January 15, 2016

Merino Wool Explained

In the world of outdoor gear and clothing, Merino Wool is the buzz word on everybody’s lips. But are you fully aware of why brands like Mons Royale, Kari Traa and Vallerret (had to put it in there;-) and many other big brands are raving about merino wool as material? If not, this blog post will fill in the blanks. 

It’s a fiber thing

The main key secret to Merino wool’s success lies in its exceptionally fine fibers, which make it the softest wool available.

For many years we’ve worn traditional wool clothing. Most of us will agree that wool beats synthetics out of the ring on performance. But remember that sweater grandma knitted you? Warm, yes sure. But itchy as hell and a heavy beast to carry around. It all comes down to differences in fibres. Let’s break it down in bullets:

  • Traditional wool: Thick fibres make it warm. But it’s heavy, itchy and takes forever to dry
  • Synthetics: Plastic fibres make it lightweight and fast drying. But it’s clammy, very stinky and highly flammable.
  • Merino Wool: Thin fibres make it warm in cold weather, cooler in warm weather. It’s soft, light, breathable and doesn’t stink when you break a sweat.

 

Regulates to body temperature

If you’ve ever worn a merino thermal/shirt/long johns you will know how even a thin layer of wool will keep you toasty warm but completely dry and comfortable. This super advanced technology is naturally developed by Merino Sheep – we’re in awe.

Merino wool regulates to body temperature when you wear it close to your skin – like on your hands – and has a natural ability to transports moisture (sweat, let’s be honest) away from your skin, unlike many synthetics. That’s called “wicking” and is why many athletic/sports brands are fanatics about merino wool.

 

Is it itchy? Seriously?

No. Unlike many other types of wool, Merino wool is super soft on your skin – and your hands – due to the fine fibres as stated above. It’s not as soft as the softest of fleece, but it’s pretty close.

We made this infographic a while back that outlines the overall benefits of Merino wool:

What is Merino wool?

Why Merino wool is perfect for Photography Gloves

We’ve chosen 100 % Merino Wool as inner in our Photography Gloves solely for performance:

  1. Even a thin layer of wool will keep your hands warm. This means that we can design a fitted glove ensuring a great feel with your camera without compromising on warmth.
  2. Wicking will keep your hands dry on warmer days out. Wave sweaty fleece glove hands goodbye.

Watch out for different qualities in wool

Not all Merino sheep are created equal. In fact, as a consumer keep in mind that the qualities of 100 % Merino Wool can vary quite drastically especially in regards to softness. In the process of selecting Merino Wool suppliers, we experienced first hand the differences in the qualities of the material samples we received – all with the label “100 % Merino Wool”.
Some merino wool suppliers practice mulesing, which is a practice of mulesing which is the  removal of strips of wool-bearing skin from around the breech (buttocks) of a sheep to prevent the parasitic infection flystrike. We do not work with suppliers who practice mulesing making our wool cruelty-free.
So that was a yarn about Merino Wool. During Winter, I practically wear merino wool from top to toe. Nothing beats it in my mind when you’re out and active, but it’s also really great for those colder days sitting still working with your laptop. Office wear. Well, at least when you’re an entrepreneur where every day is casual Friday – merino is warmly welcomed in my office. 

Capture later,

/Stine

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