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THE WONDER OF WOOL (contributed by Janet Staben)

It is a well known fact that this wonderful fibre is 100% biodegradable. We as gardeners put it around our shrubs and fruit trees knowing that it will not only help to keep moisture in the soil during the summer heat, but will break down and return valuable nutrients to the soil. It is also in plentiful supply as our sheep continuously supply it as part of their biological anatomy. When recently participating in a gathering of Women On Farms we were all very excited by the story of two garments one made from wool and the other synthetic fibre. The two garments were encased in wire netting and buried for a period of two months, and when dug up the difference in degrading was quite astonishing. Research has shown that processing treatments such as dying and anti - shrink treatments slows the process of biodegrade, but has also demonstrated no evidence that polyamide resin used in machine washable wool treatment forms micro plastic pollution. Is it any wonder we as fibre artists can't help but take it from the sheep's back to our own as we fill our days with creations, knowing that even when we have finished with it and discarded it there is still value in it as it returns nutrients to the soil.

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