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    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2017
     
    It was very sad to read about major problems with moths infesting organic insulation.

    I have always shied away from natural organic insulants,

    Discuss.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2017
     
    I agree. I use recycled plastic bottle insulation instead - much more pleasant to use than mineral wool, as well as being recycled.
  1.  
    I think it is better to use oil to produce insulation rather than burning the oil to produce heat or produce fibres for clothing. It is better to use organic materials such as wool or cotton for clothing.
  2.  
    Posted By: tonyIt was very sad to read about major problems with moths infesting organic insulation.

    I have always shied away from natural organic insulants,

    Discuss.


    Source?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2017
     
    Recent Telegraph and I thought I heard something on the radio too.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2017 edited
     
    Moths attack wool insulation specifically, not 'organic' insulation in general whatever that means.

    Pre-treatment with borax is supposed to avoid the problem but personally I wouldn't touch the stuff with a barge pole, even ignoring the cost. https://ntenvironmentalwork.net/2011/05/26/problems-with-one-batch-of-wool-insulation/

    Personally I don't use wool or cotton for clothing either when I can avoid it although polycotton is pretty ubiquitous.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017
     
    That link is valuable Dave - but why 'I don't use wool or cotton for clothing either'? Seems to have no connection with this issue (other than moth holes) - but so many plusses.
    That is, 'organic' wool/cotton - esp ordinary cotton is treated with all sorts of agricultural nasties - and then the vast amounts of water that one T-shirt has consumed.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017
     
    No, it's nothing to do with moths. Cotton in particular stays wet once it gets wet. Wool isn't so bad but is heavier than alternatives.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017
     
    Surely it depends on the use of the clothing...
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017 edited
     
    Wool is still the best hygroscopic clothing, which artificial hygroscopics can't match - i.e. you sweat like a pig, it sequesters it into its little sacs, still feels dry, re-evaporates when you take it off/warm place. Obviously if you go in for wet-T-shirt soakings that's different!
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017
     
    Posted By: djhPre-treatment with borax is supposed to avoid the problem but personally I wouldn't touch the stuff with a barge pole, even ignoring the cost.

    As I posted in a similar thread (http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=14745) there's another reason too:

    It's a few years old (2010), but the report below suggests that the durability of borax treatment of wool 'seems to be uncertain': http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/754295/EB63-Ecos-Trust-2010-Audit-of-Local-Sustainable-Construction-Materials-in-the-Greater-Exmoor-Area.pdf
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017
     
    Posted By: fostertomObviously if you go in for wet-T-shirt soakings that's different!

    Standing in a fire hose is the more usual analogy. Sailing.
    • CommentAuthorMarkyP
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017
     
    I considered sheeps wool during the early stages of my thermal design, moth worries quickly put me off, and cost. It's a close-but-no-cigar type of product for me.

    if the moth worries could be addressed without doubt, are there situations where technically (rather than emotionally/ethically) it's the right product?
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017
     
    Posted By: stevethefarmSource?


    Probably this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/01/grand-designs-dream-home-ruined-biblical-plague-moths/
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017
     
    Posted By: MarkyPif the moth worries could be addressed without doubt, are there situations where technically (rather than emotionally/ethically) it's the right product?

    On a sheep? ;-)
    • CommentAuthorMarkyP
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017 edited
     
    well, we've got at least one valid use case there. :bigsmile:

    I would add tea cosies to the list. Arguably the most important piece of insulation in any home.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017
     
    I can't think of any case where I'd prefer sheeps wool to blown in cellulose or mineral wool or recycled plastic wool depending on the use case. Use by a sheep excepted.

    Don't tea cosies just result in stewed warm tea?
  3.  
    Posted By: djhPersonally I don't use wool or cotton for clothing either when I can avoid it a


    Posted By: djhWool isn't so bad but is heavier than alternatives.


    Though it does have the advantage of being very resistant to getting smelly.

    Artificial fibres have their own issues -
    https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/may/13/clothes-companies-microfiber-pollution
    • CommentAuthorMarkyP
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017 edited
     
    Posted By: djh

    Don't tea cosies just result in stewed warm tea?


    several variables variables at play here - tea type, quantity of leaves used, and time between cups. The cosy is handy to ensure temperature adequate for that second cup. Some would consider a weaker first cup acceptable, addressed with the second which reaches optimal strength after enough brew time. An amount of Darjeeling in the mix can extend pot life.

    edit to clarify: I meant a bit of Darjeeling mellows the brew, not adds to the longevity of the pot!
    • CommentAuthorMarkyP
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017
     
    and havent we all stopped using tea bags since we found out they contained plastic?
  4.  
    Apparently not - 96% of tea is consumed as tea bags - https://www.tea.co.uk/tea-faqs

    I always put my tea bags on the compost heap. They do seem to compost.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017
     
    Posted By: MarkyPif the moth worries could be addressed without doubt, are there situations where technically (rather than emotionally/ethically) it's the right product?
    You bet - as I said, unbeatable hygrocopicity.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017 edited
     
    Do you have a source that compares wool with others like hemp, cellulose, straw, woodfibre batts etc?

    edit: and indeed in what circumstances is hygroscopic capacity the principal design criterion?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2017 edited
     
    Ah, answering my own question, here's some data:

    http://www.ibpc2015.org/app/media/uploads/files/papers/IBPC15_ID749_FinalX.pdf

    I don't read it as justifying your claim, Tom, especially if we can dismiss untreated wool as unfit for purpose because of the moth problem.

    edit: Here's another link that seems to have some data but I haven't read it yet: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214993715000068/pdfft?md5=15bb2644b3b5abc29ee6f257a67589e5&pid=1-s2.0-S2214993715000068-main.pdf

    Good night!
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