On my quest to introduce different types of wool I present you today merino wool. You’ve probably seen lots of merino wool articles – merino wool sweaters, merino wool socks, gloves, hats, cardigans or even merino wool underwear. So why such a variety can be made of this particular type of wool, what are the benefits of merino wool yarn and where it comes from?
Merino is a breed of sheep, famous for its widely used wool. Merinos are considered to have the softest and finest wool of any breeds of sheep. This is how the merino sheep look like.
Merinos possibly derive from North Africa, and are adapted to hot dry regions, with or without seasonal snow. Nowadays merinos are grown in many countries while merino wool from Spain is considered one of the finest (with a strong competition from Australian and New Zealand wool).
Merino wool yarn is finely crimped and soft. There is a variety of merino wool types – starting from broad (23-24,5 micron in diameter) to ultra-fine wool (11,5-15 micron in diameter). Ultra fine wool is suitable for blending with other fibers such as silk and cashmere.
Because of its many valuable qualities merino wool is widely used to produce clothing for outdoor activities as well as indoor use. Merino wool cardigans, merino wool scarves, skirts, shits, jumper and athletic suits are made. Some of the advantages merino wool is famous for are:
- Merino is among the softest types of wool on the market, due to very fine fibers and smaller scales.
- Merino wool is well appreciated because of excellent regulation of body temperature (especially when worn directly against the skin). It provides some warmth, without overheating the wearer. It also draws sweat (moisture) away from the skin. Merino wool is moisture repellent which allows the wearer to avoid the feeling of wetness.
- Merino wool, like most wool, contains lanolin which has antibacterial properties.
- Wool absorbs water, but retains warmth.
- In addition, merino wool is also anti-static and fire-resistant.
Some stylish articles made from merino wool:
- comfortable, warm girls’ leggings from Not On The High Street,
- merino wool iPad sleeve hand made from soft and thick yearn to protect your iPad from Etsy,
- super-trendy merino wool cardigan from Toast.
Coming soon.. a post about alpaca wool.