What is merino wool? 10 Reasons to wear merino wool clothes
Merino wool is taken from an ancient breed of sheep that originated in the harsh environments of the mountains of Spain, but are now bred in a number of countries, including Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Merino sheep are widely considered to provide the softest and the warmest wool of all the breeds of sheep and it’s used widely in top of the range outdoor and athletic clothing. Because the sheep originated from such a harsh environment, their wool has evolved to provide them with the maximum protection from the weather, and that’s why it is so good for outdoor clothing. Here are ten reasons why should take a closer look at merino wool and consider wearing merino wool clothes.
1. Unbelievably comfortable to wear
Merino wool is soft to the touch, it is often used to make clothes that you wear next to the skin. Unlike regular sheep’s wool, merino wool doesn’t have that prickly feel to it that makes you want to scratch, and it doesn’t create the static electricity that makes your hair stand on end either.
2. Very easy to look after
One of the really amazing things about merino wool is how easy it is to wash and care for. It naturally repels stains and odours, so it doesn’t need washing as often as other fabrics do, and it doesn’t need to be washed for as long to get it clean again. In fact, if you just hang a merino wool garment out to air, any odours just seem to evaporate into thin air!
3. Keeps its shape for longer
Merino wool also has the amazing ability to stretch, and then return straight back to its original shape, even after repeated washing. That’s part of the reason that merino wool clothes are so good for outdoor pursuit and running. It doesn’t seem to matter what you do to it, it just bounces back into its original shape again.
4. Stain resistant
Spills are not a big problem if you are wearing merino wool, because it’s stain resistant too. If you do spill a drink down the front of your new merino wool top, don’t panic, it will just wipe away easily. Merino wool is also fire retardant, so that will be of comfort if you find yourself sitting around a camp fire.
5. Soaks up moisture
Merino wool will keep you warm and dry, even if you do work up a sweat exercising outdoors. It can soak up 30% of its own weight in water and then it will draw the moisture away from the skin so that can evaporate into the air. Prefect for when you are hiking your way up a steep hillside on a long trek in the country.
6. Great breathability
Depending on how it is woven, merino wool is porous, so it’s ideal to wear for outdoor activities like cycling and running. When it’s woven thinly, for something T-shirt, it will keep you warm on a cold day, but it will still allow the air to get your body and the sweat to escape into the air.
7. It doesn’t cause allergic reactions
Even if you are allergic to regular sheep’s wool, there’s a very good chance that you will be ok with merino wool. It’s very rare for anyone to have an allergy problem with merino wool, and it doesn’t make you itch, like regular wool does, either. The fibres are just so soft and gentle on your skin, you will barely know you are wearing it.
8. Regulates body temperature
That breathability that we already mentioned also means that clothes made from merino wool are very good for regulating the body temperature. When you are getting too hot, it’s able to release heat from your body and keep you cool, and when you are cold, it will retain body heat to keep you warm. That’s the beauty of wearing natural fibres, because that’s exactly what merino wool does for the sheep.
9. It doesn’t make a noise!
If you’ve ever been out running or cycling in all weather gear, you will know what an annoying rustling sound it can make when you move. When you wear merino wool garments, they will still protect you from the elements, but you’ll look a lot more stylish and you own make that awful noise.
10. It is good for everyday wear too.
We’ve focussed on the benefits of merino wool for outdoor pursuits here, but it can be worn anywhere. Have a look around and you will find T-shirts, tops, skirts, and some very stylish looking sweaters too. It’s not just for wearing when you are hiking up a mountainside, you can get all the practical benefits we have mentioned in everyday garments too.