How many times do you come across a label stating ‘merino wool’ on a clothing article in your favorite store? Ever wondered what makes this fabric suitable for different attire?
Whether you’re trekking, hiking, traveling, or dressing up for a night out, merino wool clothing can help you stay comfortable while protecting you from the elements.
It’s as soft as cashmere and as durable as any other synthetic fiber. The ultimate super-fabric modern designers incorporate into everything from luxury suiting to hiking shoes and merino wool sneakers.
I’ve compiled all the information about merino wool so you can see what makes it the perfect fabric for all seasons.
What is Merino Wool?
Merino wool is not your ordinary wool. In fact, it has all the properties that regular wool doesn’t, making it one of the most desirable fabrics worldwide.
Merino wool is relatively finer and softer, extracted from exotic merino sheep. These sheep exist in the highlands of New Zealand, Spain, and Australia.
Thriving in temperatures as low as -20 C° and as high as 35 C°, merino sheep have this unique fleece that helps them withstand diverse conditions.
This natural selection, combined with modern-day fiber treatment and fabric spinning technology, brings the most versatile material known to man.
Where Does Merino Wool Come From?
Today, there are various selective breeding processes. These help in producing delicate and more durable merino wool in various parts of the world.
The breed originated from Spain around the 12th century and contributed immensely to the country’s economy.
After that, the Australians started to cultivate merino wool in the 17th century, which led to its popularity worldwide. What makes merino wool ideal for today’s consumers is that it does not come from industrial giants like other synthetic fibers.
Although immensely popular, merino wool is still cultivated through modest means from natural fiber grown on merino sheep all year long.
Farmers extract the original fiber using sustainable means. However, it is further refined using technological advancements to make it smoother and more durable.
What is Merino Wool Used for?
Attributing to its multiple qualities and features, merino wool is used in various clothing articles and sports gear.
Its warmth and velvety texture are great when worn next to skin, making it ideal for winter garments such as socks, sweaters, caps, and even shawls.
Similarly, it is immensely breathable, making it useful for sports gear such as shoes and weather jackets.
Many prominent hiking gear brands, such as Senja Shoes, advertise an extra merino wool lining in their products. This prevents the wearer from getting too sweaty and uncomfortable.
Here’s a list of some popular clothing items that are made with merino wool.
Socks and Leggings
I know that the thought of wearing woolen socks and leggings is probably making you feel itchy already. However, you won’t feel the same way when you wear these items.
That’s because this material combines the warmth, durability, and elasticity of wool with the silkiness and comfort of cashmere.
So, you won’t feel any discomfort even if you wear multiple layers over your merino wool leggings.
Most importantly, its moisture-wicking, breathable nature keeps your feet from getting smelly after a long day out and prevents infections and rashes as well.
If you live in areas where winters are frigid, you probably have to go through the hassle of wearing multiple layers every time you go out.
But, merino wool basic clothing such as a simple long-sleeved T-shirt can compensate for multiple layers and keep you warm from the inside.
Unlike other wool types, merino wool can be worn next to the skin comfortably, so you can easily wear a merino wool base layer and ditch those extra layers.
Apart from basic inner wear, merino wool is used to make outer garments like woolen sweaters, coats, and hoodies.
As merino wool is a natural fiber, it helps regulate your body temperature without overheating, making it ideal for winter jackets.
Similarly, you can find additional winter articles made out of merino wool, including scarves, mufflers, and gloves.
Although it sounds astonishing, merino wool undergarments are immensely popular as well. The natural fiber has antimicrobial properties that protect your skin from allergies and infections.
Similarly, the material has moisture-wicking properties that keep your privates free from rashes and discomfort, especially while you’re traveling, hiking, or taking up athletic activities.
But, pure merino wool is not as stretchable as other materials, so merino wool intimate garments have other synthetic fibers incorporated.
Odor resistance and breathability are essential features when it comes to professional hiking or sports shoes.
That’s why you’ll find that popular shoe brands like Nike, Sketchers, and Senja Shoes use merino wool in their sneakers, trail shoes, and hiking shoes.
Firstly, merino wool sneakers soak in the sweat produced by your feet during long-term use. This way, your feet remain dry and safe from rashes, fungal infections, and blisters.
Secondly, the woolen layer helps keep your feet warm while hiking in the rain or snow.
Most importantly, merino wool also has antibacterial properties that prevent harmful bacterial accumulation even if you wear the shoes for extended intervals.
Meaning, you won’t get stinky feet after returning from a long day at work.
This makes merino wool sneakers idea for all purposes, including casual wear, running, sports, or hiking.
Advantages of Merino Wool
As the title of my article suggests, I am proclaiming merino wool as one of the perfect fabrics that’ll suit your needs for every season.
That said, it’s evident that merino wool has the features and qualities that back my claim. Here’s a list of advantages of merino wool so that you can see it for yourself.
Merino wool is the ideal material to wear as a primary or outer garment for your outdoor excursions because of its quick-drying quality.
Whether you’re hiking in the rain or while it’s snowing, your other clothes will get wet and heavy, while merino wool sneakers and clothes will dry out in no time.
If you’re investing in high-end garments made of merino wool, you can be concern-free about their maintenance.
While other woolen garments are a hassle to maintain in the long run, merino wool can be washed easily and stays wrinkle-free as well.
Its natural fibrous consistency stops stains from getting absorbed quickly, which makes for hassle-free cleaning.
I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I think of woolen garments, they remind me of my grandma’s itchy Christmas sweater from my childhood. However, merino wool is not itchy at all.
It has soft fibers that are more flexible compared to other woolen fibers. This means they bend easily against your skin and prevent discomfort.
Whether you invest in merino wool sneakers like Senja Shoes, or other merino wool garments, you can be sure they’ll last you long.
That’s because this material is about six times stronger than cotton, so you can bend it thousands of times without damaging it at all.
People with sensitive skin usually avoid woolen clothes and have a hard time during winter. Merino wool is the ultimate solution for them as its hypoallergenic feature keeps your skin pampered and safe.
Like any other woolen material, merino wool is high on warmth. Instead of overheating your body, the material regulates your temperature.
During the winter season, merino wool traps air in its fibers to create an insulating effect for the wearer.
On the other hand, it helps sweat evaporate quickly during the summer, which keeps you comfortable during the hot season.
Besides that, merino fibers also protect you from UV rays if you’re going out in the sun.
If you’re all for sustainable living, merino wool is the ultimate clothing choice for you. It is produced from naturally-occurring materials and is entirely biodegradable.
A typical merino wool clothing article will decompose back into the soil in about 12 months.
Disadvantages of Merino Wool
While the material has commendable advantages, I’ve mentioned its disadvantages to give you an honest representation.
Whatever you do, don’t dry your merino wool garments for too long in the sun. High heat can cause its fibers to shrink and disintegrate your garment.
Similar to other woolen articles, merino wool clothes are subject to piling as well. This is a phenomenon where excessive friction causes small bits of fluff to appear on the woolen surface.
Loses Its Shape
This might not be an issue if you use advanced blends of merino wool.
However, natural merino wool fibers have limited elasticity, so they can lose their shape if stretched too far. That’s why merino wool intimates aren’t a good idea unless you buy them for occasional use.
The high price factor is one of the most significant disadvantages of merino wool. A single merino wool basic T-shirt can cost you anywhere from $75-$100.
Nevertheless, you can get the productivity of merino wool for affordable prices if you invest in brands that combine its productivity with other materials, such as Senja Shoes.
Concluding my article, I hope you have all the information you needed about merino wool.
Whether you’re buying anti-odor shoes, necessary clothing, or winter outerwear, make sure to check out merino wool options available for maximum productivity.
Although it has a few disadvantages, it is still better than most of the woolen fibers available.
Most importantly, it’s natural and environmentally-friendly, so nothing beats that if you’re a responsible consumer.
If you’re concerned about the price, it is an excellent long-term investment as merino wool garments pay themselves off quickly.
You can still buy synthetic merino wool blends and get some level of merino wool productivity if you’re on a tight budget.