Harrison Spinks, A luxury Yorkshire bed-maker which owns a 300-acre farm at Bolton Percy, York producing natural bedding materials has struck a creative note to enhance mattress comfort – it has discovered that playing music to its flock of sheep softens their wool, creating a more sumptuous bedding material.
Researchers at Harrison Spinks, a 179-year-old family business which employs 600 people in the region, found that music naturally increases the levels of lanolin produced by the sheep resulting in a thicker, more luxurious wool.
The company, which has installed speakers across its farm, is now looking at different musical genres to see if it can pinpoint the best performing tracks for maximum lanolin production.
Simon Spinks, Managing Director at Harrison Spinks, said:
We have an inhouse R&D team and we’re constantly looking to innovate in all aspects of mattress production in our pursuit of the perfect night’s sleep. This latest innovation was inspired by research in New Zealand which showed that content sheep increase their lanolin production – more lanolin in wool makes it softer.
We know that music produces dopamine in humans which makes us feel happy, so we tested some uplifting tracks and it had an almost overnight affect on lanolin production. Specifically, we saw not just a 14% increase in fleece mass, but a softer more sumptuous wool compared to the coats from sheep in the fields without music.
We now have speakers set discreetly into the hedgerows around the farm – it’s low volume, so there’s no noise pollution and the sheep are free to roam away from the tunes, but they tend to congregate near the speakers. Every few months we do a live set which the sheep really respond to. Our R&D team are now looking at everything from musical genres to specific songs to see if there’s a correlation between track type and wool softness.
The company – which was founded in 1840 and is one of Great Britain’s most established and innovative bed and mattress manufacturers – has created a sheep-inspired playlist:
Whitney Houston: I Wool Always Love Ewe | Ed Shearing: Sheep of Ewe | Tammy Wynette: Stand By Your Lamb | Lady Baa-Baa: Baaaaad Romance | Cher: The Sheep Sheep Song | Michael Jackson: Bleat It | Queen: We Will Flock You | Sia: Sheep Thrills | Coldplay: Fix Ewe | Bee Gees: How Sheep is Ewe Love
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