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November 10, 2021 6 min read

If you are like us, you love the outdoors at all times of the year. The soft, lightweight material made from Merino wool is a game-changer when it comes to keeping you active year-round.

 Merino Yarn

 What Is Merino Wool?

Merino wool is a smooth thread created from the extra soft fleece of Merino sheep. Merino sheep are found in Spain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. Unlike regular wool, you can comfortably wear Merino wool next to the skin without irritation.

 Merino Origin

The Origins of
Merino Wool

Near the end of the Middle Ages, Merino sheep were created in Spain. How exactly this breed was made is still up for debate. This coveted breed of sheep was so crucial to Spain that it was illegal to export them out of the country. Those individuals who attempted exporting these animals risked getting the death penalty since Spain wanted to keep their monopoly on Merino wool. It wasn't until around the 18th century the breed began to be exported.


Ways to Wear Merino Wool

Why Microns Matter

A micron is one-millionth of a meter and is the unit of measure used to assess the diameter of wool fiber. Finer and softer wool fibers have a lower micron value than other types of wool, which bend with your body. In contrast, coarser fibers will have a higher micron rating. There is a wide range of micron levels. For example, Merino wool is ultra-fine and can have a micron level as low as 11 compared to other types of wool that can have closer to 25 microns. To give you a point of reference, a strand of your hair is about 45 microns thick.

    What Is Special About Merino Wool

    Where do we start when talking about what is special about Merino Wool? Merino Wool is unique because you can wear it in the summer or winter. It is perfect for all year because it regulates body temperature by keeping you dry and warm. Due to the porous properties of this natural thread, it whisks moisture away from the skin, making it vapor. When wearing Merino Wool, you will not feel the soggy feeling that is often associated with synthetic fiber. Usually, synthetic fiber locks in the moisture, making the threads damp and sticky against your skin. Let's talk about the advantages of Merino Wool and why you need this material for your next outdoor adventure.


    Merino Wool Advantages

    What Are the Advantages of Merino Wool?

    Merino Wool has many advantages over other materials on the market. Let's break down what makes Merino Wool stand out from the crowd.


    Remember that itchy wool sweater your mom made you wear when you were a kid? You will not find that feeling with Merino Wool. Compared to regular wool, the fibers of Merino Wool are soft and delicate. Because Merino Wool is exceptionally soft, it is much easier to wear against bare skin than traditional wool. The soft fibers bend when coming into contact with skin compared to more coarse threads.

    Secures Heat

    Even though Merino thread is ultra-fine, these garments can keep you warm. Since the fine fibers can bend with your body, as we touched upon above, heat is trapped between them allows for better body temperature regulation. In addition, different garment weight options are available depending on the outdoor temperatures you will be enduring on your adventure. For example, base layers are available in lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight.

    Moisture Wicking

    The porous Merino fibers draw moisture away from the skin, and the garment's outside. In addition, the moisture-wicking properties of Merino wool make this fiber ideal for base layers.

    Odor Fighter

    No one likes jumping in the car after a day of outdoor fun and being able to smell themselves. Luckily, Merino Wool is a natural odor fighter. Unlike other materials that allow bacteria build-up and unpleasant smell, Merino Wool fibers lock in bacteria, limiting bacteria build-up.


    This natural fiber is grown from Merino sheep. One sheep can produce up to five pounds of Moreno wool per year. Since Merino wool is natural and not synthetic, it is also biodegradable. A Moreno wool garment can completely decompose within three to four months when buried underground. The natural amino acids are then released back into the ground.


    Even after repeated wear and washes, garments made from Merino Wool continue to hold shape and don't wrinkle. This is due to each fine fiber reacting like an elastic spring, allowing the thread to return to its initial position after being stretched.

    I can attest to the wrinkle-resistant part; as I searched for my base layer before going on a hike recently, I found it squished in the back of my dresser. I was worried that I would need some wrinkle release spray to wear it in public, but it came out looking perfect.

    Fire Resistant            

    Not that you plan to add firewalking to your list of outdoor adventures, but it is good to know that Merino wool has a higher heat threshold than synthetic fabrics such as nylon or polyester. So enjoy your time around the fire.


    How to Care for Merino Wool

    It is best to wash your Merino garments in cool or warm water. Hotter temperatures have the possibility of shrinking the wool. Absolutely avoid bleach and fabric softener. Bleach destroys the Merino wool fibers, while fabric softener coats the fibers, losing many of their amazing qualities. Skip the dryer as air-drying is best for Merino wool. Want to know a few more tips? Check out our 4 Ways to Making Your Merino Wool last.

    Why is Merino Wool Expensive?

    Understanding why Merino Wool costs what it does is essential to comprehend how it is generally priced. Bear with us as we get a little technical and discuss numbers. The most critical factor in determining the price of wool is the diameter of the thread. The wool thread is measured in micrometers. Merino Wool thread is close to approximately 11 microns, making it the thinnest on the market. The wool produced by sheep other than Merino can produce wool closer to 17-24 microns. Since Merino Wool is so fine, it helps make it super soft.

    The Bottom Line

    If you are looking for a quality garment that will continue to perform in the harshest conditions, then Merino Wool is right for you. It allows you to continue doing whatever outdoor activity you love while also being comfortable. So give Merino Wool a try; you might just be surprised.



    Read on to find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Merino wool.

    Is Merino wool really that good?

    Yes, Merino wool is great because it can be used year-round and not just one specific season.

    What wool is not itchy?

    Merino wool is not itchy because of the ultra-fine fibers that are incredibly soft.

    Is Merino wool hot?

    No, Merino wool is not hot. It is an incredibly versatile fabric because it is able to trap heat when it is cold outside and release heat when it is hot outside.

    What is so special about Merino wool?

    What makes Merino wool so special is how incredibly soft the fibers are and its ability to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

    Is Merino real wool?

    Yes, the wool comes from a specific type of sheep called Merino.

    What is Australian Merino wool?

    Australian Merino wool is wool that is sheered from Merino sheep that live in Australia.

    Is Australian Merino wool good?

    Australian Merino is excellent quality.

    Does Merino wool last?

    Merino wool does last with proper care instructions.

    Why is Merino wool better than normal wool?

    Merino wool is much softer than regular wool and can be worn against the skin.

    Why is Merino wool so renowned?

    Merino is so renowned due to its ability to help control your body's temperature.

    Does Merino wool keep you warmer?

    Merino will definitely keep you warmer when used as a base layer.

    Can you wear Merino wool in winter?

    Merino performs fantastically in the winter due to its ability to trap heat while wicking away moisture.

    Is Merino wool good for extreme cold?

    Merino's primary purpose is to wick away moisture to help keep you warm.

    Is Merino wool warmer than fleece?

    Fleece is warmer, but if the two fabrics were to get wet the Merino would provide better insulation.

    Is Merino wool good for sweaters?

    Merino is great for sweaters because the fabric is incredibly soft and can be worn next to your skin.

    Is Merino wool insulating?

    Merino helps to trap heat based on the naturally curved fibers.

    Is Merino wool itchy?

    No, it is not itchy because of how fine the Merino fibers are.



    About the Author
    Katie Pierson

    Katie is the creator of MT Girl Fitness and a freelance writer with a passion for the health and wellness industry. She has been a certified health and fitness professional for almost twenty years. She currently holds ten certifications and looks forward to sharing her passion for health and wellness with you.

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