We are wild about wool. Organic merino wool to be more specific. As a raw material for kids clothing, so many things about it just make perfect sense. It’s that simple and this complex…
SOFT & GENTLE
Nui merino is silky soft and itch free. It provides warmth without bulk and is non-irritating to even sensitive skin.
Bend & Stretch
Wools natural elasticity means it will keep its shape wash after wash, year after year. Wool fibers can be stretched many many times and still bounce back to their original shape, so there is less chance of garments sagging or losing form over time. This also makes it incredibly comfortable to wear, allowing for growth and movement.
With millions of tiny air pockets, merino wool is the perfect insulator. It creates its own microclimate around the body with unique temperature regulating qualities. It keeps you warm when it's cold, and cool when it's warm. Infants and children have a higher surface area to mass ratio than adults so thermal regulation for them is even more important. This makes nui merino great for everyone and perfect for a newborns fragile temperature mechanism.
Merino wool breathes and is able to wick moisture away from the skin. It can actually absorb up to 30% of its weight in water without feeling clammy or wet to touch. It then releases this moisture into the atmosphere to keep the wearer feeling warm and dry. This ensures the layer between nui merino and your baby’s skin remains dry and rash free. This is unlike synthetic fleece, which is warm but does not breathe easily. It also has tiny overlapping scales which case the wool fiber. They're hydrophobic (water resistant), like tiles on a roof. This allows wool to repel liquid spills with ease. When it does get wet it stays warm, unlike cotton and synthetics.
Naturally fire retardant, nui merino is very safe for children. When confronted with a flame merino will simply char at first, then self extinguish. Out, just like that. This is unlike synthetic materials such as polypropylene (made from petroleum) which will melt and stick to your child’s skin. Merino also has high UV protection, defending against the harsh sun.
Merino vs. Traditional Wool
By ‘traditional wool’, we mean the thicker coarser itchy scratchy wool that is not merino. It is possibly the wool your carpet is made from and almost certainly the wool used to make the unwelcome itchy scratchy sweater gift you received from your Grandmother as a child. Merino wool on the other hand, is smooth and fine. It creates a silk-like feel that is 'itch-free', even on sensitive skin.
Merino vs. Synthetic
When you wear petroleum based synthetic fibers such as polypropylene & polyester, it’s the clothing equivalent of wearing a plastic bottle. They have a much simpler structure than merino wool fibers and cannot absorb or release moisture or breathe. When knitted into fabric, they are limited to one-way moisture movement - simply no comparison to the superb insulation elements of merino wool. They also hold odor and unless treated with a chemical fire retardant are highly flammable. Flame. Poof! There goes your baby.
Nui Organics merino resists soiling because of it’s naturally water repellant surface. It needs far less washing than cotton and synthetics and often simply hanging your merino clothing outside on the line for a few hours is enough to refresh and renew. When it does need to be cleaned, it can be machine washed and tumble dried. It is incredibly durable and will keep its color and shape for years. Merino wool dries fast, making it perfect for a family on the go. The merino fiber has a natural protective layer which prevents stains from being absorbed. It also picks up less dust as it’s static resistant.
Merino wool is not stinky. Since the wool fiber’s core absorbs water and its hydrophobic exterior repels it, there’s no moist surface for microbes to grow on, making wool naturally antibacterial. So it can be worn for days without developing a stinky pong like a synthetic garment might. This is one of the reasons woolen socks are so popular. Feet stay dry and warm and don’t smell. As much.
Merino wool comes in a wide choice of textures, weaves and weights. It is lively, flexible and tailors easily. Our products will retain their unique color long after other fabrics have faded. Merino fiber is also longer and stronger than other wools and less likely to pill. We love how it feels against the skin, the fun knit structures we can create and the multitude of looks afforded by merino.
Natural and Organic
Nui merino clothing uses merino wool that is certified organic to GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards). It is completely free of harsh chemicals normally found in wool growing that can contribute to wool sensitivity or wool allergy in some people. Nui merino is a natural resource which is biodegradable, sustainable and a renewable resource, growing back year after year. It is by far the better choice for your child and the environment they will grow up in.
Chlorine Free wool and why that's important.
Most wool, in order to make it machine washable, is still treated with CHLORINE. Chlorine might seem cheap and easy upfront, but it is most definitely BAD and more costly in the long run.
Nui GOTS certified organic merino wool is NOT processed using chlorine. Instead we use a GOTS approved PLASMA treatment, safe for the wearer AND the environment. This is important. Please make informed fiber choices and choose the environment.
To elaborate; wool has an abundance of characteristics that we LOVE. But it also has small barb-like scales all over it. Without treatment, when the wool is washed and dried, these scales all tangle together and cause shrinking and felting. Unfortunately the most common way to render wool machine washable is to treat it with chlorine.
This process however, results in wastewater with unacceptably high levels of adsorbable organohalogens (AOX) – toxins created when chlorine reacts with available carbon-based compounds. Dioxins, a group of AOX, are one of the most toxic known substances. This wastewater is so toxic in fact, that the process is not even permitted in the USA. It happens in ‘other countries’ and the processed wool then imported into the US. This is just one of the reasons we choose chlorine-free GOTS organic wool. We care about children, families and the environment EVERYWHERE.
For more information you can check out the Environmental Working Group Website’s information on chlorination byproducts. www.ewg.org/research/consider-source
As well as the oecotextile website clarification on organic wool.