What is the difference between wool and merino wool?
I get asked what the difference between regular wool and merino wool is, and thought I'd put up a bit of information below
What is Wool?
Unlike other natural or even man-made materials, wool is highly resistant against flames and is also known to be flame-retardant. Where synthetic wool (fleece) would melt, natural wool fares much better.
Its fibers are durable and flexible, helping it withstand pressure and making it a very long-lasting material that can be used for years with no issue.
The lanolin wax that is naturally present in wool, helps wool to remain water-repellent for a considerable time.
Also it is very good at wicking moisture away, it is highly breathable and manages to insulate even when wet.
Lastly, wool is antimicrobial and does not hold on to body odor like other materials, such as polyester, are prone to do.
What is Merino Wool?
Merino wool is acquired from Merino sheep, commonly found in the mountainous regions of Australia and New Zealand.
It is regarded as being one of the best materials for base layers because it performs exceptionally well in different weather conditions, including the heat of summer. Its lighter construction can be very useful at keeping you cool and dry during summer.
Due to its fine fibers, merino is incredibly soft, less itchy and also quite lightweight, making it a very comfortable material to wear.
The fibers are also quite flexible, which adds to its durability and it helps the garment adapt better to movement. This is one of the reasons that wool socks made out of merino wool are some of the most comfortable to wear.
Because the fibers are so fine, it is slightly easier for Merino wool to allow air permeability and moisture wicking, which helps keep you dry much more efficiently than other garments would.
As with traditional wool, Merino also has commendable water-resistant abilities, but unlike traditional wool, it dries more easily, especially when garments are made of finer fibers and at a lighter weight.
Most other types of wool, due to the thickness of the fibers absorb more moisture when exposed to wet conditions for a long time, and thus take longer to dry.
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