Nowadays, merino wool is getting more and more popular – not only for knitting sweaters, but also for outdoor apparel, active wear as well as everyday clothing. Why is this natural material considered to be a fibre of future?
It's thanks to its extraordinary qualities. Merino wool is known as a superb insulator and thermoregulator. What is less known, though, is its ability to absorb moisture - as much as 30% of its own volume, which is considerably more compared with polyester, for instance. Moreover, merino wool can keep you warm even when it is wet, which prevents you from an unpleasant cooling effect when sweating in cold conditions.
Merino wool has plenty of other benefits, too:
- It's breathable
Do you know that uncomfortable feeling of clamminess when you sweat in synthetic clothes? Synthetic fabrics protect you from wind and humidity, but they do not breathe sufficiently (or at all). Their ability to breathe is limited by the number of gaps in between their fibers. On the other hand, merino wool is highly breathable, even though it is a thick woven fabric. It protects you from wind and cold, wicks the sweat away from the skin, but it breathes at the same time and that makes it really nice to wear. Its breathability is given by the unique structure of a wool fibre – it is covered with microscopic cuticle scales and it is naturally twisted, which allows air and humidity to pass through. In merino wool you will not feel clammy or sweaty.
- It's soft
- It's antibacterial, odourless and hypoallergenic
Why do we smell when wearing synthetic clothes? Synthetic material may wick the moisture away from your skin, but wet fabrics combined with a higher temperature create perfect conditions for bacteria and their reproduction. These bacteria and their metabolic processes cause the bad smell and they literally thrive in fine synthetic fibres. Merino wool clothing does not develop any odour even after long and repeated wearing. Wool is composed of protein fibres collecting toxic substances including viruses and bacteria, preventing them from reproducing as well as decomposing. Moreover, it absorbs moisture thanks to its uneven surface and high content of lanolin. Woolen clothes are able to get rid of bad smell themselves – you just air them and they are ready for another use.
- It doesn't wrinkle
Thanks to its structure and natural elasthicity, merino wool fibres will automatically return to their original shape, which prevents the clothes from getting wrinkled.
- It's thermoregulating
Did you think merino wool could only be worn in winter? It may sound unbelievable, but whilst wool keeps you warm in winter, it will cool you down in summer. In cold and wet conditions, merino wool absorbs moisture and releases heat. With rising temperature, though, moisture evaporates, which creates a cooling effect. This fantastic thermoregulating ability of merino wool means that your body keeps the right temperature even when intensity of your activities changes. Black Hill Outdoor clothing is therefore great for a year-round use. Most of the models are ideal as the second as well as the third layer, depending on weather conditions.
- It's safe and fire-resistant
Merino wool is safe to wear as it is naturally fire-resistant and it is anti-static. Great for outdoor cooking and camp fires.
- It provides a UV protection
Do you know that for every 300 m (almost 1,000 ft), UV light intensity rises by 4%? That means UV light at 1,500 m (cca 5,000 ft) above sea level it is by 20% stronger than on the beach. You are certainly familiar with sprays and lotions for your skin protection, but do you know you can protect it by wearing proper clothes as well? Synthetic materials usually do not protect your skin sufficiently or at all. However, merino wool naturally eliminates UV light effects as its natural SPF (sun protection factor) is at least 25.
- It's water- and stain-repellent
Did you know merino wool is naturally water-repellent? Whilst its inner structure absorbs moisture, the surface of merino wool fibre repels it thanks to lanolin – a sort of waxy coating of the fibre. This layer is so stable that normally neither washing machine nor dry cleaning removes it. The coating also protects the clothing from dirt and deep stains.
- It's durable and low maintenance
Merino wool is resistant to dirt, stains and sweat and so it does not need frequent washing, which makes merino wool more durable. The fibres are also extremely resistant to mechanical stress and thus the clothes can be worn for a long time. Merino wool clothing is a great long-term investment.
- It's natural and sustainable
Besides its functional qualities, we love merino wool for its natural origin and sustainability. Wool is a renewable and fully biodegradable material, which makes it great not only for your clothes, but also the environment.