Merino wool is known for its soft and luxurious feel and also its price tag, but is it worth splashing out on it?
What is Merino wool?
The merino sheep is known for its wool and although it originated in southwestern Spain, the breed is more likely to be found in Australia and New Zealand today. The technical benefits of the wool are that regular wool is on average 40 microns or higher, whereas merino wool is on average between 15 and 24 and sometimes even lower. The benefits of this are that it isn’t as itchy as regular wool, or as rough, but still offers warmth and moisture-absorbing properties.
As the fibres in merino wool are so fine, it can be found in shirts and also sportswear, including items worn by runners. One of the reasons for this is its lightness, which means it can be worn next to the skin.
The merino wool is light but has the ability to trap warmth between the fibres and allows the body to stay ventilated in hotter conditions or when building up heat. It can often be found in sports and hiking socks; even if your feet get wet, it will absorb the water rather than stick to your body. As it is a natural material, it also stops sweat building up; as a result, it doesn’t smell, even when worn in hot conditions.
With adverse weather conditions set to hit the UK in the coming weeks, those who love the outdoors should dress appropriately when setting out so as not to get caught out.
The one box merino wool does not tick is durability, as it is prone to developing holes; however, when mixed with nylon, such as in socks, it does have the ability to be long-lasting. Washing merino-based items in cold water and drying them naturally can lengthen their lifespan.
An Irish merino wool sweater from a stockist such as https://www.shamrockgift.com/irish-aran-fisherman-sweater can be worn as outerwear in all seasons and offers comfort and style.
Merino-based clothing can cost anywhere between 50 and 100 per cent more than a similar item in a different material; therefore, deciding whether it is worth the high price tag will depend on how much you value comfort over value for money.