When buying clothes, the fabric is one of the important factors you should consider. Merino wool is an excellent fabric, and you can learn more about it in this blog.
The wool produced by Merino sheep is a natural fiber. It is easier to wear next to the skin than regular wool because it is thinner and softer. Additionally, wool has many advantages when worn next to the skin.
Read this blog and you can learn everything about Merino wool.
What is Merino Wool Fabric?
One of the most popular fabric materials in the world is Merino wool. Merino wool, which comes from Merino sheep, is popular because it is both affordable and strong.
Merino wool is extremely absorbent, water-resistant, and insulative like all types of wool, making Merino wool clothing popular for undergarments worn beneath winter clothing.
Merino wool fabric has a reputation for being scratchy, but depending on how it is made, it can also be luxuriously soft. Merino wool comes in a variety of different grades, and ultra-fine Merino wool is suitable for blending with silk or cashmere.
How is Merino Wool Fabric Made?
The Merino wool production process can be divided into a few distinct stages:
- Shearing: The time it takes for various Merino breeds to mature enough to be shorn varies. While some Merinos are ready for shearing every three to four months, others are only ready about once every six months. Merino sheep can produce between 3-18 kilograms of wool per year, and freshly-shorn wool is usually called “greasy” since it remains suffused with sheep skin oils.
- Cleaning and carding: The dirty wool is then cleaned, graded, and carded into long, thin strings. It’s now time to spin these carded strings.
- Spinning: Merino wool is divided into different grades, each of which is spun separately before being loaded onto reels in readiness for weaving.
- Weaving or knitting: Industrial knitting machines can also be used to knit Merino wool yarn, though the majority of Merino fabric varieties have either plain-weave or twill-weave patterns. Individual yarns are colored before being woven or knit into a fabric that will have multiple colors.
- Dyeing and post-treatment: In some cases, Merino yarn is dyed after being woven or knit into a fabric if the fabric will only have one color. Rarely, Merino wool may also be exposed to water-proofing or other chemical treatments. However, it is uncommon for this kind of fabric to be chemically treated because Merino wool is naturally flame-retardant.
Benefits of Merino Wool
Merino is Lightweight & Super Soft
The “itchy sweater” feeling of traditional wool comes from its thick, coarse fiber.
The fibers of Merino wool, on the other hand, are much finer, resulting in wool that’s softer, lighter, and more flexible. It just feels right when a piece of clothing made of Merino wool moves naturally with your body.
Merino is Breathable
Your body creates heat and vapor all throughout the day. That’s just biology, not a slight. You end up with sweaty clothes because of the heat and vapor that can’t escape condense. Synthetic and blended clothing keeps moisture in.
The space between the fibers and even the fibers themselves can allow your body heat to escape with Merino, though. Even better, it’s a two-way street: the fiber allows the cool ambient air to enter, keeping you dry and comfortable.
Merino Manages Moisture
It’s all well and good to be breathable, but what happens when you’re hiking through a dense Peruvian jungle? At that point, your body is creating more sweat and heat than the air can effectively evaporate.
Merino is Antibacterial
An oily, waxy coating known as lanolin covers every fiber in a Merino sheep’s coat. During the rainy season, it aids in water repulsion and serves as an infection defense.
The yarn used to make Merino wool clothing maintains some residual Lanolin – and its benefits. It provides protection from odor-producing bacteria, mildew, and mold.
Merino is Odor Resistant
Taken together, Merino wool’s abilities to stay breathable, manage moisture, and fight odor-causing bacteria add up to one thing: It smells fresh, no matter what you put it through. When properly cared for, a Merino wool garment will stay clean and scent-free for weeks, or even months, without washing.
Merino Wool is Wrinkle Resistant
A single Merino wool fiber appears to resemble a tightly wound spring when viewed under a microscope. The pros call this a “fiber crimp”.
Pull on the crimp, and it will recoil back into shape every single time. This elasticity is what gives Merino wool its stretchy, opulent appearance. What that means to those of us without microscopes is, you can stuff it into a backpack or carry-on and it comes out looking ready to wear.
Merino Wool is Organic & Renewable
While camping, did you lose your shirt? Don’t sweat it, Merino Wool garments will biodegrade back into soil within a few years.
Around 70 million Merino sheep are raised on a basic diet of grass pasture between Australia and New Zealand, and they produce this miraculous fiber all year long.
Due to Merino’s annual production of fresh fleece, this natural wool harvest is completely renewable and sustainable. All the while generating an industry that is successful across generations in both countries.
Uses of Merino Wool Fabric
Textile manufacturers generally use Merino wool to make apparel, and this fabric has limited applications in homewares.
Uses in Apparel
Sweaters are the garment in which Merino wool is most frequently used. The softness of some types of Merino wool with fine fibers is comparable to or even superior to that of cotton, making them perfect for lightweight sweaters worn next to the skin. Additionally, Merino wool is used to make tank tops, shirts, and blouses.
However, Merino wool can also be used to make blazers. Rougher types of wool are typically used for this purpose. Due to its durability, softness, and heat retention, Merino wool is ideal for long underwear or base layers.
It’s essentially possible to make any type of insulative clothing using Merino wool, but this type of fabric is usually reserved for casual apparel or sportswear and is not commonly used in formal or dressy garments.
Uses in Homewares
blankets made of Merino wool are quite common. Merino wool has remarkable insulating qualities and is frequently used as a middle layer between sheets and comforters. Because of its exceptional heat retention and luxurious softness, Merino wool is also a preferred material for throw blankets.
Why is Merino Wool Not Itchy?
Merino sheep create fine wool that is much thinner than standard sheep’s wool, which makes it much softer and more flexible than other wools. To make a soft, comfortable Merino wool garment, this wool’s fiber length is ideal. The absence of itching in base layers made of Merino wool is the result of all these factors.
Merino wool stands out from other natural fibers because it is particularly soft, but that isn’t the only quality that makes this fleece special. It is also lightweight for the amount of warmth it provides, has sweat-wicking technology, and is water resistant, making it ideal for base layers.
Merino wool outperforms all synthetic fiber competitors in terms of comfort, warmth, and durability. Since this wool is durable and naturally elastic, it will keep you warm and last through all of your arduous outdoor adventures.
How to Care for Merino Wool?
Merino wool is simple to maintain and has a waxy Lanolin coating that aids in stain resistance. But if you ever feel that your clothing is ready for a wash, Merino wool is completely machine washable and dries quickly in the air.
Machine Washing Instructions
- Merino wool clothing should be washed in the same load as other items.
- On the standard wash cycle, you may use your regular detergent.
- Make sure your sink is clean.
- Fill it up with warm water.
- Add a couple of drops of gentle detergent.
- Regular liquid soap will work if you don’t have detergent on hand.
- Throw your Merino wool clothing into the soapy water and let it soak for 10-20 minutes depending on how soiled it is.
- Periodically stir the water gently.
- Rinse your clothes in some warm, fresh water after draining the sink.
- Do not wring out your Merino wool
- Your Merino wool clothing will dry most effectively if you lay it flat on a towel and flip it occasionally. The best way to care for your clothing is to do this, which takes a little longer.
- If you prefer, you can hang it to dry over a chair or stairwell.
- When the Merino wool’s shorter fibers rise to the surface naturally, this process takes place.
- Wash your clothing after the first four wears to avoid this from happening.
- If pilling occurs, wash your clothing alongside a pair of jeans. (just make sure to close the zippers)
- Over time, the shorter fibers that cause pilling will naturally pull apart.
Does Merino Wool Shrink?
Merino wool can shrink if it has been exposed to high temperatures even though it is a sturdy material. Instead of tumble drying your item, we advise laying it flat to dry since most items dry overnight in a warm environment.
When machine-washed on low or during a dedicated wool or hand wash cycle, Merino wool will last the longest. Your clothing can also be hand-washed in cool water if necessary. Use a typical detergent that isn’t softener-containing, whether it’s liquid, powder, or wool.
Merino Wool Vs Cashmere
- Merino sheep produce the finest wool for upscale clothing and technical sportswear. Merino wool is derived from these sheep.
- Cashmere comes from the hair of goats.
- Years of innovative breeding have resulted in some ultrafine Merino wools to be naturally even finer than cashmere.
- The world’s best Merino wool comes from Australia, which provides 81% of the world’s superfine wool, from woolgrowers who employ sustainable farming practices.
- China and Mongolia are the main producers of cashmere.
- The amount of wool fleece produced by a sheep is approximately 4.5 kilograms, whereas the amount of cashmere down fibers produced by a goat is only 0.2 to 0.3 kilograms.
- Many wool garments can be washed in a washing machine, making Merino wool a very low-maintenance fabric.
Conclusion: Merino Wool Fabric
The ultrafine wool of Merino sheep is known as Merino wool. The wool has excellent qualities that make it ideal for wool clothes and shoes. Despite being medium-sized, sheep consistently produce a lot of wool.
Merino is a highly breathable fabric. It can wick moisture away from the body and disperse it into the air to help you stay dry. The majority of Merino products are machine washable and many can be tumble-dried.
What is So Special About Merino Wool?
One of the reasons that Merino wool is so popular is its warmth relative to weight. The fabric is warmer than a synthetic of the same weight because it has a natural loft that traps heat very effectively between the fibers. Merino wool, however, is also beneficial in hot weather because it does a great job of regulating body temperature.
What is a Disadvantage of Using Merino Wool?
Merino is a fantastic fabric for controlling body temperature, but it can be delicate. A lot of the thin, ultralight clothing (140–180 GSM) is especially weak. And, with excessive use and over-washing, holes can sometimes form.
Is Merino Wool Better Than Cotton?
Merino wool, however, is a well-liked performance fabric for hot weather because it wicks sweat away from the skin. Which is better when wet? Wet cotton can turn into a saggy, clammy liability, but wool is nature’s best insulator in such circumstances.
Is Merino Wool Too Hot for Summer?
As odd as it may sound, Merino wool is one of the most comfortable things you can wear in summer. Because they are made of incredibly thin, light fibers called Merino, Merino keeps you cool in the heat by removing moisture from your skin and evaporating it into the air.