Australia Felix Permaculture Update

Tammi Dallaston Wood tdallastonwood at
Wed Aug 29 06:19:58 EDT 2001

"...We also have pure woollen pillows, underblankets and doonas which you
have to experience to believe. These too were pretty cost effective and
after one night you'll never go back."
WOW these sound great (what is a doona?). Does anyone over there import to
the UK? or can I buy direct? I am looking for fleeces to sleep on, nice
brushed short hair things.
Tammi, Brighton Permaculture Trust, UK
  -----Original Message-----
  From: Australia Felix Permaculture [mailto:pcorgbgo at]
  Sent: 29 August 2001 06:12
  To: permaculture
  Subject: Re: Australia Felix Permaculture Update

  Hello Steve,

  Thanks for the post. Wool insulation is both widely used and available
here in South Eastern Australia, with at least 4 companies marketing it as a
product in my town alone (of 80000 people). Australia being the world's
biggest sheep/wool growing nation may have something to do with it!! Similar
to the US wool prices have been low for years with global prices largely
linked to the enormous stock pile of bale stored in Sydney. (they were
threatening to burn it at one stage - now it looks like the Chinese have
bought the lot much to the joy of the Aussie wool grower. Funny sheep prices
are fantastic at the moment...)

  The insulation in my ceiling is just loose fill 100% scoured wool - and
applied with a blower-type device. It cost AUD$730 for 14 squares, which is
as cheap as you'll get...The R rating is between R2.2-R3.5. It is treated
with a borax-based compound (Sodium Octoborate Tetrahydrate) to negate the
impact of wool moth. Our roof is tiled and well ventilated, although high
humidity levels only occasionally arise in summer when rain is about -
usually the extremely low summer humidity and 40-45+ degrees centigrade
temperatures are the order of the day - something the wool will help to
reduce the desiccating effects of - we hope!! Nonetheless the occasional
humidity is nothing like what you would have to put up with. Another product
that we are getting is a composite wool/poly batt - it is 60:40 Wool:Poly.
This will be used in the stud walls and ceiling of the sunrooms we are
building. The batts are R3.5. Flammability of all wool products is very low

  We also have pure woollen pillows, underblankets and doonas which you have
to experience to believe. These too were pretty cost effective and after one
night you'll never go back.

  I figure for all the damage sheep have done to our landscape we should be
utilising their products in as sensible a way as possible - not bad eating

  Go for it.


  Yours and Growing,

  Darren Doherty

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: sustainableearth.steve
    To: permaculture
    Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 12:55 PM
    Subject: Re: Australia Felix Permaculture Update

        Your recent accomplishments are amazing. My congratulations.
        I am keenly interested in wool for house insulation. Did you
encapsulate the wool? Here in the temperate Midwest of the U.S.,  the issues
about wool would be insect infestation and damage, degradation of the wool
over time in a humid climate, and flammability.
        I am developing an eco-farm and want to demonstrate building with
materials that are natural, low-tech, and local resources. Insulation is a
critical factor in this context. Although the popularity of wool for
clothing and bedding is increasing in the US , prices for wool have been in
the toilet for several years. A demand for wool insulation could stimulate a
network of regional businesses connected to family farms. This could provide
needed economic sustainability in the family farm sector.
        Of related interest (insulation, that is), someone on the
ferrocement list recommends clay coated straw as insulation with good R
values.  However, he is in Austin, Texas, which is much drier than Indiana.
and the same issues exist here.

    Steve Bonney
    Sustainable Earth, a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to
the development of sustainable food and farming systems
    100 Georgton Ct.
    W. Lafayette, IN 47906
    (765) 463-9366
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