15 Properties of Merino Wool

Merino Sheep Being Shorn

Wool, The World's Most Versatile fabric! 

Wool is the world's most versatile fabric. Merino wool is famous across the globe for its next-to-skin softness, strength, versatility and technical performance. Its versatility extends from luxury fashion to high-performance activewear, accessories, homewares, baby wear to adults and everyone in between.

Wool is also the most reused and recycled fibre:

Wool represents only 1.2% of the virgin fibre supply globally. Yet surveys have shown it represents about 5% of the clothing donated to charity. Wool is also one of the most sought after recycled textile fibres, it is converted into long-lasting products such as garments, mattresses, pillow stuffing and upholstery.

What is wool?

Wool comes from the fleece or hair of an animal called a sheep. Their fleeces are shorn seasonally (like a hair cut) and it is this fibre that is cleaned and spun/carded into yarn used to knit/weave woollen fabrics. 

What is Merino wool?

Merino is the name given to a particular breed of sheep. The differences between merino sheep and other varieties are the signature long, fine wool that is produced which is enables the fibre to bend.

Wilderling Merino Wool Heirloom Blanket

Properties of Wilderling's Merino wool:

Not all Merino wool is created equally. All our Merino fibre is ZQ Certified - a world leading, New Zealand Merino Company certification. When you buy Wilderling Merino wool garments, you are choosing to buy premium quality, that is ‘sustainable, ethical and traceable’.

ZQ Merino Wool Certification Wilderling

ZQ CERTIFIED

Our sheep are part of a wool certification that believes in the welfare of the animals and a better quality of life. We believe in putting our best foot forward in making a difference in the textile industry, and therefore stand by this wool certification which gives us peace of mind that the animals, whose beautiful fleece we use to create our clothing, are well looked after and live a life free from stress, harm and disease.

It also means our merino wool fabric is consistent in fibre quality, traceable to the farm of origin, meets environmental sustainability targets and adheres to strict animal welfare and social responsibilities for the farmers.

The 15 Key Properties of Merino Wool

  1. ETHICAL 

  2. 100% BIODEGRADABLE

  3. 100% RENEWABLE

  4. NATURALLY BREATHABLE

  5. ODOUR RESISTANT

  6. ANTIBACTERIAL/ANTIMICROBIAL

  7. NATURALLY ELASTIC

  8. HIGHLY DURABLE

  9. SOFT ON SKIN

  10. WARM/COLD

  11. INSULATES WHEN WET

  12. EASY CARE

  13. STAIN RESISTANT

  14. FIRE RESISTANT

  15. UV RESISTANT

 Merino Sheep on a High Country Station in NZ

ETHICAL 

Our sheep are happy, and live under the five freedoms of animal welfare:

  • Free from thirst
  • Free to live naturally
  • Free from discomfort
  • Free from distress
  • Free from disease
  • In addition our sheep are Non Mulsed.

*Part of the ZQ Certification of our wool fibre

Image of Sheep Shearing by Woolmark

100% BIODEGRADABLE

All of our Merino wool garments are made from 100% Merino fibre. We have not blended it with anything else. Therefore when your clothing reaches its end of life, it will naturally decompose in soil, releasing nutrients back into the earth - where it came from.

Image of Sheep Shearing by Woolmark

100% RENEWABLE

Wool is the fleece or hair of an animal called a sheep. Their fleeces are shorn (like a hair cut) seasonally and grows back. 

Wilderling 100% Merino Wool Clothing for Babies

NATURALLY BREATHABLE

Merino wool is one of the most breathable fibres as it can absorb large quantities of moisture vapour, and then move it away to evaporate into the air. Keeping the skins surface dry.

Merino Wool Thermals and Turtlenecks for Kids

ODOUR RESISTANT

Merino wool can absorb moisture vapour and odour molecules from the skins surface. Releasing the vapour into the air to keep skin dry, and the odour upon washing, keeping the body smelling clean.

As a result, you can wear your Merino wool garments many times, airing it between wears, before needing to wash.

Less frequent washing = lower carbon footprint.

Merino Thermals Made in New Zealand for Kids

ANTIBACTERIAL/ANTIMICROBIAL

The thin, waxy coating on the outer wool fibre contains fatty acids that inhibit the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria.

Merino Swaddles for Babies by Wilderling

NATURALLY ELASTIC

Wool is a naturally elastic fibre, this combined with being knitted into a fabric, helps Merino wool garments stretch with you, yet return to their original shape. Merino wool is ideal for baby swaddles, and clothing active and busy children.

Wool Fibres from NZ Sheep

HIGHLY DURABLE

Wool fibres can withstand being bend 20,000 times without breaking. In comparison cotton fibres break after 3,000, silk after 2,000 and rayon only 75 bends.

100% Merino Wool Swaddles and Baby Blankets at Wilderling

SOFT ON SKIN

Due to the extremely fine nature of Merino wool fibres, they are able to bend far more than coarser wool fibres. In addition, the finer the micron (unit of measuring a fibre), the finer the wool.

We use a superfine 18.5micron in all our garments, ensuring our Merino wool will feel gentle and luxuriously soft next to skin. Something incredibly important for sensitive young skins.

Queenstown in Summer and Winter

WARM/COLD

In contrast to synthetic or man-made fibres, Merino wool is an ‘active’ fibre. It reacts to changes in the body's core temperature, helping you to stay warm in cold weather and cool when the weather is hot.

As babies and children cannot regulate their own temperatures Merino wool garments are a safe fabric option.

Merino Baby Hats and Bodysuits made in NZ

INSULATES WHEN WET

The inner core of a wool fibre can absorb just under half of its body weight in moisture. Not until wool is saturated with 60% of its own weight will it feel wet to touch. Since wool can retain 80% of its insulating value, even when saturated, wool will keep you warm, even when it is wet.

Children can play outside in all weather conditions, when dressed in Merino wool base layers.

100% Superfine Merino Baby Bodysuits and Blankets

EASY CARE

Our Merino wool garments and accessories can all be machine-washed.

Remember that caring for your precious Merino wool pieces, extends the life of the garment - always follow wool wash settings and only use a specified wool wash detergent.

Luxurious Merino Wool Wool Baby Leggings, Bodysuits and Thermal Sets

STAIN RESISTANT

Merino wool fibres have a natural protective outer layer, that helps to prevent stains from being absorbed.

As Merino wool tends to not generate static electricity, it attracts less dust and lint than other fibres.

100% Superfine Merino Wool for Babies and Kids

FIRE RESISTANT

The inherent chemical structure of wool, makes it naturally flame resistant. Temperatures must reach 570-600 C, before wool will ignite. Compare this to Cotton, which catches alight at 255 C.

While synthetic fibres such as Polyester melt at 252-292 C and Nylon at even lower 160-260 C.

Wool will never melt, so it cannot stick to the skin like many common man-made fibres.

Wilderling Baby and Children's wear makers

UV RESISTANT

As a natural fibre evolved of millions of years to protect sheep against the elements, merino wool fibres absorb UV radiation, providing protection from the sun. This makes Merino wool clothing a good choice for a wide range of outdoor activities.

 

And there you have it, the 15 key properties of Merino wool. It truly is a versatile and wondrous fibre that we absolutely love! 

“I have always had a love affair with merino wool fabrics and it was largely the reason I founded Wilderling back in 2016. There is just something about the fibre and its origins, that speaks of heritage and a connection to the land.” - Victoria (founder)

To read more about Merino wool click below:

Animal Welfare
What is Merino Wool and Why is it so Special?

 

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