Wool is (as are many natural insulations) great but it has to "breath freely"...completely free permeability of the thermal diaphragm when used in architecture...no house wraps or related barriers or other condensing surfaces.
J.C., this is actually an answer to a question I have been trying to determine on my own. A little more detail regarding your statement would be greatly appreciated.
The end of about three years of research on tiny houses is coming to a close, and I have plans to begin a minimally toxic house on a trailer soon.
Cutting a longer post short and staying on topic, the walls will be 2x4 framing on 5" plates with diagonal 2x4 bracing to give it shear rather than plywood with its adhesives. 1x8 shiplap siding will be installed horizontally on the exterior (directly on the studs) and similar shiplap or tongue and groove vertically on the interior. The plan is to use 3.5" batts between the studs and 1.5" of loose fill around the bracing and interior nailers. This should yield close to R-21, with a 1.5" thermal break on most of the wall.
The roof will be 2x6 rafters, shed style, with 1x4 bracing and purlins with metal roofing directly on top. For this, I was thinking of using 5.5" batts and allowing the remaining 3/4" as a breathing space and to avoid direct contact with the metal as a potential condensing surface.
Sheep's wool seems the best choice, but I've never used it before.
The following questions remain:
1) I want my house to breath, but not be overly drafty: will this arrangement be tight enough for better than average heat retention?
2) Will it breath enough to keep the wool dry?
3) Is there a concern with condensation with this design?
Time will prevent the processing all my own wool, and the three manufacturers of sheep's wool insulation that I've found do put in a a little borax and, from what I can tell, a bit of plasticizer in the batts.
I suppose that leads to a fourth question:
4) Would all loose fill in this design be too drafty?
If you have specific recommendations for a supplier of sheep's wool insulation, I'm interested to hear them! I'm currently in Connecticut, so a northeastern supplier would be ideal.
Also, your high regard for rock wool insulation has me a little curious. I've always assumed it was laden with several kinds of toxic gick; is this not true? Further, is it less toxic than sheep's wool that has borax and plasticizer?
Thank you for a great discussion.