Although the exact origin of the breed remains a subject of debate, Merino sheep have come to be regarded worldwide as one of the producers of the finest wool, noted for its many desirable qualities. So what are some of the advantages of Merino?
Merino wool is noted for being exceptionally lightweight in comparison with other types of wool, and is actually one of the finest wools in the world. This means it feels silky soft in comparison with other denser types, which can often be prickly and lumpy. This makes Merino a great choice for a next to skin base layer.
Despite its light weight, Merino is still a fantastic insulator, trapping body heat to keep you warm for longer. Fibres in the wool naturally crimp to retain warm air, which is one of the reasons the material was such a popular choice historically. Modern Merino wool’s silky texture makes it exceptionally warm but still comfortable.
Modern manufacturing processes mean it’s possible to have a fashionable, stylish garment made from natural materials. Merino’s smoothness, light weight and warmth make it a great choice for producing cutting-edge fashion as well as traditional knitwear such as Aran sweaters which you can find out more about here.
Merino wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture whilst still retaining its insulating properties, which makes it a great choice for use in outdoor leisure and hiking clothing. The wool is also very good at wicking – the term used for drawing perspiration and moisture away from the skin.
Merino is also naturally resistant to the odour caused by bacteria in trapped perspiration, meaning it stays fresh for longer! This means it doesn’t need to be washed as frequently as other materials.
Another of Merino’s desirable qualities is its elasticity. Its fine fibres mean it is surprisingly stretchy, and resistant to wear from washing, meaning your clothes will last for longer. These elastic properties mean Merino can be used in outdoor activity clothing as it will stretch comfortably to accommodate the wearer whilst retaining its shape. Natural durability was one of the main reasons Merino wool was so highly regarded, historically.
Thanks to modern manufacturing processes and refinements, along with its amazing natural characteristics in the first place, Merino wool now offers significant advantages over other synthetic materials.