A journey through time – how wool clothing and blankets came to be

A journey through time – how wool clothing and blankets came to be - Keep Things Personal

As parents, we are programmed to keep our babies safe and warm and look after their wellbeing, including their delicate skin with natural products and our new range of beautifully personalised wool throws tick all those boxes in a very natural way.

But how did all this come about? Well, let me give you a whistle-stop tour through the centuries and see how we have evolved and developed the ways we use the resources mother nature provides.

The story of how ‘fabric’ started actually comes from plant fibres, despite most clothes coming from animal skins. If we go back in time to the Palaeolithic period (Old Stone Age) archaeological evidence shows animal and vegetable materials preserved over a period of time. 

34,000 years ago, as the Neanderthal numbers were in decline, mankind discovered that twisting fibres together made them stronger. When out walking in the countryside you can often find cast off wool attached to a fence, the fleece pulls apart easily like cotton wool, but if it is twisted around your finger a few times the fibres become very strong and almost impossible to break. This method of twisting flimsy fibres to make strong cord increased Palaeolithic hunters chance of survival by making warmer, stronger clothing as well as nets and snares to catch food. 

The Neolithic or New Stone Age reached Britain around 6,500 years ago and it’s here that sheep make an appearance in textiles history. The Soay breed becomes the first source of wool fibres in Britain. Fleece was not cut from the animal in an annual shearing like we do today, but the Soay had an the advantage of having an annual moult where the discarded fleece could be collected easily.

From around 3,500 BC we can see the appearance of specific textiles tools and equipment in the archaeological record in Britain where a chalk spindle whorl was found in West Sussex, where weaving is evident and wool spun to produce textiles.

The arrival of the Roman culture in Britain brought a new type of loom and woollen cloaks from Britain were highly prized throughout the Roman Empire; lightweight, warm and waterproof and they were given a higher price than all other woollens in an edict of Dioclesian in the 4th Century. The Romans improved on sheep fleece through selective breeding and it is likely they introduced a short horned white faced sheep into Britain and this then crossbred with the Soay to produce new varieties. The Romans wanted to have flocks of primarily white sheep so that the fleece can be dyed any colour easily and the rest is history as they say.

Our wonderfully soft wool throw is perfect for your baby’s skin as it is non-irritating, insulating, absorbs moisture, stays warm, helps to regulate body temperature and is highly breathable. Manufactured in the UK by British company Tweedmill, they only work with the finest fabrics, creating stunning products and have a reputation for excellence in their field which has been established and gone from strength to strength for almost 5 decades, making their own history.


Wishing you hours and hours of cosy cuddles and soft slumber with our pure wool throws!

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