If reading isn’t your thing or you're short on time here is a summary of this article. 

Wool has been around for a really, really long time and thanks to selective breeding, humans (with the help of nature) have been able to create wool that is super soft and thrives in a variety of uses and environments. Merino wool comes from merino sheep and it is harvested sustainably without the use of fossil fuels. Merino wool is not itchy and hot like traditional wool. In fact, merino wool is super soft, breathable, and able to regulate body temperature in a way that is almost magical. All of this awesomeness comes at a price and that price, no surprise, is high (it’s really expensive). The finest of merino wool comes under 20 microns and anything over 24 microns really isn’t merino anymore.  That pretty much sums up this article, but if you like the details, then you can continue to the full article below. 


Brief History of Merino Wool

Humans have been using wool for clothing for thousands of years. Primitive man, Babylonians, Romans, and medieval Europeans, and us today. Throughout this time, humans have been improving the quality of wool through selective breeding and technological innovation. The first merino sheep were bred in Spain but were eventually introduced to Australia in the 18th century, where further selective breeding increased the fineness of the wool. Due to its fine quality and high resilience, merino wool has been used from high fashion, like Coco Chanel and Dior to military uniforms in WWI and II. In recent years, merino has gained popularity amongst outdoor enthusiasts and adventure junkies for its amazing quality to regulate temperature, absorb and expel moisture, and resist odors. 


How is merino wool made?

Merino wool is produced by merino sheep and harvested using sustainable farming practices, unlike synthetic fibers which rely on fossil fuels. The creation of merino wool only involves natural processes and because the sheep grow new wool every year, the process is completely sustainable. 

Isn’t wool itchy and hot?

Not all wool is the same. Some wool is incredibly soft, like cashmere or merino, while others are tougher and more resilient, suitable for carpets, bedding, or heavy outerwear. Wool can be divided into three main categories, based on the diameter of each fiber measured in microns. One micron is equal to 1/1,000,000 of a meter. 

Fine (14.5 – 20 microns): Wool with the softest feel has the smallest microns. This wool comes from Merino sheep and is used for high-quality, soft fabrics and yarns. Fine wool is highly valued and as a result, is quite expensive. 

Medium(20-24 microns): Medium micron wool can be produced from a type of merino or by crossbreeding. Medium wools are used in a variety of woven apparel clothes, knitting yarns, and furnishings.

Broad(25+ microns): Many different sheep breeds produce broad wools. Often these breeds are known as dual-purpose breeds because they are farmed with equal emphasis on meat and wool. Broad wool is useful for products such as carpets because of its strength and durability


Merino wool is generally less than 22 microns and a human hair is between 50 to 100 microns. 


Merino Wool Structure

Cuticle scales

Cuticle scales are tiny overlapping scales, which surround the wool fiber. Moisture vapor penetrates beneath the scales, allowing the fiber to 'breathe'.


The Core 

The ortho-cortex and para-cortex cells form the core of the wool fiber. The arrangement of the cells causes the ‘crimp’ (wave) in the wool fiber and traps air (providing insulation), which helps wool fabrics regulate body temperature in winter.


Cell membrane complex

The cell membrane complex surrounds each strand of internal cortex cells (fibrils). It holds fibrils together and absorbs color, allowing wool products to achieve deep vibrant colors, which don’t fade.


The Matrix

The cortical cells are made up of macrofibrils and microfibrils. The material binding these fibrils is often called the ‘matrix’ material.

It absorbs moisture and resists static and burning, delivering cleaner and safer clothing.  


Alpha helix

The protein chains that form the helical coil are the smallest parts of the wool fiber. They give wool its flexibility, elasticity, and resilience.



Properties of Merino Wool?

100% natural

Wool is 100% natural grown year-round, consuming a simple blend of water, air, sunshine, and grass.


100% biodegradable

When a wool fiber is disposed of, it will naturally decompose in soil in a matter of years, slowly releasing valuable nutrients back into the earth.


100% renewable

Every year Australian sheep produce a new fleece, making wool a completely renewable fiber.


Naturally breathable

Merino wool is one of the most breathable fibers. Merino wool fibers can absorb large quantities of moisture vapor then move it away to evaporate into the air.


Temperature regulating

In contrast to synthetics, Merino wool is an active fiber 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.


Odor resistant

In contrast to synthetics, Merino wool can absorb moisture vapor which means less sweat on your body. Merino wool even absorbs the odor molecules from sweat, which are only released upon washing.


Naturally elastic

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

Most Merino wool garments can be machine-washed and tumble-dried.


Soft on skin

Merino wool fibers are extremely fine, enabling them to bend far more than traditional, coarser wool fibers. This makes Merino wool feel soft against your skin.