When choosing a fabric for your clothes, all pros and cons must be evaluated. One of many options might be wool – it is said to be natural, extremely warm and wind-blocking. However, wool also has its many different types. One of the most luxurious amongst those is Merino wool, but few people truly know why it is regarded as premium material. Why is Merino so special? How is it made? Why has it become so popular and what are the secrets that Merino wool has? menique is here to provide answers.
Merino wool: where does it come from?
Scarcely could we find a person who has not heard of Merino wool – the first touch of that soft fabric definitely stays in the memory. However, Merino wool also has its unique history to tell: how it is made, prepared and produced to reach our wardrobes.
Wool comes from sheep – it is a well-known fact. This animal fiber forms a protection, covering layer and provides warmth and comfort to its owners in the fields. No surprise that first human beings did not take long to notice that wool is perfect for coats and other clothing.
What is special about merino sheep?
Originally from Spain, this sheep breed was then domesticated in Australia and it is now said that the best Merino wool is produced there. Other countries, known for farming Merino sheep for their fleece are New Zealand, Argentina, Chile. It is worth noting that this breed is one of the oldest and can adapt itself to very harsh conditions, thriving even in extreme climate.
Merino wool is unique due to several reasons. Grown by Merino sheep, as the title suggests, it is easily distinguished from traditional wool.
✔️ First of all, Merino sheep provide extremely soft wool fleece. Thanks to innovative breeding of the sheep, Merino wool is renowned for its finest quality fiber which is softer and milder than regular wool and can be worn directly on the skin without any risk of irritation.
✔️ A single Merino wool fiber is ⅓ the diameter of a human hair – this speaks volumes about the quality of Merino wool fabric which is much finer and lighter than regular wool, simply perfect for next-to-skin layers.
✔️ Regular wool is usually used for winter coats, slippers or vests, while Merino wool is much more versatile and functional. It can be worn alone or under other clothes as base layers, used for outdoor activities or lazy home lounge filled with comfort and coziness.
From annual hair cut to soft fabric
Merino wool is naturally organic and consists of animal protein keratin, the same way as our hair does. It grows as the insulating fleecy undercoat and is obtained by sheep shearing. This process, although might seem a bit cruel, actually does not hurt a sheep. On the contrary, they have to be sheared at least once per year, usually in the spring. This gives them more freedom to move without restrictions of additional weight and, of course, lets the new fleece regrow cleaner and even softer.
Sheared fleece is not ready for clothing material, of course.
It has to be cleaned with water and soap, removing dirt and grease.
Then fibers are separated into long threads, preparing for spinning.
After that, the yarn is woven or knitted, finally giving a form to fabric.
This Merino wool material is then dyed and once more cleaned with water and soap.
Merino wool properties – 'all wool and yard wide'
✔️Merino fibers are longer than typical wool, therefore are non-itchy and do not irritate the skin. That is why clothes made from Merino wool can be worn directly on the skin as base layers, providing warmth and softness even if the skin is said to be sensitive to synthetics.
✔️Sheep wool grows in clusters and is sheared every year, so it is naturally elastic. This quality is essential when choosing sportswear or loungewear, because the clothes are not restricting movements and easy to wear.
✔️Merino wool is highly absorptive: it does not let the water or sweat stay long in the fabric and dries faster. It is a beneficial asset for sportswear, because Merino wool is odor-resistant and moisture-wicking.
✔️Being as natural as possible, Merino wool is a great choice not only for sport and active lifestyle lovers. It features hypoallergenic and anti-microbial qualities that are essential for highly sensitive skin of kids.
✔️As already mentioned, Merino wool is extremely breathable, soft and pleasant to wear, providing the body with warmth and luxurious comfort. It insulated from wind in colder weather and prevents sweating in heat, due to its thermoregulatory features. This is vital when choosing multifunctional, versatile clothes for your wardrobe.
✔️Merino wool is sustainable, because clothes made from this material can be worn independently from season or occasion. Being organic and durable, this fabric definitely finds its place in the suitcase while traveling or spending time outdoors, in the mountains.
✔️Easy to take care of and wrinkle-resistant. This is also about Merino wool. It is perfect for trips and everyday use, quick drying and totally fine without ironing.
Soft, breathable and… eco-friendly. Merino wool is perfect for nature lovers, who want to indulge themselves in luxurious comfort of high-quality fabric.