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When most people think of wool, they tend to think about the itchy sweaters they received from their grandmothers growing up…or something along those lines. However, the truth is there are a variety of wool variations out there, and along with innovative new technologies and techniques, wool isn’t the same material it once was in your grandparent’s generation. So, without further ado, here are ten things you probably didn’t know about the most popular and versatile variation of wool out there – merino.
- Merino wool comes from the Australian variety of sheep called merino.
- Merino wool is naturally resistant to a whole lot of things including: UV, stains, static, wrinkles, and fire! This wool’s incredible ability to absorb moisture from your body allows it to minimize static electricity and when it pulls sweat off your body, the fabric keeps odours at bay. Also, because of the composition of the natural fibres that create it, it effectively blocks harmful UV rays and won’t melt when it comes in contact with fire.
- This form of wool is incredibly soft. In fact, it’s so soft that some companies like Unbound Merino even sell underwear made from the material! Since it has so many other useful characteristics as well, this material is fantastic for base layer clothes. Try out a pair of underwear from Unboundmerino.com to see for yourself how soft and comfortable this fabric can be.
- It’s naturally elastic, allowing the fabric to move and stretch as you do. This can really come in handy for busy days, or when you want to wear the material when exercising.
- Merino wool is good for you. Now we know what you’re thinking, and no, you should not eat this fabric. What actually makes this material healthy for you are the fibres that make up the wool and what they do for your body when you wear clothing made from this form of wool. The fibres will naturally regulate body temperature, keeping you warm when you need warmth and cool when your body needs to cool down. Because of this, they also work to regulate your heart rate, putting less stress on your body overall and keeping you healthier longer.
- It’s incredibly breathable and quick drying. The fibres that make up merino clothing absorb the moisture from your skin and pull it away from your body so that it can evaporate fast. Because of this, clothes made from this material don’t tend to feel wet or damp against your skin.
- It is 100% biodegradable and renewable, making this form of material one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics in the world. Because this material is completely natural, when it eventually is disposed of it will biodegrade in a matter of years, rather than centuries like some other man-made fabrics.
- This naturally innovative material can be permanently pressed into a variety of designs and styles using moisture and controlled heat, giving designers the artistic license to create whatever looks their heart may desire.
Michael Sanduso lives in Toronto, Canada. He is a freelance writer and editor, tech geek, and stay at home father.