THE ALAN PAINE BLOG

WHAT IS MERINO WOOL? EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

what is merino wool article with image showing a merino wool rolled collar sweater

Created by nature, designed to work in harmony with the human body whether you’re at work, rest or play, merino wool is quite simply nature’s wonder fibre.


We use 100% fine Italian merino wool in the creation of our men's merino wool jumpers, combining evolutionary style with luxurious comfort and touch.


Here's everything you need to know about Alan Paine's merino wool.

WHERE DOES MERINO WOOL COME FROM?

For many centuries, wool from the merino breed of sheep has been held in the highest esteem. In 1797, the first merino sheep, derived from the famed Royal Merino flocks of Spain, were introduced into Australia. Today, most of the world’s merino wool currently comes from Australia and New Zealand from woolgrowers employing sustainable farming practices.


Merino wool is grown year-round by merino sheep. The sheep produce new fleece every year with each sheep producing around 4.5 kilograms of wool fleece. The sheep can endure temperatures as low as 5 degrees. Merinos are still regarded as having some of the finest and softest wool of any sheep.

HOW FINE IS MERINO WOOL?

Wool can be divided into three main categories based on the diameter (or micron) of each fibre. Wool has to be finer than 24 microns (a measure of fibre diameter) to be classified as merino. The smaller the fibre diameter, the finer the merino and the softer it feels.


A single merino wool fibre is a third of the diameter of a human hair.

fine merino wool polo shirt

IS MERINO WOOL ITCHY?

Because the merino wool fibres are so fine and pliable, when they brush up against the skin they bend out of the way. Because the fibres can’t stand up to the weight of themselves, merino wool isn’t itchy or prickly like some other wool fibres.

merino wool shirt used for layering over a t-shirt

IS MERINO WOOL WARM?

Merino wool is a great insulator and much warmer than regular wool. The merino wool fibres have a natural crimp (waviness of the wool fibre) in their structure which trap body heat and don’t let it dissipate. The finer the fibres, the greater the crimp and the more air pockets that are created.


This gives fine merino wool an unrivalled warmth to weight ratio. Additionally, the fibres don’t let the cold air in.

Wool has a natural elasticity from the crimp in its fibres.

IS MERINO WOOL BREATHABLE?

Merino wool has excellent breathability because the wool is able to absorb and evaporate moisture. A great temperature regulator, it controls your temperature by slowing down or speeding up the rate of evaporation of the moisture held in its fibres.

OTHER BENEFITS

Merino wool has natural anti-microbial properties, helping you stay fresh for longer. It absorbs odour molecules from sweat, which are only released during washing. Because it’s so breathable, wool prevents the warm, moist conditions that odour-causing bacteria thrive in.


Gentle on even the most sensitive skin, it’s often suitable for those that would normally suffer from skin allergies. Many merino products are easy care, with a number of items being machine washable.


Merino wool is highly absorbent and can absorb up to 30 percent of its weight in water before it feels wet. Merino fibres produce much lighter fabrics that absorb less moisture and dry quicker.


Merino wool is extremely durable as the individual fibres interlock as a result of the protein structure. It’s also matchless for drape.


SUSTAINABILITY

Merino is a natural and renewable material, requires less frequent washing and is completely biodegradable at the end of its life.


Merino wool is the slow fashion champion. Breathable, antibacterial, lightweight, soft and easy care this versatile wool is especially suitable for luxury clothing, performance sportswear and base layer garments.