Merino wool isn’t new, it has been around for decades. In fact, it was perhaps most commonly found in outdoor apparel before the invention of synthetics. With excellent insulating properties, it was found to keep mountaineers warm in extreme conditions. For this reason, Merino was used extensively for expeditions and still is today. It is no surprise to find that Merino wool was used by the great explorers because of its outstanding performance features. We’ve outlined the five reasons why Merino wool works so well for them and why we use Merino extensively in our running collection.
Temperature Regulating (Versatility)
Merino wool comes from the Merino sheep, raised through evolution in the Australian outback, these incredible sheep keep themselves comfortable through extreme temperature ranges, reaching highs of 50 degrees celsius and lows below freezing. The Merino sheep has adapted to these conditions, producing a coat that works at both extremes. This temperature regulating property transfers to Merino wool garments, keeping you cool when it’s hot, and warm when it’s cold. This property provides excellent product versatility, meaning you only need one Merino garment to cover the work of two synthetic layers.
Better for the Environment
Polyester has consumed the sportswear industry providing an inexpensive way to produce athletic apparel, the result has led to a throw away sportswear culture, where garments are no longer cherished, are easily replaceable and led by fashion as opposed serving a true purpose. Merino wool on the other hand has a sustainable source and provides garments which perform over a longer period of time. After years of use, when you do want to replace your Merino apparel, it is biodegradable too.
Merino wool holds a great advantage over synthetics, the ability to prevent odour. Here is the science: sweat contains not just water and salt, but also oils, fat and other organic compounds. As the water in our sweat wicks through synthetic fabrics, these constituents of sweat get stuck in the pores in the material’s fibres. The trapped materials create an irresistible feast for bacteria, which create the smell that is synonymous with endurance sports kit. Merino wool fibres stop these sweat compounds mixing with the bacteria, preventing odours from forming. This permanent, natural property requires no anti-smell treatments such as silver, unlike synthetic alternatives.
Non Itchy – Fine Merino
There is a misconception that Merino wool is itchy. This is based on the fact that most wool types are not smooth. However Merino wool, and especially the fine 18.9 micron Merino wool that we use for ashmei kit, is incredibly soft and comfortable to wear.
Wicks, Dries, Performs.
Merino wool has excellent wicking and drying properties, when sweat builds through intense exercise, the moisture actively moves from the skins surface to the outer surface of the garment, evaporating into the atmosphere and keeping you more comfortable for longer.
Animal Welfare and Woolmark
We source our Merino wool from Australia and New Zealand farms which have the highest standards of animal welfare. These farms operate non-mulesing practices to ensure the standards are upheld. We are certified by Woolmark for the quality of our merino products and will continue to ensure the Merino we source achieves the highest ethical standards.