A Brave New Wool: The Miracles of Merino
September 24, 2016
As our CMO Annie Thorp likes to point out, “Wool is a year-round material.” However, its summer-friendly qualities (wicking sweat, cooling the skin) are often overlooked in favor of its cold-weather reputation. We’re happy to set the story straight—and the proof is in the pudding with our new knits, made out of 100% extra-fine Merino wool. Sure, they’re great for fall and the approaching winter, but they’ll carry you through spring and summer just as beautifully. Below, a guide to what makes our wool so great.
Thanks to a new finishing technology, all of our wool pieces can be machine-washed and partially tumble-dried (only up to 70%, though—take it out while it’s still damp and lay it flat). If you’d rather keep things simple, just lay it flat to dry entirely. Depending on your environment, drying will take less than a day. Note: Just because these pieces are easy to wash doesn’t mean you should overdo it—wool handles repeated wear extremely well, so there’s no need to launder these pieces unless they’re truly dirty.
It regulates your temperature.
Wool is an “active” fiber that functions in clothing the same way it does on sheep—it helps circulate heat away from the body when you’re getting clammy, and then retains warmth when you’re cool.
It resists stains and static.
The fibers have a natural protective layer (thanks again, sheep!) that won’t absorb stains, attract lint, or make your hair go insane.
Our wool is naturally and sustainably produced—i.e. grown—by happy, grass-fed, meadow-roaming Australian sheep. (And no, shearing sheep does not hurt them. In fact, it’s necessary to do it at least once a year to keep them healthy and comfortable.)
It’s soft and stretchy.
Merino is one of the most luxurious types of wool, with fine, elastic fibers that are comfortable against the skin (read: not rough or itchy) and retain their shape even after you’ve run, sat, and sweated in them all day. They repel wrinkles, too.
It wicks sweat and prevents stinkiness.
Wool has freakishly amazing properties that absorb moisture from your body and release it into the air without odor. That’s why lot of workout clothing contains a certain percentage of wool—to help reduce dampness and, you know, smell.
It’s good for your health.
Wool is both flame-resistant (hey, just in case) and resists UV rays better than most other materials.
It’s completely biodegradable.
When eventually discarded—which won’t happen for a looong time, obviously—your wool items will decompose in a few years and release nutrients back into the soil. (For more on this, you can read about Prince Charles’s personal wool test: He buried a wool sweater in his beloved garden, and then attempted to exhume it a few months later, only to find that it was almost entirely gone.)