviating allergies. Even products that are labeled "hypoallergenic" (including down products that have undergone massive wash techniques to get rid of the dust and even synthetic products) will not be able to be dust mite free for long. Once you take it home, it will naturally attract dust mites overtime. But not so with a wool product which dust mites find inhospitable. Some products labeled hypoallergenic use chemicals to achieve that end.
- Low Ecological Footprint: The ecological footprint of the wool we use (local and domestic) is better than cotton and down as well. Sustainable Wool: Another factor that makes wool the best is the process in which wool is taken from the animal. Down bedding comes from the poultry industry. The bird is used for its meat while the feathers are plucked for bedding. Sheep, however, are not harmed in the shearing process. Simply stated, the sheep get a "haircut" and the coat of fleece grows back annually.
- Outstanding Performance: Lastly, we find wool superior with regards to its comfort and performance qualities. Wool is the most breathable materials available and it actually helps to regulate your body temperature. There is just something about wool that has people fall in love with it.
- Our Premium Eco-Wool: At Holy Lamb Organics we use a special blend sourced directly from about 20 family farms in Oregon & California, USA. It is the nicest wool we have ever seen- incredibly clean, dust free and virtually vegetable matter free. Growers participate in our Sustainable Wool Program, managing their flocks in a humane, chemical-free, and environmentally thoughtful manner. The vast majority of our products are built with this wool.
For more information see Benefits Of Wool.
What is the difference between the different types of wool used at Holy Lamb Organics?
Wool Types For the Holy Lamb Organics Product Line: All of our regular products use wool that is part of our Sustainable Wool Program.
- Premium Eco-Wool™ (PEW): Our famous blend sourced directly from about 20 family farms in Oregon & California, USA. It is the nicest wool we have ever seen- incredibly clean, dust free and virtually vegetable matter free. Growers participate in our Sustainable Wool Program, managing their flocks in a humane, chemical-free, and environmentally thoughtful manner. The vast majority of our products are built with this wool.
- Northwest Eco-Wool: This wool blend is used in our Moisture Barrier & Puddle Pads. The growers adhere to all the same standards as you would for Organic wool as well as for Premium Eco-Wool™ and is certified and tested through Holy Lamb Organics mill. Sourced domestically in the USA State’s of Idaho & Wyoming.
- Northeast Eco-Wool: This wool blend is used specifically for our Woolly “Down” pillows. The growers adhere to all the same standards as you would for Organic wool as well as for Premium Eco-Wool™ and is certified and tested through Holy Lamb Organics mill. The wool is sourced from USA state’s Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont & New Hampshire.
- Organic Wool: When we cannot find locally sourced eco-wool from the USA we source 100% organic wool that is grown in Australia. Most of our organic wool is found on our Clearance List currently.
- Merino Blanket Textile: Made from the purest Merino domestic wool. These local farms come from the greenest parts of the US including Idaho, and Wyoming. Also we make sure our growers adhere to our high standards for purity as well as managing their flocks in a humane, chemical-free, and environmentally thoughtful manner. Produced in accordance with our Sustainable Wool Program. 46 oz. of pure wool in each yard.
Wool Types Only Found On Our Clearance List: A clearinghouse for prototypes and very slight product defects. We sometimes offer different wool types in addition to the ones listed above.
- America’s Wool (AW) - A blend of domestic wool still from our Sustainable Wool Program, but again it is sourced from a different wool pool than than the PEW & Eco-Wool. Quality is slightly less because it contains more vegetable matter (VM) at about 1% - 1.5%. Whereas, the PEW is virtually vm free which is pretty much unheard of in the wool industry. It is still extremely clean wool as compared with U.S. Wool Standards. America's Wool can be offered at a lower price point.
- World Class Wool - We brought in 1 roll of this to see what it is like. Though not part of the Sustainable Wool Program it does not have any chemicals, nor use of pesticides & herbicides for the pastured sheep. The wool is from family farms in South America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Clean, dust-free, this is what most of the wool bedding industry uses. Less expensive so sold at a greater discount. Limited quantity.
Is your wool organic?
We have made a very conscious and deliberate decision to NOT use organic wool for two main reasons:
- the organic wool on the market comes from far away New Zealand & Australia,
- there is a great alternative and opportunity to buy local sustainably raised wool from trusted farmers in our Sustainable Wool Program, run by our trusted mill.
Supporting ethically raised sheep from local USA farmers is a more sustainable choice as a manufacturer. We stand by our wool mill, the high quality wool they produce and the rigorous third party testing it undergoes to ensure it’s purity.
The mill is currently working to gather organic wool from USA sources. It’ll be a few years before there’s a steady supply. If other companies state that they use USA Organic wool, it is a good idea to ask them to provide their certifications to verify the source.
While our Sustainable Wool Program is not “certified” organic- it it essentially is the same thing minus the certification. It’s like a “pesticide free” vegetable farm.
There are many farmers that are neighbors of Holy Lamb Organics that are small farm businesses and they do not use pesticides or herbicides on their crops, but find it cost prohibitive to get certified organic. It is much the same way with small USA sheep farmers- going organic is very cost expensive.
Let’s buy their wool in the meantime so we can help our economy and help them get certified organic by supporting them now.
Having said that, when we cannot find locally sourced raw materials with growing criteria the same as an it's organic sister, we will choose to purchase organic raw materials from overseas.
Where does your wool come from?
Our primary wool blend, Premium Eco-Wool™ is sourced directly from about 20 family farms in the USA. These farmers raise their sheep on pastures on the West Coast and predominantly from the Klamath region in Oregon and California. They participate in our Sustainable Wool Program, managing their flocks in a humane, chemical-free, and environmentally thoughtful manner.
The issue of where wool comes from is quite political, actually, since most of the wool used in the USA is imported from New Zealand and Australia, greatly undermining both our local farms and economy. The majority of manufacturers actually use wool from New Zealand and Australia. Though other manufacturers may use a USA mill, that does not necessarily mean that the wool they are using is domestic. So if you’re looking at other natural bedding manufacturers, be sure is to ask where their wool comes from, not just where their mill is.
What are the basic steps of your wool process?
First step is helping the sheep grow their coat, our growers raise their animals out in the pasture providing a safe environment free of chemicals and ensure humane animal raising practices.
Shearing is the next part during the Spring & Summer when the sheep no longer need their warm winter coat. Professional shearers are highly skilled in their art and can smoothly remove a sheep’s fleece intact in just a few minutes without harming the sheep at all.
Skirting, Grating & Baling:
At the skirting table, the dirtier parts are removed including the belly and rear areas of the sheep’s fleece. Different types of wool within the fleece are graded. “Grease” wool, which refers to the naturally occurring lanolin that sheep produce to protect their skin, is then stacked and pressed into bales for efficient shipping. Each bale contains about 500 lbs of grease wool from up to 100 sheep.
Mixing & Scouring:
Grease wool must be washed before use in a process called scouring. Bales are shipped to one of the few scouring facilities left in the USA. Different types of wool are first mixed together to create our special wool blends, carefully creating the perfect ratio of wool types so that the batting will be consistent, fluffy and resilient. The soap that is used is mild and biodegradable. The wool is put through increasing hot tubs of water that is recycled back into the process.
Wool Picking & Carding:
After scouring, the wool is shipped back to our mill where it is run through a unique series of carders that comb and fluff the wool to remove the remaining vegetable matter and turn the raw fiber into wool batting. The carders detangle the wool brushing into thin sheets of fiber all aligned in one direction. Because of the additional breakers that our wool mill uses, the end result is the cleanest, fluffiest wool we have ever seen.
Do make products with other types of fill materials such as cotton or down?
No. While there are many types of materials used in natural bedding, we find wool to be the overall best in terms of performance and a sustainable resource and have dedicated our facility to working with it exclusively. See Benefits of Wool.
Does the wool have an odor?
Wool has a slight pleasant natural odor which comes from the lanolin which is the sheep’s natural oil which helps them to regulate their body temperature. 1% of the natural lanolin has been intentionally left in the wool after it has been scoured and cleaned to condition and increase the longevity and vitality of our wool.
The majority of our customers do not notice an odor or find the natural slight odor of wool to be mild, pleasant and benign. If you know yourself to be very sensitive to smells you may want to order a sample of our wool to see if it will work for you.
The odor tends to increase when wool bedding is kept in the sun contained in a plastic bag where it creates condensation which releases more of the lanolin’s natural odor.
Are the sheep raised humanely?
- Sheep are pastured on hills and valleys out in the sun and rain and live a good life.
- Sheep are not harmed when the wool is harvested during the shearing process which is much like a haircut.
- Local Wool: Our wool is locally sourced from small family farms in Oregon & California
- Predator Friendly: Our farmers use trained sheep dogs to guard their flocks
- Healthy Pastures: Our farmers practice proper grazing and refrain from using herbicides and pesticides.
- Healthy Veterinary Practices
- Sheep Dipping
- Harmful Shearing
- Steroids or Growth Hormones
- Herbicides & Pesticides Usage
I may have a wool allergy, is your wool different in any way?
We have met very few people during our 14 years of business who are truly allergic to wool. Some people are just plain allergic to the 1% of the sheep’s natural lanolin that is intentionally left in the wool to keep it supple.
For those of you who are irritated by wearing wool, from finding it scratchy to breaking out in hives. Our theory here at Holy Lamb is that those types of reactions are due to the fact that the majority of wool used in the garment industry has gone through a chemical carbonization process[g]. Basically the wool is dipped in a bath of sulfuric acid and then ran through a dryer to carbonize any vegetable matter. We assert that there is a chemical residue left on the wool. The carbonization process also makes the wool brittle and scratchy causing skin irritation.
Our incredible wool has never gone through a chemical process nor has been carbonized. . Find out more about Our Mill and their best practices and our Local Eco Wool. Additionally, wool resists bacteria, dust-mites and is actually both antimicrobial and antibacterial. People who have allergies often find relief with natural wool bedding.
If you are at all unsure, we encourage you to test our materials for yourself by ordering our free Sensitivity Kit.
Is your wool tested?
Absolutely, our wool is tested annually at the UC Davis Toxicology Lab to further assure our customers that there are no chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides to be found in our wool. These tests are made available upon request. Read more about Our Mill and our Sustainable Wool Program.