By: Blonde Two

It seems crazy doesn’t it, to be talking about merino clothing when the weather is so hot (cue rain), but the thing about merino wool is that, as well as keeping you cosy when it is cold, it can keep you cool when it is hot (believe it or not we Blondes do sometimes go walking in the sunshine). Merino outdoor clothing has grown in popularity over the last decade; this is good news because popularity in retail often leads to price reductions. There have to be reasons that so many of us are now turning to merino clothes to keep us warm, cool and less smelly in the outdoors. We have 6 great advantages of merino wool.

Merino wool is a natural fibre

It stands to reason doesn’ it? Sheep are natural (they eat grass and then poo) and their wool is natural too. Whilst merino wool doesn’t have entirely unconditional environmental credentials (90% of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions come from sheep poo) it is low on processing and high on biodegradability.

Merino wool is incredibly comfortable

If you have ever worn a Shetland wool jumper next to your skin you will know that when it comes to the ‘scratchy’ factor, all jumpers are not made equal. Merino wool is both lightweight and soft which makes it excellent for layers that are going to sit next to your skin (yep, even knickers!)

Merino wool will keep you warm

Merino sheep have a natural wave to their wool. As causing a being a fashion trend and jealously from Wales, the wave in merino wool offers excellent insulation properties because it traps warm air around your body.

Merino wool will keep you cool

We are not suggesting here that your merino wool base layer is intelligent enough to read the weather forecast and choose between ‘hot mode’ and ‘cold mode’ (let’s face it, there are plenty of people who are not clever enough to do that). However merino wool has exceptionally good breathability and this makes it ultimately suitable for both hot and cold weather.

Merino wool will keep you dry

There appears to be a contradiction here because merino wool can actually absorb a fair amount of moisture. Whilst doing this, however, it doesn’t lose its ability to keep your warm and doesn’t take too long to wick away the moisture from your skin.

You will be less smelly if you wear merino

Please don’t be disgusted here but during my recent trip to Norway, I wore one merino jumper next to my skin for nine days non-stop. Now admittedly I wasn’t doing a lot of walking (and virtually no sweating) but this wasn’t the first time that merino’s non-smelliness has impressed me. It has to be remembered here that it isn’t sweat that gets smelly, it is the bacteria that develop on the skin as a result of sweat that kicks up a stink. Because merino is so good at trapping and then wicking away sweat it removes many of the opportunities for those nasty little bacteria to form.

You could ask us what we don’t like about merino but these days there aren’t many things. It used to be tricky to wash, but if you are careful you can use the washing machine, it used to be expensive but competition is bringing prices down and it used to be mostly available in plain ‘boy’ colours, but we girls and our spending power have put a stop to that. If you haven’t tried merino yet, do give it a try. We would love to hear how you get on!

Find out a bit more about the Blonde love for merino here:

In Praise of Merino

Here is a link on the same subject to one of B2’s favourite walking blogs.

dhb merino wool baselayers (31/10/2014)