7 wooly facts about merino
PLEIN PUBLIQUE ❤ MERINO WOOL
Merino wool: we at Plein Publique can't get enough of it. And our numbers indicate that the same goes for you! Merino wool is warm, soft, low maintenance and – last but not least – stylish, timeless and stunningly beautiful. We have listed 7 fun and useful facts about merino wool. We do this to keep your love for merino wool alive, and to give you the opportunity to brush up the knowledge of your ignorant friend/sister/mother/colleague – Because... You don't want to deny anyone these amazing sweaters, do you? And oh yes, also to keep our colleague who deals with the numbers happy (Don't f*** with Patries, she pays our salary. Kiss x)
*Wondering why we have collected exactly seven – and not 10 – facts for you? There are seven beauties, seven wonders of the world, seven sins, seven pillars of wisdom… as far as we're concerned, this list fits in nicely :)
1. MERINO WOOL DOESN'T ITCH
This is number one for a reason: we scratch where it itches the most. That wool itches is the biggest prejudice of this beautiful natural product. Buuuut... just as no person is the same, no type of wool is the same. If your skin is sensitive to wool, that doesn't mean you can't wear any and all types of wool. You just need to know what to watch out for. As a rule, wool from sheep from colder areas is stiffer and thicker in structure, making it more itchy. The same applies to non-itchy wool as to house prices: location, location, location.
The Merino sheep originates from Spain and that warm climate is 'baked into' the genes of the current generation of Merino sheep. Merino wool is nowadays mainly harvested in regions with a similar climate, such as Australia and New Zealand. The wool 'fiber' (in fact, the hair) is longer, smoother, finer and therefore itches much less than, for example, Shetland wool, whose diameter of the hair is almost 4 times as thick. The Shetland Islands are located somewhere between Scotland and Norway so you can understand why. If you choose merino wool, you choose fine, soft, non-itchy wool.
2. MERINO WOOL IS SELF-CLEANING
Hello hello. Isn't that a fun surprise? Merino wool is naturally antibacterial and self-cleaning. Wool owes its self-cleaning properties to the layer of fat that surrounds each fibre. That fat layer is called lanolin, and it makes wool unique. Good stuff :). The lanolin inhibits the absorption capacity: moisture and dirt remain on the surface and are not absorbed into the fibre. The antibacterial effect is due to the proteins in the fat: they break down the bacteria so that odor is neutralized.
Musty-smelling merino wool - or mEWrino wool - improves enormously if you hang it outside to air for a few hours. Especially in the fog, but the post-shower bathroom (indoor fog) also works wonders. Odors disappear like snow in the sun. Goodbye eau de wet dog.
*Hardnekkige naweëen van een knof-overgoten schranspartij? Sprayen met onze geparfumeerde kledingspray geeft de opfrisbeurt in de buitenlucht een power boost.
(Stubborn after-effects of a garlic-soaked food binge? Spraying with our perfumed clothing spray gives the freshening up in the open air a power boost.)
3. MERINO WOOL CAN BE WASHED IN THE MACHINE
Duh. Of course merino wool can be washed in the washing machine. Open the door and in they go. But can you also turn on the machine? How does it look after washing? Like a felt pouf or wad of steel wool? Don't worry, if you follow the basic rules you will be fine. In principle, you do not have to wash merino wool, just read fact 2. But what if there is a stain on your merino wool sweater? It does not disappear by itself during airing, so sometimes you cannot avoid using the washing machine. We are happy to link you to our FAQ about merino wool, where you can read all the ins & outs.
4. MERINO WOOL IS SUSTAINABLE
Okay, you have durable and sustainable. The term is used everywhere these days, and it is not always clear what exactly it means. Unfortunately, sustainability has become a hollow marketing term. What we mean in this context is that merino wool lasts a long time. If you take good care of a garment made of merino wool, you will enjoy it for years to come. You do not have to replace it for a new one for quality reasons. This way you automatically 'consume less' and thus prevent unnecessary burden on the environment.
Because whatever the sustainability statements of fashion brands claim: even a responsible production process leaves traces. The durability we mean here is directly related to the use time of your merino wool garment, and you can stretch it to the maximum by carefully following the washing and care instructions.
5. MERINOWOL IS RECYCLABLE
You come across them more and more these days: clothing made from recycled raw materials. From clothing made using residual materials, dead stock (leftover stock) or B-choice items. In the case of wool – and therefore also merino wool – it is mainly about the fiber-to-fiber method. Collected clothing and/or unmarketable leftovers from fashion brands are filmed, shredded and wound into fibres.
Yarn is then spun from those to produce new garments. In this way, the product remains in its own category of use – consumer textiles remain consumer textiles – instead of being sucked into a downward spiral to lower regions of the chain (for example: from consumer textiles to carpet underlay or insulation material).
Pure merino wool is ideally suited for this method of recycling – when it comes to blends with other fibers, the industry is diligently looking for the best way to separate the different fiber types in order to recover a pure base product, from which new products are made can become.
6. MERINO WOOL IS SUMMER PROOF
Wool is known to keep you warm. That's because the wool fiber is crimped: the minuscule 'air chambers' in the knit/fabric provide good temperature-regulating properties. This open structure also ensures that moisture (including perspiration) evaporates easily. The layer of wool grease that surrounds each fiber also ensures that moisture cannot penetrate into the fibre.
Merino wool breathes, just like your skin, so if you opt for a light, finely knitted merino wool in the summer, it will feel at least as cool and comfortable as cotton of a similar weight. "Just so you know...
7. MERINO WOOL IS SLEEP-INDUCING
Finally, a weird fact that we want to share with you purely for fun. The University of Sydney has conducted research into the sleeping behavior of students. It showed that students around twenty fell asleep 4 minutes faster when they wore pajamas made of merino wool. For comparison: dressed in merino wool they fell asleep within 11 minutes, dressed in cotton the light only went out after 15 minutes. Thus merino wool is sleep inducing in the not-boring way :)
The usefulness of this tidbit? None for us, consider it a fun fact. Pajamas are not on our to-do list for the time being.
Nicole and Ilse