Our Fibres

Alpaca Wool

The alpaca; charming, gentle and responsible for producing some of the softest, most luxurious fibre found in nature. Today there are around 4 million alpacas – the majority living 3000-5000 meters above sea level in the Andes in Southern Peru. Alpacas live in a very harsh climate, where temperatures can fluctuate from minus 25 degrees at night to 25 degrees during the day.

Super Soft
An alpaca’s fleece is sumptuously silky and smooth, due to the fibres being extremely fine and thin.

Hypoallergenic
Alpaca is the only fibre in the world that does not contain lanolin making it ideal for anyone with a wool allergy.

Warm & lightweight
Alpaca fibre is hollow which makes it a great insulator. This lightweight product will keep you both warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Durable
The structure of alpaca fleece makes it more hard wearing than other wool fibres, so you can rest assured your products will last for many years to come.

Minimum pilling
As opposed to sheep wool, the alpaca fibres are smooth – resulting in minimum pilling in all of our products.

Beautiful colours
Alpaca fleece is available in more than 20 subtle shades – more than any other natural fibre.

Dirt repellent
Alpaca fleece is dirt repellent and can tolerate daily use for many years whilst maintaining its appearance. If it is necessary, we recommend you wash your products in ‘Woolite’ or with your own hair shampoo.

Meeting the Alpaca

Why So Cosy Chooses Peruvian Alpacas

The alpaca is a real treasure of Peru; it has learnt to adapt to a habitat of extreme conditions. Living at an altitude of over 4,000m and a temperature of -15’c, the alpaca has developed a fleece with unique thermal properties that is soft, yet strong with exceptional beauty due to it’s texture and range of natural colours.

So Cosy products are made using the highest quality alpaca fibres and combines the use of modern technology with the experience of Peruvian craftsmen.

Cashmere

Cashmere comes from the Kashmir goat and, due to a small and costly production process, is considered to be the most luxurious of natural fibres. The softest wool comes from the underbelly and the throat.

Cashmere is extremely soft. It comes in several natural tones, white, grey and brown, can be easily dyed and is malleable enough to be woven into a variety of styles. More recently, cashmere has become a popular fabric for loungewear, due to it’s softness against the skin. It also has some natural stretch which makes it comfortable to wear and move around in.

Cashmere wool has a high moisture content which makes it able to adapt easily to temperature changes. This lightweight product will keep you both warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Cashmere is also extremely long lasting. Properly cared for, a cashmere throw will last a lifetime.

Why So Cosy Chooses Mongolian Cashmere

The world’s finest cashmere comes from Mongolian goats tended by nomadic herders. To withstand the bitter climate they live in, cashmere goats not only have a fleece of thick long hairs, but also an undercoat of fine down.

Each spring, this down is combed out and unwanted long hairs, grease, dirt and faeces are removed. Each goat makes around three to four ounces of cashmere which is enough for about half a sweater. Compare this to a regular sheep providing enough wool for three to four sweaters, and you can understand why cashmere is such an expensive material.

Pair of Kashmir goat

Lambswool and Pure New Wool Fibre

Lambswool is soft, elastic and slippery. In order to be classified as lambswool, fibres must be shorter than 50mm from the sheep’s first shearing at the age of seven months.

Lambswool is an excellent insulator and ventilator, meaning it will keep you both warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It is one of the most durable and flexible fibres found in nature. Wool fibres have a waxy coating making it stain resistant and wool is anti-static so collects minimum dust. Wool is naturally safe, is not known to cause allergies and has natural disinfectant properties within its fibres. What’s more, recent developments now mean many wool products can also be safely machine washed.

What is Pure New Wool?

What is Pure New Wool? Pure new wool is wool that has come directly from a living sheep and has not been treated, processed or woven before in any way. This wool is known for it’s extremely soft and fine qualities and provides excellent protection from the elements.

The Woolmark brand is the world’s best-known textile fibre brand and provides consumers with an assurance of quality. The logo is available for companies to license and indicates that the product contains 100% pure new wool.

Why So Cosy Chooses Wool from Scandinavia and New Zealand

Sheep fleeces from these areas are softer and warmer due to the extremely bitter climates these animals live in.

New Zealand sheep

Merino Wool

Merino wool is 100% natural and one of the oldest and most versatile fibres known to man. Not only is it known for being the softest, finest wool of any sheep, it is also exceptional at regulating body temperature, especially when worn next to the skin. Merino wool will warm you up quickly, but without you overheating. It will insulate you from the cold and keep you warm even if you’re damp or wet – drawing the moisture away from the skin.

Why So Cosy Chooses Wool from Scandinavia and New Zealand

Sheep fleeces from these areas are softer and warmer due to the extremely bitter climates these animals live in.

Merino sheep

Introducing the jute plant

The jute we know and love is sourced from the stems of a tropical, Old World plant of the same name. These long, soft and shiny plants couldn’t be more different from the finished jute products that will arrive at your home. We’ll let WorldAtlas explain more about the jute plant in its most natural form:

“The jute plant, a native of the Indian subcontinent, is an herbaceous annual growing to a height of around 10 to 12 feet with a central cylindrical stem, and 4- to 6-inch long light green leaves and yellow flowers. The jute fibers are located beneath the bark, primarily concentrated near the woody, central parts of the stalk. The two species of the jute plant do not differ much except in terms of quality of the jute fibers, growing habits, and the shapes of their respective seed pods.”

The roots of the jute industry

Jute plants hail from Asia, and have been grown for centuries in the Bengal area of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Despite its tropical roots, the jute trade has a long history here in the UK.

From the 17th century, the British Empire’s links to India saw jute flow into the country thick and fast, as even then people began to realise the rewards of jute products. During the 19th century, jute was so popular that a factory in Scotland began trading and processing raw jute, and with this, the Dundee jute industry was born.

The Dundee based factory was owned by Margaret Donnelly, who was responsible for setting up the first jute mills in India. Thanks to Margaret, jute was being spun and weaved on home soil for the very first time.

The first jute products produced in Dundee left a lot to be desired however, but as time went on and experience grew finer fabrics used to make burlap or hessian were being lovingly crafted by Scottish locals. At one time, the jute industry was the city’s largest employer. The demands during the World Wars meant business boomed for the Dundee jute industry. After this, trade declined until the jute industry completely disappeared from Dundee.

people who make jute products

Why you should love jute

When some people think of jute, they think of twine, rope and burlap sacks. These days, jute’s durability, versatility and affordability, not to mention its super stylish designs, make this fibre an excellent home accessory choice in every room.

Jute isn’t just great for your home, it’s good for the planet. Jute is 100% biodegradable, highly sustainable and renewable. Jute plants are naturally cropped three times a year and require zero fertilizers or pesticides so they’re especially kind to the planet. Jute plants also need very little water, which in an era of water conservation is fabulous news!

Jute plants reduce pollution and clean the air too. Recent research revealed that amazingly one hectare of jute absorbs approximately 15 tons of carbon dioxide and emits 11 tons of oxygen during growing season.

Throw in the fact that woven jute is super soft and durable enough to withstand those little and big dramas at home (even years of muddy foot or paw prints), and you’re onto a winner with this wonder fibre.

organic jute fibre

So Cosy’s jute story

Our jute homewares are all lovingly crafted in Bangladesh, a country where jute naturally grows. The factory we collaborate with has been doing what they do for some 30 years, and puts the welfare of their workers at the very top of their list of priorities.

Once the jute plants have been processed by their team, the yarns are dyed using the highest quality, EU standard dyes. Our jute products are nature’s best, but we choose not to use natural dyes. Whilst all dyed jute has a tendency to fade in sunlight, natural dyes would start fading almost immediately.

We use machines to dye our yarns and let nature do the rest with a quick dry in the fresh air. Then the creativity really kicks in! The stunning braiding that makes up our jute products is done by machines. While our rugs are sewn together individually like a coil of rope using a zig-zag sewing machine stitch.

We visit our jute factory as often as we can to ensure we’re always in the loop. We were actually there in December and organised a special picnic for the whole factory!

Find out more about why you should buy from us or go straight to the fun part by shopping our jute homeware collection now!.

organic jute rugs baskets

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