Back at home and suffering from jet lag I am so happy to sleep in my own bed. You already know how it was made if you have read Buona Notte. Pillow talk is an important aspect of a happy relationship and the key to this is a good pillow in addition good company.
When buying our first mattress I also got a lesson in pillows. I had never bought a pillow in my life, they just were… and as it was with my bed, I had never given my pillow much thought. I liked my pillow…I must have had many pillows in my life and my mom magically made a new pillow appear when necessary. I was young and could sleep anywhere…can I go back in time please?
Mauro’s family has always used wool pillows along with the wool stuffed mattress and we got a few of these new pillows along with our new bed. About a year and a half later my pillow was loosing it’s fluff and I said something to Mauro about it one day. “Take it back to the mattress makers and they’ll take care of it.” Okay…off I went.
When I got there I realized I was supposed to have taken the cotton case off of the wool and washed it ahead of time. The owner graciously offered to do it for me just this once. I was told to come back the next day and my pillow would be like new.
Twenty four hours later I went back as told. The wool had been cleaned, re-carded and put back into it’s freshly laundered, very white (it wasn’t when I took it) cotton case. I paid six euro per pillow and back at home the bed was once again perfect.
A couple of years later when I went back to do our pillows again (this time I washed my pillow cases first) I decided to ask a few questions about the health and longevity of these pillows. The wool used in pillows and mattresses can be used for two hundred years! Yes, it will need to be reworked, fairly often in the case of pillows, but with cleaning and re-carding it will certainly out last me and many future generations. Wool is naturally flame retardant and resists dust mites because it doesn’t retain moisture and wicks away moisture as we breathe. It is warm in the winter and cool in the summer and doesn’t off-gas like synthetics can. Synthetic pillows, are filled with chemical-drenched synthetic fibers such as polyurethane foam that release chemicals into the air for years; these airborne toxins can cause headaches and nausea, and even lead to multiple chemical sensitivity, a condition that stems from exposure to toxic chemicals and results in a myriad of crippling symptoms. Microscopic dust mites, (and their allergenic fecal matter) lovely, I know, frequently infest mattresses, pillows, and carpeting, leading to respiratory problems including coughing and sinus congestion. In our house where we have tile floors, just a few wool area rugs and bedding made largely from wool, we have never had any of these problems.
After using wool pillows here in Italy I wanted to see what I could find for my family back in the states since shipping pillows (or anything else for that matter) is not convenient and pillows are too bulky. I fill my suitcase with olive oil, wine and cheese when I visit home and I think a pillow might disappoint my family and friends, at least immediately.
I found a lovely little company just outside of Olympia Washington that makes great bedding from wool called Holy Lamb Organics and their Woolly Down Pillow (click here) is great since it is made with wool balls rather than carded wool. It is machine washable and easier to self-fluff this way.
In the course of writing this I have managed to get over my jet-leg thanks in part to my pillow. This week my baby is enjoying the comfort of his pillow since he is home from school with the flu. If you decide to switch to a wool pillow, let me know how you like it. I hope it makes for a good nights sleep and a little pillow talk!