Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you only accept wool items?

The children we focus on live in extremely cold climates. Wool is warm and stays warm even when it’s wet. Please use fiber that is at least 80% wool for Wool-Aid projects. For Wool-Aid, this includes hoofed-animal fiber in general (wool, mohair, cashmere, alpaca, etc.). If you have yarn that has as little as 60% wool content, you may strand it with a yarn of equal weight that is 100% wool, yielding a fiber that has 80% wool content.

We ask that alpaca be no more than 50% of the fiber content, because although it is soft and has wonderful drape, it does not bounce back. Nor does it have lanolin content to help repel water, which is what helps make the garment warm even when wet. Alpaca is, however, very warm, and that makes it a wonderful add-in fiber for Wool-Aid items.

Yarn with acrylic content should not be used. Acrylic does not self-extinguish when exposed to an open flame, and it could melt onto skin. This is a significant safety hazard for kids who live around open fires that are used for both warmth and cooking.

What about silk? It's an animal fiber, isn't it?

A small bit of silk to add softness is fine and can add a bit of something special to the garment without taking anything away, but more than 15% silk might make the finished garment less suitable for kids who live in such desperate conditions.

Silk doesn't stay as warm as wool when it gets wet. It is warmer than other non-wool fibers, but it is not warmer than wool. While it doesn't burn quickly, silk is not flame retardant like wool is. Silk holds odors more than wool, which is important when items don't get laundered regularly, if ever.

What about crocheted items?

There are wonderful patterns for vests, sweaters, mittens, and hats in crochet. As with all items, the finished wool fabric should be dense and warm, not airy. We cannot accept crocheted socks, however; socks must be knitted in order to be both dense enough and flexible enough to fit a variety of foot sizes and shapes.

When should I send my items to you?

You may send your items whenever it is convenient for you to do so. We do occasionally have campaign deadlines, but we are constantly sorting items and communicating with organizations about their needs. You do not need to wait until a specific date to send your items.

What items do you need the most?

Hats and socks are definitely the primary need, because of the importance of keeping children's heads and feet warm! Sweaters and vests are next: They are often worn both indoors and outdoors, and they layer well for flexibility and warmth. Mittens and blankets are no less important and are desperately needed, just in lower numbers.