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What is merino wool?

Clothing > Merino wool info >  What is merino wool?

Merino wool is a renewable and sustainable resource

Unlike the synthetic by products of the petroleum industry or the cotton industry which requires vast quantities of water and pesticides. Merino wool is a true renewable resource and is produced with minimal environmental impact.

Merino wool is the finest natural fibre available and is biodegradable.

You and the environment benefit when you make your purchase.

We know how our sheep live.

The sheep that supply our merino wool graze on free range pasture all year in alpine and sub-alpine grasslands.

The growers adhere to minimum standards defined in the New Zealand Animal Welfare Act (1999). The Act defines the best practises for the provision of the sheep's physical health and behavioural needs.


With the Zque accreditation on our fabric we can guarantee that the growers do not employ mulesing on the sheep.

Merino wool is comfortable next to your skin.

The MyMerino brand is made from superfine merino wool, the individual fibres measure 18.5 microns in diameter. At this thickness the merino wool fibres are much finer than other types of wool and feels gentle against your skin exhibiting silk like softness.

Merino wool does not smell.

Merino wool has natural odour resistant properties and can be worn for a considerable amount of time before it eventually needs washing. This is a huge advantage on outdoor expeditions or camping as you can travel light.

The scaly surface of a merino wool fibre does not attract bacteria unlike the smooth, positive charged synthetic fibres. This explains why clothing made from synthetics smell rapidly especially in high exertion activities.

Merino wool has a greater capacity to absorb moisture, 35% of its own weight. The moisture is held within the fibre, bacterial microbes are unable to gain access to the moisture.

Merino wools internal chemistry allows it to bind to the components of body odour trapping them within the fibre. In conditions of high humidity or moisture merino wool passes through a point called glass transition and is able to dramatically increase its absorption rate. This allows a faster absorption of odour. When the fibre reverts to normal conditions the odours are trapped inside the structure even if the moisture evaporates. When washed the glass transition phase occurs again and the odours are washed away from the fibres' structure.

Synthetic materials are not capable of passing through the glass transition phase.

Travellers trekking in the Himalayas have worn the same merino wool garments for weeks without laundry facilities.

Merino wool is easy to maintain.

Follow our washing instructions and you will get years of enjoyable wear from your MyMerino garments.

Simply throw our clothes into a washing machine and wash on a warm or cool setting. We recommend you air dry your garment away from direct sunlight.

Alternatively you can have your merino wool dry-cleaned.

Merino wool is resistant to shrinage and wrinkles.

If you follow our detailed washing instructions and avoid tumble drying the garment you are unlikely to experience significant shrinkage.

Merino wool keeps you warm in the cold and cool when its hot.

Merino wool has unique properties that insulate you from extreme cold weather and excessive heat.

Merino wool reacts to the micro climate above your skin. In hot weather or during rigorous activities the merino will absorb moisture and through evaporation transport it away from your skin, lowering the temperature. When you are cold merino has the ability to absorb moisture from the air which produces a rise in temperature, a process known as heat of sorption.

Merino wool has been used by Antarctic explorers to stay warm and Bedouin desert tribesmen to stay cool. No other material offers this versatility at the extreme temperature ranges.

Merino wools breathability sets it apart from other materials allowing clothes made from merino to be used in many activities under a variety of conditions at any time of the year.

Merino wool minimises physiological stress.

The University of Otago Clothing & Textile Sciences Department in Dunedin, New Zealand conducted tests under strictly contolled conditions between three knitwear fabrics typically used in next to skin active sportswear.

1. 100% Polyester.
2. 52% Merino wool /48% Polyester.
3. 100% Merino wool.

Athletes undertook three activities while wearing each of the garments on motorised treadmills in two environmental conditions.

The test results concluded:

"......Merino wool was better at minimising body regulatory fluctuations which may result from changes in exertion or the environment. Wearing Merino wool fabric appears to lead to generally lesser physiological stress during exercise in both hot and cold conditions."

By wearing merino wool you will benefit from:

1. Increased time before the onset of sweating.
2. Smaller increases in heat content of the body.
3. Smaller changes in core temperature.

Source: Designer Textiles and The University of Otago.

We know where our merino wool originates.

Our fabric is sourced from Designer Textiles who are the leading supplier of spun merino wool fabric in New Zealand. They participate in an initiative called Zque that has been developed by The New Zealand Merino Company Ltd.

Zque is an accreditation program that ensures environmental, social and economic sustainability, animal welfare and traceability back to the source. Merino wool growers are independently audited to ensure they are employing the management practises and achieving the standards outlined in the Zque manual.

Zque is the new definition for ethical merino wool.

Clothing > Merino wool info >  What is merino wool?