Materials

General
Organic wool, silk and cotton: at Asterra you find durable and natural materials. This is an aware choice. We choose for sustainability for nature, people and environment. Most of our products are worn directly on the skin. Our skin provides for the contact between body and outside world and for that reason deserves to be nourished . This is of importance to children and adults. Hence we keep a vast stock of articles for young and old, man and woman.

Wool
Wool sometimes has the name of being ancient. In former days it was common to wear woolen under vests and trousers in wintertime. Many parents of nowadays have unpleasant, itching, memories of that. The current generation of woolen underwear cannot be compared to that experience any longer: the wool is soft, gentle and caresses the skin. As a result of this, wool is working on a come-back. To name some examples:

  • The players of AC Milan wear woolen underwear;
  • Survivor man Less Stroud (Discovery-Channel), who survives in very extreme circumstances without food and without lodging, swears at woolen underwear;
  • In the tests of sport underwear, the role of wool is growing.
  • More and more people rediscover wool as a comfortable material in daily use.
  • Previous studies suggest that sleep quality improves when sleeping on or under wool. This appears to be related to wool's unique temperature and moisture management properties.

Wool breathes, gives a comfortable warmth and can take up to 30% of its own weight in moist without feeling wet. The wool-fat (lanoline), which occurs naturally on the wool fiber, has an anti bacterial effect and makes the wool fiber water and dirt repellant.

The sheep wool which is used for our products, comes mainly from South America.  The wool is processed in Europe and is of the very best, softest quality. The wool is organic which means that:

  • sheep live in free space;
  • No chemical pesticides or fertilizers are used for the cultivation of fodder, nor for the breeding of the sheep;
  • There is no mulesing involved;
  • No antibiotics are used on the animals;
  • Social criteria are observed.

Silk
Silk, of all substances, resembles the human skin most, because of its protein structure. Silk is soft, cosy and has to the particular property to cool down if one is too warm and to heat if one is cold. Silk feels as a second skin. In case of a sensitive skin and of allergies, silk is indispensable. Silk has a healing effect on the skin itself and it helps to protect against (too) many impressions from the outside world. Silk on the skin is a benefit for everyone. In wintertime it is possible to add extra warmth by wearing a woolen layer over the silk layer .

The articles of pure silk that we sell is a splendid smooth silk of organic quality. This means that at the cultivation of the caterpillars and the mulberry tree, where the caterpillars live on, no artificial pesticides and chemical fertilizers are used. Moreover, within this splendid project in China (see www.alkena.ch/ALKENA_/Organic_silk_/organic_silk_.html) the social criteria are observed.

Combinations of wool with silk and/or cotton
The clothes of 70% wool and 30% silk combine the particular properties of wool and silk. The material is softer than just wool and nevertheless comfortably warm.

The silk/wool/cotton combination which we have is more airy because of the addition of organic cotton. It is a delicious gentle material that has a very attractive price.

The silk in these combined materials is not organic, all other materials are.

The wool/cotton combination is produced especially for children that do not tolerate wool on the skin; the outside of the material is wool, the inside cotton. In this material was added a small amount of polyamide (5%) which is necessary to join inner and outer layer.

Peat
Peat fibers are humificated plant fibers of the plant called cotton grass, which grows on the highmoor. The fibers are hundreds of years old and grew in a time that there was no environmental pollution yet. Peat is dug in Scandinavia where the increase of the highmoor is still larger than that people dig it up.

Peat has special qualities:

  • Active heating;
  • Damp regulation;
  • vitalising;
  • Warmth isolating;
  • Anti bacterial;
  • Protects against terrestrial radiation.

At this moment Asterra can serve you with one type of peat product: peat inlay soles. Peat is always mixed with wool.