Okay you folks need a product knowledge session on Merino wool.
What is Merino wool?
Merino refers to the fine dense wool of merino sheep, which are native to Spain and now bred around the world. Wool, technically speaking, refers to a whole host of yarns from alpaca to mohair, with merino being the finest of them all.
There are different grades of merino, this is based on it’s thickness.
• < 17.5 -Ultrafine Merino
• 17.6-18.5 -Superfine Merino
• < 19.5 -Fine Merino
• 19.6-20.5 -Fine medium Merino
• 20.6-22.5 -Medium Merino
• 22.6 < -Strong Merino
Only a small portion of a merino sheep’s wool qualifies as superfine and even less as ultrafine.
WHY Merino Wool?
Moisture ManagementMerino transports water in its vapour state
, unlike synthetics that move water in the liquid state after it has condensed. Wool absorbs water but does not feel clammy. It has been measured to absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling wet.
«Heat of sorption» – When water vapor is absorbed into wool fibers, it binds to the chemical structure of wool fiber and small amounts of energy are released in the form of heat.
Merino sheep get an annual haircut vs. depleting non-renewable fossil fuel resources for synthetic fabric production. Eons of evolution in varying weather extremes, not years of tinkering in a lab have perfected this performance fiber, which will naturally biodegrade at the end of its usefulness rather than lasting 900 years in a landfill.
Naturally anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. Odor-causing bacteria cling to positively charged smooth fibers like synthetics. Neutrally charged merino with its microscopic scales does not attract or hold bacteria.
Acid-resistant, static-resistant, soil-resistant, uv-resistant, burn-resistant. The natural waxy, scaled coating on merino fibers repels the majority of stain and so it needs washing
less often saving energy, soap, and water.
A merino fibre is naturally elastic. You can pull, bend, and twist merino but it return to its natural state without added elastic fibres. A single fibre is able to be bent 20,000 times before
Recent technical advances allow wool to be washed and tumble dried like any other fabric.
Wool fabric is remarkably quiet, allowing for silent movement.
While synthetics are passive, Merino is active, reacting to changes in ones body temperature to keep you warm when you’re cold but releasing heat and moisture when you’re hot. The soft-as-silk merino wear also minimizes chafe in sports like running.
One thing that really matters is that they are using the Ultrafine and Superfine grades of Merino. To actually know that a company is getting this they need to be involved with the spinning of the yarn and weaving of the fabric.
There is a new Merino brand called I/O Bio
. They have control over the grade of merino used and the weaving in proprietary fabics. They are the only sheep to shelf solution. Most other players in the industry are buying pre-made fabrics without having the quality control to know what is being used in the fabrics.
Also a major bonus to buying a piece of I/O Merino is that you can get a free lift ticket to Red Mountain in Rossland BC.