What you need to know about Merino wool / Merino Wool Benefits
Merino wool comes from the Merino sheep and is known for its fine and soft wool. These sheep usually thrive in mountainous areas at high altitudes and they can be found in many different countries. They’re recognised by their wrinkly skins and fleeces, and rams with large curly horns.
Wool has been worn for many centuries spreading from Spain all over Europe. The other early users were the Bedouins of the Sinai deserts and the Tuaregs of the great North African deserts. These tribes used Merino wool garments for hundreds of years in the extreme heat of the world’s greatest deserts. Extremely hot and dry during the day, cold at night, what wool is perfect for.
Wool has many benefits, on top of being a natural and durable fibre, when worn next to the skin and about the body.
- It is very soft and fine making it comfortable next to your skin. The fibres are long which strengthens the fibre and makes it more resilient.
- Wool has the ability to breath and mange moisture. Breathability is the ability of a fabric or fibre to transport moisture from an area of higher humidity to an area of lower humidity. The more breathable a product is the better it is at removing moisture from the skin and the garment. As your kid is active and its body is heating up, the moisture vapors will be absorbed by the wool fibre and released to the drier environment outside of the fabric releasing heat and keeping the wearer dry.
- Wool fiber absorbs up to 33% of its own weight in moisture and still feel dry to the touch.
- Wool is keeping you warm, as it has a natural crimp to it which helps to trap more dead air than any other fiber. Dead air is a fantastic insulator and provides a great buffer against the cold.
- Wool is also know to have a cooling effect, by storing moisture with the structure of the fiber. As your body is warming up, the moisture stored within the fiber will begin to evaporate, cooling the air between the skin and the fabric. The warmer you get the more evaporation takes place and the larger the cooling effect.
- Merino wool has also been known to naturally absorb UV across the whole range of the spectrum, giving excellent lightweight sun protection all year around.
- Wool is very strong, as it has a natural crimp to it. This increases the resilience of the fabric, meaning that it stretches easily in fact individual wool fibers have the ability to bent, flex and stretch in any direction for many times, without damage.
- Its ability to manage moisture and its naturally high lanolin content has an antibacterial effect which stops odor-causing bacteria from thriving. Therefore you can wear wool during intense activity and over extended periods of time without having to worry about odor.
- No itch next to skin, the merino wool fibers are vey fine. The diameter of the fibers used in the garment determine the itchiness of the wool. Larger, broader fiber’s are less flexible and have less ability to bend. Merino wool fibers have a smaller diameter. These fibers are more flexible and softly bend when pressed against the skin and, therefore, don’t itch like other wool.
From my personal experience, my whole family wears merino wool/silk blend tops and leggings almost all year around. When they were babies they wore bodys in combination with leggings or tights made from the same material. We use them as pyjama’s, base layers and on their own. Depending on the weather, temperature & activity I dress them up or down. The material makes a massive difference and my kids have never been cold. We follow the onion principal and I will write about this in another post.
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