Saturday, 9 June 2007


I see the All Ireland sheep shearing championships were held this month in County Galway. The event highlights the fact that here in Ireland there is a vast amount of raw wool available to turn into commercial products. Locally, wool for clothing may not be in as much demand as it used to be, and now farmers are selling some wool to be used as home insulation products. There are many benefits in using natural sheep’s wool insulation, the most significant points being that:

- Wool can absorb moisture and still retain its superior insulation properties

- Wool has a naturally long lifespan and will extinguish itself in event of fire

-Wool is perfectly safe to both the end user and the environment.

The only other products in wool insulation are borax and natural rubber. Borax is a naturally occurring salt and acts as a pest-repellent by stopping the development of beetles, moths, ants and cockroaches. Borax also enhances the fire rating of construction materials as well as preserving the materials over time. The natural rubber forms a porous coating that helps retain the memory of the wool.

Wool insulation has a very low conductivity which means it is very difficult for heat to pass from one side to the other, this factor makes if far more energy efficient than other products on the market. It is good to know that sheep’s wool is now being used for all types of house insulation. You can use it for loft insulation, under timber floors, in the internal and external walls as well as in the attic. The Co-op in Carndonagh has more details.

Photo: Francis Doherty from Linsfort helps out with the sheep


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