Wool: the natural choice for sustainable interiors

From its durability to its safety properties, there are a long list of reasons wool provides a sustainable and long-term solution for cruise ship interior design, says Karen Lauvålien of Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik 

Wool: the natural choice for sustainable interiors

Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik

By Guest |

The cruise industry is embracing sustainability, with over 300 individuals and companies backing the Sustainable Maritime Interiors Declaration in response to increasing consumer demand for responsible design, build and maintenance practices. This shift towards sustainable interiors has spurred interest in renewable materials, including wool textiles that offer both functionality and environmental benefits. 

Wool is a natural fibre that is biologically degradable and does not leave harmful residues. This is the opposite to synthetic textiles like polyester or nylon, which contribute to long-lasting microplastic pollution in our oceans. The production and maintenance of synthetic fabrics also releases microplastic particles into water systems during manufacturing and washing cycles. These particles pose a significant threat to marine ecosystems as they accumulate and harm marine life. Wool, however, does not release microplastic particles, reducing the environmental impact of textiles used in marine settings.  

Another sustainable advantage of wool is its longevity. Wool textiles are inherently durable, which reduces the frequency of replacement and the associated environmental impacts of production and disposal. This durability can help designers create products for maritime interiors that are designed to last, a key aim of the Sustainable Maritime Interiors Declaration.  

Additionally, wool’s natural ability to repel water means that fewer chemicals are needed to treat the fabric, further minimising its ecological footprint. This in turn reduces the use of potentially harmful chemicals that can end up in the environment and contribute to pollution. Wool is also self-cleaning and has antibacterial properties, making furniture made with wool easy to maintain. You can go a long way with a cloth and some warm water. The material has good resilience and holds up well year after year with proper care. Wool attracts little dust and, importantly, is naturally flame retardant, which is essential for the safety of marine interiors.  

At Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik, we operate a unique facility where all processes are managed under one roof. We are a textile-mill that produces wool that is certified by the International Maritime Organization locally in Norway. Our comprehensive control over the production chain allows for continuous development of more sustainable practices and innovative, environmentally friendly products. In addition to wool’s unique properties, having full control over the value chain enables us to constantly develop more sustainable processes and products.  

Karen Lauvålien is sales and marketing director at Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik 

This article was first published in the 2024 issue of  Cruise & Ferry Interiors. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe  for FREE to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.  

Contact author


Subscribe to the Cruise & Ferry newsletter

  • ©2024 Tudor Rose. All Rights Reserved. Cruise & Ferry is published by Tudor Rose.