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Help with Lamb's Wool Questions...?

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(
I've recently taken on a new job doing Mental Health Counseling in a gorgeous working farm setting ( yes!, the sessions are out in open air among the animals! )...my question is how is the wool treated to use as padding/friction resolve between toes, etc? I have seen many using wool for the lanolin and padding, but it was not available to me at the time, so I didn't pay much attention.

Is it specific to certain breeds? Does it need to be cleaned, if so, how? Sterilizing? What are the benefits and potential untoward results? In the past while assessing prisoners for allergies to wool blankets, we placed a small wad on the skin and covered with medical tape for 24 hours, then checked for reactions....other than that, I'm just curious and cannot seem to locate much info on its use for hikers.

Thank you to all who are holding and sharing knowledge on this.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I always walk with hiker's wool to protect my curly pinky toes, the only remedy that really works for me and I have tried many different. I don't know about how it is treated, but maybe you can find something on this site: https://www.hikerswool.co.nz/
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
I actually picked lambs’ wool off of a barb-wired fence next to a pasture while walking the Camino last year! Untreated, random wool from the middle of nowhere provided an excellent blister barrier! You could feel and smell the lanolin on each piece.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
my question is how is the wool treated to use as padding/friction resolve between toes, etc?
This is the kind that I use. I actually get it from a store specializing in "natural baby care".
On the label it says that the only treatment it has had is washing with a mild detergent.
52216
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I always walk with hiker's wool to protect my curly pinky toes, the only remedy that really works for me and I have tried many different. I don't know about how it is treated, but maybe you can find something on this site: https://www.hikerswool.co.nz/
I user the same stuff. It's great!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
Is it specific to certain breeds? Does it need to be cleaned, if so, how? Sterilizing? What are the benefits and potential untoward results?
That's an interesting question and I'm looking forward to knowledgeable answers. I've started to use hiker's wool for horrible blister problems with my pinky toes (that I did not have in my younger years) as it was not possible for me to treat these problems in any other way (I've tried!!!) and I'm very happy with it.

I've tried to buy hiker's wool in outdoor shops in a few EU countries ... it's surprisingly unknown. I've bought three kinds through Amazon: the "Original Hiker's Wool" from New Zealand (I've even ordered once from them directly in NZ), and two different sets of "untreated" wool from Amazon.de. One of the sets still contained impurities which put me off at first but it seems to be the one that contained the most lanolin and seems to be actually the best type for my purposes. The other set is what is sold as "healing wool" for baby care and similar purposes. It looks very clean; it feels to me as if it contains the least amount of lanolin of the three sets. In relation to this, Wikipedia says that "healing wool" is washed at a temperature of less than 50 °C and then treated in a process called carding while other wool is washed at much higher temperatures and with water containing soda.

You are probably wondering whether you can use the wool as collected on the farm. I must admit that so far I've hesitated to pick up wool in fields and on fences and use it.
 
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Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
The other set is what is sold as "healing wool" for baby care and similar purposes. It's the kind described by @stgcph, and looks very clean; it feels to me as if it contains the least amount of lanolin of the three sets.
I guess you don’t read Danish :), but on the label it says “Pure wool with a high lanolin content”. It is not clean and white like some of the “lamb’s wool” products you can buy e.g. on Amazon and also contains impurities like small pieces of straw etc.

I also tried the original Hiker’s Wool from NZ but this baby-care variant works just as well and at around half the price as the original Hiker’s wool.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
I guess you don’t read Danish :), but on the label it says “Pure wool with a high lanolin content”. It is not clean and white like some of the “lamb’s wool” products you can buy e.g. on Amazon and also contains impurities like small pieces of straw etc.
I modified my previous reply - the print on your photo is very hard to read 😊.

I did order the NZ "Original Hiker's Wool" on Amazon.co.uk once but thereafter it was listed as "currently not available" and now it has completely disappeared from their offer.
 

OTH86

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
FWIW - I was advised by a medical doctor who has worked with the Seattle Ballet for years to use lamb's wool lightly wrapped around toes and as a cushion for my bunion. It is available in a 3/8 oz (11 g) packet from a local drug store/ pharmacy. Inexpensive. No information about how it's treated - only that persons with diabetes or poor circulation should consult a physician first. I've use it for 5 years and wouldn't be without it when i travel and walk!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
I guess you don’t read Danish :), but on the label it says “Pure wool with a high lanolin content”. It is not clean and white like some of the “lamb’s wool” products you can buy e.g. on Amazon and also contains impurities like small pieces of straw etc.

I also tried the original Hiker’s Wool from NZ but this baby-care variant works just as well and at around half the price as the original Hiker’s wool.
Will you post a link to where you get yours from? or is it from the NZ site? thanks.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
@stgcph, so I had a look at the website that sells the product you mention and thanks to my Google Translate assisted excellent knowledge of the Danish language, I now know that the wool has been washed mildly so as not to wash out too much lanolin and is also untreated. You will therefore be able to find small residues of straw or other natural impurities - this does not mean that the wool is dirty, on the other hand, it shows that the wool has not been cleaned with harsh means.

From what I see from other websites that sell this kind of lamb's wool for hikers, ballet dancers or personal care, the wool is always washed but moderately (low temperature, mild detergent) so as to keep as much of the lanolin content as possible and it also undergoes carding but both processes are not as rigorous as the washing and carding processes used for wool that is destined for further treatment and for use in clothing or as knitting wool.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
Are you a detective? How on earth did you find that website?? :)🐑
That took about 10 seconds and little effort. Just putting "Lanolinindhold" into Google. It took me a bit longer to verify that uld means indeed wool. It surprised me a little. 🙃
 
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Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
(etc)
On my third (of 4 so far) Camino it came to me that as a Textile Supplier & Artisan, I was in an ideal position to develop a wool product specifically for Pilgrims.....so I did. I dreamed of supplying all Camino farmacias. I have the product (extra fine 18.5 m Merino wool) 'superwashed' to remove the natural barbs on the fibres that cause felting. I created a label, translated into Spanish & French, as well as English, expounding its ideal qualities for hikers, bagged it into 100 gram increments .....AND THEN started to market it. Full stop: Roadblocks encountered - Spain would like to keep Camino products Spanish, Farmacias are individually owned often by the resident Pharmacist so marketing is cumbersome. So then I approached sports outfitters here in west Coast Vancouver Canada but they had no interest in carrying the product. So then I contacted the Canadian footcare nurses Asociation and arranged to place 150 samples in their Delegates packages at an annual conference....100% no response. So....... from all this, I learned that developing a market is paramont to success ( which I knew but forgot, from previous farming practices ) So, as a final resort I have now dyed much of my supply and sell the roving to Spinners & Felters. So, if anyone is interested in persuing the market further, boy do I have a deal for you LOL fondly sandi
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-(April 2019)
I would love some of this wool. A Scottish self proclaimed "DR" fixed my friends blisters with this on the Portuguese 2 years ago. I'm on the west coast of Canada. Does anyone know where I can find this here? I tried ordering from the site mentioned but it didn't go through.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-(April 2019)
I've recently taken on a new job doing Mental Health Counseling in a gorgeous working farm setting ( yes!, the sessions are out in open air among the animals! )...my question is how is the wool treated to use as padding/friction resolve between toes, etc? I have seen many using wool for the lanolin and padding, but it was not available to me at the time, so I didn't pay much attention.

Is it specific to certain breeds? Does it need to be cleaned, if so, how? Sterilizing? What are the benefits and potential untoward results? In the past while assessing prisoners for allergies to wool blankets, we placed a small wad on the skin and covered with medical tape for 24 hours, then checked for reactions....other than that, I'm just curious and cannot seem to locate much info on its use for hikers.

Thank you to all who are holding and sharing knowledge on this.
Following. I'd love to buy some as well as my friend had a fellow pilgrim help her blisters heal with this amazing wool.
 

marciarsm

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (SJPDP-SdC) - 2004, 2013, & 2017
Here’s what I used, which was obtained at a local pharmacy in the U.S.

52287
 

Walli Walker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances '2009', Camino Portuguese from Porto '2015', Camino Ingles from Ferrol '2015', Finisterre and Muxia '2015'. Tentatively planning Camino from Granada '2017'.
My husband gathered some off a barbed wire fence on the Coast 2 Coast in England. Perfect.
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
(etc)
I would happily supply anyone willing to cover postage.....wool free to you as fellow-pilgrim :) Just PM me privately with your contact info and I can get an estimate of shipping for you. the wool lives with me in Vancouver Canada (west coast, Fraser Valley to be specific). fondly sandi
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Camino(s) past & future
(2020)
I've recently taken on a new job doing Mental Health Counseling in a gorgeous working farm setting ( yes!, the sessions are out in open air among the animals! )...my question is how is the wool treated to use as padding/friction resolve between toes, etc? I have seen many using wool for the lanolin and padding, but it was not available to me at the time, so I didn't pay much attention.

Is it specific to certain breeds? Does it need to be cleaned, if so, how? Sterilizing? What are the benefits and potential untoward results? In the past while assessing prisoners for allergies to wool blankets, we placed a small wad on the skin and covered with medical tape for 24 hours, then checked for reactions....other than that, I'm just curious and cannot seem to locate much info on its use for hikers.

Thank you to all who are holding and sharing knowledge on this.
Hi Sophie. Don't know anything about the wool things but I am interested in your Mental Health Counseling. Is this farm on the Camino Frances? Or are you in the states. Very interesting!
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(
Hi Sophie. Don't know anything about the wool things but I am interested in your Mental Health Counseling. Is this farm on the Camino Frances? Or are you in the states. Very interesting!
Yes I am in the states...Massachusetts. We have an 'open air practice' where much of our therapy is done outside either in the gardens, with outdoor animals (rams, horses, mules, miniature ponies, donkeys, alpaca, and several different types of sheep)...in the barn we have baby goats and pigs, chickens and bunnies, ducks.....All of our animals are rescues. There is much to be said for being one with nature, and for learning how to nurture oneself and others...I have clients ages 2-20, who have experienced trauma/crisis/abuse and are healing by learning how to feel loved by giving love.
 

blamoca

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
can i ask a silly question..how do you actually use it? just grab a tuft and put in sock and walk? or tuck it between toes or whereever? how much? how do you apply to specific areas ie. pinky toes..doesn't it shift while walking? do you discard daily or reuse or wash? do you change or add more during day? i know noone who uses wool and never have seen it described how ? just generally questions of type of wool and where to buy. thanks I am curious and genuinely interested.
 

wynrich

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2013, 2014
Portugués 2016
Norte 1st half 2018
Norte 2nd half 2019
+ Via Francigena 2017
@blamoca, I have the same question. I was writing this post as you were writing yours! Since my first Camino I've zig-zagged lamb's wool between my toes, with wraps at the end around big toe and little toe. It does help keep my toes from rubbing and making blisters. I don't use a very thick piece and it gets packed down but I reuse it for a while. (Probably should wash it more often.) It doesn't seem to shift when walking. How do others use the wool on their feet and toes?
 

Pilgrim Patricia

Want to do the VdlP again!
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata; Hospitalera Miraz 2011
I would love some of this wool. A Scottish self proclaimed "DR" fixed my friends blisters with this on the Portuguese 2 years ago. I'm on the west coast of Canada. Does anyone know where I can find this here? I tried ordering from the site mentioned but it didn't go through.
Try PaSu Farms, north of Calgary, Alberta, Canada: http://www.pasu.com/shopping/products/category/health-wellness/ A small bag of wool starts at $3.25. I've used it primarily to avoid blisters when wearing my cowboy boots during the Calgary Stampede when walking in the heat on concrete and asphalt.
 

Pilgrim Patricia

Want to do the VdlP again!
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata; Hospitalera Miraz 2011

RUJO

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino Portuguese (2016) (2018)
can i ask a silly question..how do you actually use it? just grab a tuft and put in sock and walk? or tuck it between toes or whereever? how much? how do you apply to specific areas ie. pinky toes..doesn't it shift while walking? do you discard daily or reuse or wash? do you change or add more during day? i know noone who uses wool and never have seen it described how ? just generally questions of type of wool and where to buy. thanks I am curious and genuinely interested.
 

Meg Worland

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Camino Frances 2016
Finisterre 2016
Camino Frances (Apr-May 2019)
Similar to the Hikerswool Video, I take a strip and weave it in and out of my toes, finishing with a swathe across the top and then underneath. I have also handed pieces to grateful pilgrims who suffered sore heels and they have placed a piece over the vulnerable area.
 

Aysen Mustafa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan on walking the Camino April 2018.
I picked up the wool in the fields and used it along with everything else. Injinji socks and vaseline. It's the lanolin in the wool which I think is important. Also you can wrap it around your toes for protection. I have a friend who swears by when hiking.
 

Lindsay53

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk April /May 19
Hi Sophie, wool straight off the animal will be fine. You only need to check it for grass seeds and dirt etc. that may stick into your toes. Only issue may be if the EU has rules about importing untreated animal products.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
Note that the woman in the first video ("Original HikersWool") explains that their product is "lightly washed" and "really specially carded" so that it keeps most of the lanolin and feels very soft - both useful features.

I've been blister free for most of my adult hiking life but now I have a number of blister prone spots on my toes. I tape several of my toes and that's enough to prevent blisters expect for the smallest toes. I use a large lump of sheep wool and place it so that the small toe is really separated from its neighbour and also extremely cushioned underneath. The sock holds the wool in place. I sometimes remove the wool at rest stops to pull it apart and make it fluffy again. I do the same in the evening. I discard the wool after a few days when it has become too compressed and lumpy. A godsend for the kind of problem I've developed with my pinky toes.
 
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KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(
can i ask a silly question..how do you actually use it? just grab a tuft and put in sock and walk? or tuck it between toes or whereever? how much? how do you apply to specific areas ie. pinky toes..doesn't it shift while walking? do you discard daily or reuse or wash? do you change or add more during day? i know noone who uses wool and never have seen it described how ? just generally questions of type of wool and where to buy. thanks I am curious and genuinely interested.
A previous poster responded with this link which has videos on it's use: https://www.hikerswool.co.nz/
 

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