Counting sheep not helping you sleep? Wool producers in Victoria may have the answer to help you rest.

Key points:

  • Creswick Woollen Mills started making beds as their business struggled during lockdown
  • Natural fibres such as wool help regulate human body temperature
  • The family business has specialised in wool processing since the 1940s

Creswick Woollen Mills in western Victoria has created a mattress that incorporates natural fibres, utilising the benefits that wool offers for a cosy night’s sleep.

Executive director Boaz Herszfeld said most mattresses were made from synthetic materials, but the company’s wool-based bed was designed to aid sleep and reduce plastic waste.

“We’ve redeveloped a typical high-quality mattress, but we’ve managed to take six synthetic components out of it, and replace them with natural fibres,” he said.

“Synthetics don’t really allow you to regulate your body temperature; they don’t allow your body to breath to its full potential.”

Sleep psychologist and director of the Sleep Health Foundation, Dorothy Bruck, said a comfortable body temperature was vital for a good sleep.

“We can’t really sleep if we are too hot or too cold,” the emeritus professor said.

A bed in a display room

Creswick Natural Fibres ‘Lana’ bed range. (ABC Rural: Jane McNaughton)

“The optimum temperature to sleep is reasonably cool; around 17 to 19 degrees ambient temperature in the room.”

Professor Bruck said although there have been few studies into the benefits of woollen bedding, natural fibres are thought to have positive effects on temperature regulation when compared to synthetic materials.

Business pivot

Mr Herszfeld said the business venture into mattresses was the result of a challenging 18 months without international tourists.

“It has been tough without that regular daily flow of tourists, both international and around Australia,” he said.

“Forty per cent of our visitors, before COVID, came from overseas.”

As a result of this disruption to income, Mr Herszfeld sat down with other wool mill workers to create an alternative revenue stream.

A yard full of alpacas

Creswick Woollen Mill relies on tourism to generate revenue(Supplied: Creswick Woollen Mills)

“Necessity is the mother of all invention.”

“For nearly 75 years the mills have been supplying Australians with products that sit on the bed; beautiful blankets and throw-rugs.”

Mr Herszfeld said since the barrier between Melbourne and regional Victoria was lifted in late October, the tourism aspect of the business has begun to bounce back.

“There are so many Melburnians making their way around the Hepburn Shire, it’s fantastic.”

“In country towns, when people come from far and wide, it makes such a big difference to the economy.”

Posted , updated 

Struggling to sleep? Wool could be the answer
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