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.
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.
The Origins of
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.
Base Layers- Check out our Merino Wool Base Layer!
Sweaters & Tops
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, Merino wool is great because it can be used year-round and not just one specific season.
Merino wool is not itchy because of the ultra-fine fibers that are incredibly soft.
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 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.
Yes, the wool comes from a specific type of sheep called Merino.
Australian Merino wool is wool that is sheered from Merino sheep that live in Australia.
Australian Merino is excellent quality.
Merino wool does last with proper care instructions.
Merino wool is much softer than regular wool and can be worn against the skin.
Merino is so renowned due to its ability to help control your body's temperature.
Merino will definitely keep you warmer when used as a base layer.
Merino performs fantastically in the winter due to its ability to trap heat while wicking away moisture.
Merino's primary purpose is to wick away moisture to help keep you warm.
Fleece is warmer, but if the two fabrics were to get wet the Merino would provide better insulation.
Merino is great for sweaters because the fabric is incredibly soft and can be worn next to your skin.
Merino helps to trap heat based on the naturally curved fibers.
No, it is not itchy because of how fine the Merino fibers are.
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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