Merino wool is the finest and softest wool out there, with high levels of warmth and breathability it is an essential piece of clothing. It is an incredibly popular choice of fabric, proving a testament to its quality and durability.
The natural fibre is grown on Merino sheep in Australia, renown for its softness, this type of wool is suited for luxury clothing and high-performance sportswear. The high quality and versatility of this wool makes it perfect for next-to-skin apparel.
With antibacterial and anti-odour properties, merino wool is ideal for sporting activities. As merino wool is also extremely breathable and moisture wicking it means that you can wear the piece for longer.
It also remains prized as one of the softest and most luxurious wool fabrics available. Yet, despite its luxurious softness, it is an affordable woolen fabric. The volumes of sheep in Australia assist in the costs of merino wool.
How is it produced?
Merino wool is natural, renewable, and traceable. Merino sheep are one of the most renowned breeds of sheep in world. Australia is the lead producers of merino wool, having approximately 53 million Merino sheep.
This sustainable fabric is produced by the sheep year-round, with every year the sheep producing a new fleece. Selective breeding of the sheep enabled the wool to become the material it is today.
The wool is composed of the protein keratin (the same protein found in human hair), it also contains a small amount of calcium, sodium, and fat. Each fibre is covered in scales which is important in constructing pelts and woolen fabric.
Benefits of Merino Wool
The fabric is highly breathable and helps in regulating temperature. While wicking moisture away from the body it also retains the heat in cold conditions and releases the heat in warm conditions. The level of breathability is superior to that of cotton and other man-made fabrics. Merino wool is porous, having tiny holes between fibres which allows sweat to pass through as a vapor.
To help you stay fresh, merino wool has antibacterial properties which prevents unwanted smells. If you’re planning on physical activities, merino wool is ideal as it stops sweat build up and the unwelcomed smells. The antibacterial and anti-odour properties means that there is less washing, it ensures that you can wear the garment repeatedly.
Lightweight and Soft
Merino wool is a fine wool compared to other sheep, the finer the wool the softer the garment, meaning that this wool is extremely soft to the touch. With the fine wool properties, it reduces itchiness which makes it a comfortable base layer.
This wool is ideal for the colder months as it is guaranteed to keep you warm. Taking a deeper look into the fabric there are crimps which hit each other as you move, this then creates pockets to trap air, keeping you warm despite the cold. Even if the garment becomes damp from drizzly winter weather, it will retain its insulating properties.
Despite woollen garments having a bad reputation as being difficult when it comes to washing and caring for them, merino wool is easier to take care of. Most merino wool products are machine washable. It is still best to separate woollen garments from the rest of your washing, but it is not essential.
A Natural Fibre
Merino wool is a natural fibre that has evolved to keep the sheep warm and cool during the extreme weathers. Their dense insulated coats trap the heat inside, making it the perfect fabric for cold seasons, a staple of winter clothing.
With proteins composed of amino acids and natural compounds, it is a natural source to keep you warm. It is both a natural and renewable fibre, one sheep being able to grow 4-5 pounds of wool per year. Additionally, merino wool is biodegradable, a merino wool garment could take around a year to breakdown.
Types of Wool
Merino wool is one of the finest in the world, its fine texture makes it a soft fabric. A unique way to look at the fineness of the wool is when comparing it to a human hair. The average micron of a human hair is 50–100-micron, merino wool is generally less than 22 microns.
There are other types of wool which is used in industries. These are categorised into three types: fine, medium, and broad.
A highly valued type of wool which comes from merino sheep. It is the finest micron and is used for high-quality, soft fabrics and knitting yarns.
This type of wool can be produced from a type of merino sheep or can be produced by crossbreeding with one another. Medium wool is used in a variety of woven clothing and apparel.
Many types of sheep are used for broad wool. The breeds used for this type of wool are used for dual purposes, being farmed for both their wool and their meat. Broad wool is used for its strength, ideal for carpets.
Is Merino Wool Worth It?
Merino wool is ideal for the cooler months and perfect for outdoor sports no matter the weather. It acts as a great base layer for the winter, it insulates while stopping you from sweating. The softness of the fabric also ensures that it won’t be itchy or uncomfortable directly against the skin.
If you plan on partaking in outdoor sports and activities, merino wool is the ideal fabric for any outdoor adventure. Great for high active sports such as cycling, skiing, or hiking, it regulates your temperature and prevents odour. It also continues to regulate temperature if it gets wet, if there's a sudden downpour you will still be either warm or cool.
Travellers should also consider merino wool. Lightweight and soft garments which pack away easily are ideal for traveling. With the antibacterial and anti-odour properties, it saves on washing expenses and on having to pack less. The flexibility of merino wool, keeping you either warm or cool depending on the temperature, also makes it ideal for traveling, cutting what you pack in half.
Explore our selection of Merino Wool beanies here.
Explore our knitwear here.