Merino wool comes from Merino sheep. It is one of the oldest and most resilient breeds of sheep in the world. It originally comes from the Atlas Mountains, where it is exposed to extreme weather conditions. Temperatures there range from minus 20 to plus 35 degrees Celsius. Their fur is adapted to life in these extremes.
Merino sheep were exported to Spain in the Middle Ages and later to New Zealand, South Africa and South America in the 18th century. Merino wool comes mainly from these countries today.
Fine wool sheep like the Merino sheep have particularly fine, very curly, soft hair. They have a fiber thickness of only 16 to 24 micrometers (1 micrometer corresponds to 1/1000 millimeter). Normal wool fibers are twice as thick. The fine merino hair has up to 40 changes of direction per centimetre. As a result, the skin is less irritated. Thicker wool fibers hardly bend and are therefore more likely to be felt as scratchy, while merino wool is pleasantly soft.
Merino wool keeps you warm when it's cold
The ingenious structure of the merino fiber enables excellent insulation in the cold. The total volume of the merino fibers consists of 85% air. Since air is a poor conductor of heat, it insulates well against both cold and heat. This prevents your own body heat from escaping. In addition, the merino fiber has fewer contact points with the skin due to its strong crimp, which means that it can dissipate less heat.
Merino wool cools when it's warm
Merino fibers are like an air cushion and insulate between our body and the surrounding air. They are also hygroscopic, meaning they can absorb a third of their own weight in moisture while remaining dry on the outside. Warm ambient air ensures that the moisture stored on the outside evaporates. It draws the energy required for this in the form of heat from the merino fibers. These cool and give a cooling feeling on the skin.
Merino wool warms when wet
When merino wool absorbs moisture, an exothermic process takes place, producing heat of absorption. This means that the fibers heat up when they absorb moisture. Merino wool actively warms as long as it absorbs moisture. The protein molecules of the merino fibers release energy in the form of heat when they meet water molecules. Depending on the fiber quality, the temperature increase can be up to ten degrees Celsius. This process ends with the complete saturation of the wool fibers with water molecules.
Never smells bad
Sweat and bacteria can adhere particularly well to smooth surfaces (e.g. synthetic fibers). Merino fibers, on the other hand, have a scaly surface. Bacteria don't stand a chance. In addition, the fibers absorb the moisture from the sweat so quickly that the bacteria don't even get to break down the sweat. The water-repellent surface of the merino fiber prevents the creation of a humid climate, which bacteria would need for their growth.
Furthermore, the wool fibers have the fiber protein keratin, which breaks down the bacteria responsible for the bad smell. As a result, merino wool has a natural antibacterial effect, and it does so over the long term.
This mode of action is perfected by two different cell types in the core of the fiber, which can absorb different amounts of water. When they absorb moisture, they therefore swell to an unequal extent and a constant friction process occurs, through which the fiber constantly cleans itself.
Repels water and dirt
The wool fat lanolin sits on the fiber surface and acts as a protective layer. Dirt and odors do not penetrate the fiber.
Incidentally, lanolin can have a pain-relieving effect on rheumatic joint problems.
Merino wool is sustainable
Merino wool is a natural, renewable raw material. The production and processing is particularly resource-saving and environmentally friendly. products from
pure merino wool are biodegradable without leaving any residue. They can safely be thrown on the compost heap. In addition, merino wool naturally has properties such as UV protection or odor inhibition and thus does not require any environmentally harmful chemical additives. Because the "technology" is already contained in the fiber. Last but not least, the self-cleaning function of the merino fibers protects the environment, since the garments do not have to be washed as often.
The natural advantages of merino wool in a nutshell- very soft
- Warms when it's cold
- cools when warm
- Warms when wet
- Water and dirt repellent
- Lightweight with high heat output
- No electrostatic charge
- Flame retardant
- does not wrinkle