Wool can easily absorb up to 30% of its own weight in moisture without feeling damp or clammy. It wicks moisture away from the body, keeping you warm without feeling wet.
Wool functions as a temperature regulator, protecting the body in both cold and warm conditions. To a certain degree, wool is considered water repellent. Light rain, snow, and small spills will stay on the surface or run off the fabric.
Wool garments do not soil or wrinkle easily, making care easy. And since you don’t have to wash your wool garments often, it’s good for our planet. Wool is self-extinguishing; if exposed to flames, it chars or smolders. Good to know if you get too close to the campfire!
The Merino is an economically influential breed of sheep prized for its wool. The breed is originally from Turkey and central Spain (Castille), and its wool was highly valued already in the Middle Ages. Today, Merinos are still regarded as having some of the finest and softest wool of any sheep. Merino wool is finely crimped and soft. Merino needs to be shorn at least once a year because their wool does not stop growing. If the coat is allowed to grow, it can cause heat stress, mobility issues, and blindness.
Wool provides some warmth, without overheating the wearer. It draws moisture (sweat) away from the skin, a phenomenon known as wicking. The fabric is slightly moisture repellent (keratin fibers are hydrophobic at one end and hydrophilic at the other), allowing the user to avoid the feeling of wetness. Like cotton, wool absorbs water (up to 1/3 its weight), but, unlike cotton, wool retains warmth when wet, thus helping wearers avoid hypothermia after strenuous workouts (climbs) or weather events. Like most wools, merino contains lanolin, which has antibacterial properties. Merino is one of the softest types of wool available, due to finer fibers and smaller scales. Merino has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio compared to other wools, in part because the smaller fibers have microscopic cortices of dead air, trapping body heat similar to the way a sleeping bag warms its occupant.
On our web site, you will see that each garment has some information about what microns (micrometer) the wool yarns are made of. Micron is the measurement used to express the diameter of a wool fiber. 1 micron = 1 millionth of a meter. The lower microns are the finer fibers. Merino wool can have as low as 10 microns, but that is quite rare. Merino wool is generally less than 24 micron. Merino wool qualities that are less than 21.5 micron will feel comfortable and soft on your skin, and they will not feel itchy. We Norwegians use yarns with 17.5 – 21.5 micron.
Wool is graded like this:
|Type of wool||Micron|
|Super fine wool||15 - 18.5|
|Fine wool||18.5 - 19.5|
|Medium wool||19.6 - 22.9|
|Strong wool||23 - 24.5|