Merino Wool Base Layer
Softest Merino Wool
Wool is a catch-all term that refers to the fibers made from the spun hair of mammals. While this typically refers to sheep hair in the United States, it can be used to describe goat, rabbit, llamas or other mammals. Merino wool is spun from the hair of the merino sheep, prized for their finely crimped, soft wool. Merino sheep are raised in the mountain regions of Australia and New Zealand.
Not Your Grandma's Wool
Wool is classified by its thickness, which is measured in microns. Typical wool is coarse (remember those itchy sweaters your mom used to make you wear during winter?) with a micron measurement of 40 or more. Unlike thread count, where the higher the number the softer the sheets, wool gets softer the smaller the micron measurement. Merino wool is finer, ranging from 15 micron to 24 micron. The thin diameter of the fibers allows for greater flexibility of the material, eliminating the stabby, itchy feeling you experience from other wool.
You may have noticed sheep don’t change their clothes to reflect the seasons. When it gets warmer, sheep wear wool. When it gets cooler, they’re still content in their wool. What makes wool so versatile? Glad you asked. Wool has a natural crimp in the fiber, perfect for trapping air, which acts as an insulator against the cold. In warmer weather, wool stores moisture in the fibers. As your body heats up, the moisture evaporates, cooling the air between the fabric and your body. The more you heat up, the faster your merino wool works to cool you off. Merino wool fibers are softer and lighter than other fibers, giving you soft, comfortable performance clothes.
Some winter wear materials hold moisture in, which can create an environment perfect for bacteria to grow. The result? Sweaty, smelly clothes. Thanks to the amazing wicking ability of merino wool, moisture quickly moves away from your skin. Merino can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture and still feel dry. What does that mean? It means you can hike, ski or run all you want in your merino wool and not worry about feeling sweaty and stinky. Multi-day hiking, climbing or backpack trips are no match for the top-notch performance of merino wool.