Behind the scenes for Wool Week: Making our organic catnip toys

In praise of the versatility of wool! 

We celebrate the versatility of wool with our range of handmade organic catnip toys!

When researching what materials to make our cat toys from, we wanted something that was strong, hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly. We looked at different weights of cotton, canvas as well as man-made blends before settling on wool as the perfect primary material. Each Cheshire & Wain toy is handmade from recycled wool and velvet, stuffed with organic catnip and embroidered by hand in England 

The different stages of the making process

The different stages of the making process

But why did we choose wool?

RESILIENT Wool fibres resist tearing and are able to be bent back on themselves over 20,000 times without breaking. Due to its crimped structure, wool is also naturally elastic making it stand up remarkably well to the damage a cat's claws and teeth can make.

TEXTURE We found wool had a very pleasing texture for cats when it came to play. They love the slightly coarse feel of the material as it allows them to grip the toy easily with their claws without getting them stuck in the fabric. 

KIND TO THE ENVIRONMENT Cheshire & Wain toys are made from recycled wool blankets to give old material a new lease of life. And when the sad day comes that the toy needs to be thrown away and replaced, the wool will be returned to the soil, where it can biodegrade, releasing valuable nutrients back into the ground. 

EASY CARE Wool is far more efficient than other textiles at absorbing moisture (like your cat's dribble) and releasing it into the air, before bacteria has a chance to develop. The protective waxy coating on wool fibres makes wool products resistant to staining as well, and they pick up less dust as wool is naturally anti-static. 

What is Wool Week and The Campaign for Wool? 

The Campaign for Wool is a global endeavour initiated by its patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales (the same member of the royal family who supports Cheshire & Wain as a Princes' Trust backed business!), in order to raise awareness amongst consumers about the unique, natural, renewable and biodegradable benefits offered by the fibre. Wool week encourages collaboration between an international community of woolgrowers, major fashion designers, retailers, manufacturers, artisans and interior designers, the Campaign has been instrumental in educating consumers about the versatility of wool, and reconnecting them with its myriad uses; From luxurious fine merino knitwear and cloth through beautiful hardwearing interior products to fire-retardant insulation for the home and even luxury cat toys!!

You can always tell when a toy is well-loved and cat toys are no exception! They may go a little fuzzy (and damp!) over time but the wool makes sure they are robust even against the most vigorous feline play and the gingerbread's still smiling.

Here are some of our favourite well-loved specimens!

How are your wool catnip toys standing up to your cat's attack? Email pictures of your well-loved specimens to