The way we dress has evolved over the years, but the basics of what we need from clothing has not. And while the industrial revolution spurred the invention of synthetic fabrics to solve those needs, as it turns out, we had the solution all along. Merino wool.
Merino wool makes dressing easy, natural, ethical, and sustainable. There is no other fiber in the world with as many benefits as merino wool.
This is the ultimate guide to merino wool and how it can change the way you think about clothing forever.
What is merino wool?
When people think of wool, they often think of scratchy thick scarves and sweaters of yesteryear. Merino wool however, is soft, smooth, and lightweight.
This is because merino wool comes from merino sheep, which produce the highest quality wearable wool. And while quality standards in the fashion industry can vary, careful sourcing and high standards as used by Nui, makes a big difference in how ethical, soft, resilient, and durable the fiber is.
Merino fibers are approximately one third the diameter of human hair - making it supersoft and smooth. Human hair is generally between 50-100 microns. Merino wool is typically 22 microns, and Nui uses a grade that is 17.5 microns. The smaller the microns, the softer the garment.
The benefits of merino wool.
Merino wool is super soft and lightweight
Merino wool is silky soft and itch-free. Unlike other types of wool, merino wool provides warmth without bulk and is non-irritating to even sensitive skin. Scientific studies in the US have shown that wearing superfine merino even helps to ease the effects of eczema.
Merino wool is breathable
Our bodies naturally produce moisture. When clothing such as synthetics don’t allow that moisture to escape, it traps the moisture and condenses, causing sweat and odor to build up.
Merino wool is breathable. It allows moisture to escape into the air and also lets fresh air in. It’s a natural ventilating system that keeps the wearer dry and comfortable.
Merino wool is temperature regulating
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 in the family, including a newborn's fragile temperature mechanism.
Merino wool helps you sleep better
It is scientifically proven that people that sleep better in merino wool. This magical fiber works to regulate your body temperature and moisture levels to keep you at the right degree the whole night.
Merino wool keeps you dry
Because merino wool is breathable, it 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 you or your baby’s skin remains dry and rash free.
Merino wool is naturally fire resistant
Naturally fire retardant, Nui merino is very safe for children. When confronted with a flame merino wool will simply char at first, then self-extinguish. This is unlike synthetic materials such as polypropylene (made from petroleum) that will melt and stick to your child’s skin, and just as bad, use chemical fire retardants to prevent this.
Merino wool offers UV protection
Merino wool is perfect to wear out in nature. Along with having natural high UV protection, it is also durable and resilient so it’s capable to go on life’s adventures whether you’re lounging at home, or outside in the hot sun or frigid tundra.
Merino wool does not shed microplastics
Microfibers are tiny fragments of plastic. Plastic like the kind they use to make fleece clothing. Every time you wash a load with synthetic fibers, hundreds of thousands of microplastics are washed out into the waterways, the ocean and eventually into our food chain. Wearing natural fiber clothing, like merino, means your laundry isn’t adding to the TRILLIONS that are already out there.
Merino wool means less laundry
Merino wool resists soiling because of the lanolin on the wool. This makes it naturally repel water - and resist soiling. Lanolin is a completely natural wax-like coating that covers every strand of a Merino sheep’s coat.
Along with lanolin to help repel soiling, it also helps it resist mold, bacteria, and mildew.
Simply hanging your merino wool 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. (Note: We mean our thermals NOT the knitwear!) 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 that prevents stains from being absorbed. It also picks up less dust as it’s static resistant.
Merino wool is odor resistant and antimicrobial
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.
Merino wool can help curb climate change
The fashion industry accounts for about 10% of all global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater. Every day, due to the predominance of polyester, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers used in the fashion industry, millions of tons of microplastics are shed into our oceans.
This results in pollution, poisoning our food supplies, and ultimately, contributing to climate change for the planet.
But thankfully, the world has woken up. Brands are now being held accountable for their supply chains, ethical treatment of their workers, and transparency in their contribution towards helping or hurting the environment.
Wild about Wool.
Merino wool is naturally renewable, biodegradable, and lasts longer than most fabrics. It can be easily repaired, and along with the personal benefits of wearing wool:
- Feeling good about choosing wool because it’s good for the planet.
- Feeling good IN wool because it’s temperature regulating, breathable and chemical free
- Looking good in wool because it looks great on.
- Sleeping better in wool because it’s temperature regulating.
- Performing better in wool because it’s moisture-wicking and temperature regulating.
Even combining wool with other natural fibers like Tencel - which adds softness and helps garments drape beautifully, wool is incredibly versatile for any look, any lifestyle, and any budget.