Why Merino Wool?
Unlike synthetics which are industrially produced from non-renewable fossil energy, natural fibres are a natural process using a simple blend of natural ingredients. For wool this is water, air, sunshine and grass.
Wool is grown year-round by Australia’s 71 million sheep, consuming this simple blend of water, air, sunshine and grass.
When wool is disposed of, it will naturally decompose in soil in a matter of months or years, slowly releasing valuable nutrients back into the earth. Synthetic fibres, on the other hand, can be extremely slow to degrade and significantly contribute to the world’s overflowing landfills.
Wool biodegrades readily in as little as three to four months but the rate varies with soil, climate and wool characteristics. This releases essential elements such as nitrogen, sulphur and magnesium back to the soil, able to be taken up by growing plants. Some studies found more rapid degradation after only four weeks’ burial in soils.
Natural fibres are renewable, meaning that they are able to regrow and replace themselves.Every year Australian sheep produce a new fleece, making wool a completely renewable fibre. As long as there is grass to eat, sheep will continue to produce wool.
In contrast, synthetic fibres such as polyethylene are made using industrial processing of oil, which is a non-renewable fossil resource.
Wool does not add to landfill volumes or mirofibre pollution
Natural fibres biodegrade naturally in a relatively short period in soils and aquatic systems and therefore do not accumulate in landfill and oceans. Results from a University of Canterbury study demonstrate that wool degrades in a marine environment. In contrast, synthetic textiles persist for many decades and can disintegrate to small fragments. Commonly known as microplastics, or microfibres when less than 5mm in diameter, these fragments accumulate in aquatic environments and land disposal sites where they have negative effects on ecosystems when consumed by organisms. A single polyester fleece garment can produce more than 1900 fibres per wash. Ingestion has a negative impact on organisms, sometimes causing death through starvation as plastic replaces food in the stomach. Once in the food chain, microplastics potentially also affect human health via seafood consumption.
SOFT AND COMFORTABLE
Merino wool fibres are extremely fine, enabling them to bend far more than traditional, coarser wool fibres. This makes Merino wool feel soft and luxuriously gentle next to your skin.
Merino wool clothing is extremely breathable and less prone to clamminess and freezing!
Wool fibres are naturally breathable. They can absorb large quantities of moisture vapour and allow it to evaporate, making wool garments feel less clingy and more comfortable than garments made from other fibres.
In contrast to synthetics, wool is an active fibre that reacts to changes in the body’s temperature, keeping the wearer comfortable. Accordingly, wool garments are one of the most breathable of all the common apparel types.
Warm and cool
In contrast to synthetics, Merino wool is an active fibre that reacts to changes in body temperature. So it helps you stay warm when the weather is cold, and cool when the weather is hot.
Wool helps to protect the body against changes in temperature and moisture levels during exercise. Exercise causes the body’s metabolic rate and temperature to increase, and the body responds by initiating cooling mechanisms to maintain its core temperature.
As physical exertion can take place in a range of environmental conditions – from skiing in the Arctic to running in a desert – the type of clothing worn has a major impact on the performance and health of the body.
Wool reduces post-exercise chills
Wool reduces the rate of skin cooling and the severity of post-exercise chill, which can range from uncomfortable to dangerous.
When you stop exercising in very cold conditions, you can experience three times more chilling in synthetic garments than when wearing wool garments. This is due to wool fibre retaining – and only slowly releasing – moisture from within its structure, helping to maintain a higher skin temperature and less rapid cooling.
Unlike most synthetic fibres, wool is hygroscopic. It absorbs water vapour from its surrounding environment far more effectively than other common apparel fibres. Wool can absorb up to 35% of its weight before feeling wet and clinging to the skin. As absorption occurs, wool releases heat, keeping the wearer feeling warmer and drier in cold damp conditions. One kilogram of dry wool can release heat equivalent to an electric blanket running for eight hours.
Because Merino wool can absorb moisture vapour, it tends not to create static electricity, helping it to drape beautifully and be less likely to cling uncomfortably to your body than other fabrics
Natural elasticity helps Merino wool garments stretch with you, yet return to their original shape. So Merino wool clothing is ideal to wear when exercising..
EASY TO CARE FOR
Merino wool fibres have a natural protective outer layer that helps prevent stains from being absorbed. And because Merino wool tends not to generate static, it attracts less dust and lint.
At microscopic level, each Merino wool fibre is like a coiled spring that returns to its natural shape after being bent. This gives Merino wool garments a natural resistance to wrinkles.
In contrast to synthetics, Merino wool can absorb moisture vapour which means less sweat on your body. Merino wool even absorbs the odour molecules from sweat, which are only released upon washing.
Merino wool clothing provides good protection from the sun, compared with the protection from other fibres. As a natural fibre, evolved over millions of years to protect sheep against the elements, Merino wool absorbs UV radiation providing protection from the sun. This makes it a good choice for a wide range of outdoor activities.