Wovember is a month-long celebration of wool. While we have nothing against other natural fibers, Wovember is specifically intended to celebrate the fibers grown by sheep.
Wool used to be one of the most commonly worn fibers in the world. It keeps you warm when you’re cold. When it’s processed into a thin cloth, it can even keep you cool when you’re warm. It’s fire resistant. It biodegrades in a matter of months, leaving only nutrients behind. It can be incredibly durable–wool rugs can last ten times longer than their synthetic counterparts–or soft enough for sensitive skin. It resists dirt. It resists water-based stains. It needs less laundering than most other fabrics. It can filter the air. A new, massive batch of it grows year-round on sheep living just about everywhere humans do.
We used to know all of this. And then synthetic fibers came along.
Items made from synthetic fibers are, arguably, less expensive, though the amount of time and resources that go into laundering them and their shorter lifespan makes that claim questionable.
Synthetic fibers are not itchy. Though, in reality, if you take someone with skin sensitivities shopping, you will be reeducated about that “fact.” Not to mention that there are plenty of sheep breeds out there producing wool that is very comfortable against the skin.
The one thing that synthetic fibers has had has been better marketing. Those marketers even like to co-opt the image of wool while they push their fossil-fuel fibers at us. Wool, wooly, and woolen are often used to describe clothing that is fuzzy or soft, regardless of whether there is any actual wool in the garment at all. They portray wool as itchy and coarse one moment, while describing their acrylic sweaters as wooly the next. And no one questions the irony of this.
Wovember seeks to correct all of this. The project began in 2011 when Felix Ford and Kate Davies started the first Wovember, a blogging event that ran through November each year with the goal of educating the public about the wonderful qualities of wool. The original website, Wovember.com, is still there, with tons of stories, information, and more about wool, the animals that grow it, and the people who use it. All in an attempt to protect the image of wool and preserve the use of wool, wooly, and woolen for things made with the fiber grown by sheep.
It was a brilliant campaign, and people around the world joined in. Participants wore wool for Wovember and posted about it to their own blogs and social media, which opened the eyes of their friends to the possibilities. They petitioned makers to properly use the terms wool, woolen, and wooly in their advertising and labeling. They used humor and grace and passion to spread the word about this wonder fiber. In 2017, the current runners of Wovember stepped back and encouraged others to take Wovember forward in their own way.
In the years that followed, Wovember settled in to being an Instagram-based celebration. Someone would come up with 30 prompts and participants would make daily posts through November based on the prompts. It was still an excellent way to think about wool and encourage others to give wool a try, but Instagram limits the numbers of characters you can use in a post, and it’s not easy to go back and find information you learned during Wovember months later.
So, Wovember is returning as a blog event here at LoveWovember.com in the hopes that we can supplement the information at the original site with new research and meditations on wool. Longer form videos and blog posts will appear here through the month of November, contributed by members of the wool community.
The Instagram posting challenge will continue. Follow @IThoughtIKnewHow to see the prompts when they go live on October 27, 2022. Make a post daily using the prompts. If you fall behind, that’s ok. Make a few catch up posts or just pick up when you can. There will be prizes on offer for best photo and best written post, as well as a prize awarded at random to one of the people who posts for all 30 prompts. Make sure we see your posts by using #lovewovember and #wovember in each post!
You are also encouraged to wear wool for Wovember. Post selfies of yourself wearing wool throughout November using the hashtag #wearwoolforwovember and you’ll be entered to win a prize that will be drawn at random from all who participate. More details about all of the prizes will come soon.
Finally, we are adding a new component to Wovember. The Wovember marketplace will open November 28, 2022. It will contain links to designers, makers, and companies that work with wool. It’s one thing to ask you to vote with your money. We are going to provide you with a place to visit first when you are in the market for something woolen.
For now, start poking around in your closet for things to wear next month, and check back here over the coming days for more information. If you’re eager to start learning, I suggest you pop over to Wovember.com and look over the contributions from previous years.
See you soon,