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What is merino wool

11.9.2018, Karoliina Borodavkin

Merino wool is nature’s own innovation, which works both in freezing cold and burning hot. Merino wool is sheared from merino sheep. In the course of years they have developed an exceptional wool cover that enables the sheep to cope with the changing weathers of the Southern Alps in New Zealand, where temperature may vary several tens of degrees from summer to winter. The breed is raised also elsewhere, such as in Australia and South Africa.


Merino wool fibres are long, elastic and considerably thinner than those of the traditional lamb wool. Because of the exceptional fibre structure, it is possible to manufacture very thin and lightly porous knits of merino yarn. For this reason the use and popularity of merino as a raw material has increased year by year.


Merino wool cloths are suitable for both cold and hot circumstances. A garment is the warmer, the more air it binds to itself. Merino wool fibre is the most effective one in the world, as far as binding warming air is concerned. Wearing layers of merino wool base and mid layers is based on this. More layers there are, more warming air is bound between the fibres. Even a thin merino layer warms more effectively than the thickest set of underwear made of man-made fibres.


Ingenious natural fibre reacts also to the body temperature. When skin heats, the moisture bound to the fibre is released to cool down the micro climate between the body and the knit. This way, both a merino sheep and a person wearing merino wool clothing feels comfortable also when it is burning hot.

Moisture transferring

Merino wool feels always dry. This is due to the characteristic of merino wool to wick moisture away from the skin, after which the vapour evaporates into the air. Merino wool fibre can absorb moisture amount equal to 30% of its own weight, and the knit still feels dry to touch.


The antibacterial quality is once again a superior demonstration of power telling us why merino wool is such a cool material. This characteristic refers to the tendency of merino wool to cleanse itself. Merino fibre reacts with oxygen evaporating odour molecules. The cloth has a longer life span with fewer washes. Merino clothes should be cared for by giving them airing. This is particularly handy when being on a hike and travelling. An antibacterial merino wool cloth is also an ecological choice. Fewer washes strain nature less. By reducing the number of washes, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint.