Wool is a natural fiber that is obtained from the shearing of various animals, such as sheep, goats, camels, alpacas and rabbits.
A wool garment has various properties, such as warmth, breathability, elasticity and resistance.
However, not all wool is created equal. There are different types of wool, depending on the animal of origin, the part of the body from which it is sheared, and the fineness, length and softness of the fibres.
Among the various qualities of sheep's wool, one of the most valuable and sought after is merino wool. This yarn comes from the fleece of Merino sheep, a breed originally from Spain and then spread to Australia and New Zealand. The difference between wool and work merino consider some particular characteristics, which make the latter suitable for different uses and seasons. Let's see what the main differences are between wool and merino wool:
- Fineness: merino wool is a very fine wool, with a fiber diameter that varies between 15 and 24 microns, compared to 25-45 microns for medium wool. This makes this textile fiber soft to the touch and very valuable.
This means that merino wool is lighter, softer and less scratchy than common wool fiber, and that it does not cause itching or irritation on the skin.
The fineness of merino wool also depends on the area of the sheep's body from which it is sheared: the finest part is that of the neck and shoulder, while the coarsest is that of the back and legs.
- Thermoregulation: merino wool has a particular structure, made up of scales that overlap and create air chambers between the fibres. These air chambers allow the merino wool to adapt to temperature variations, keeping the body temperature constant. A unique sensation in contact with the skin.
This is possible because merino wool absorbs or releases excess heat, depending on environmental conditions. Additionally, merino wool is fire resistant and will not melt or ignite when in contact with flames.
- Breathability: Merino wool is able to absorb moisture up to 30% of its weight, without getting wet or heavy. This means that merino wool leaves the skin dry and prevents the formation of bacteria and bad odors. Plus, merino wool dries quickly, which is helpful if you're raining or sweating.
- Ecology: merino wool is an ecological and biodegradable fibre, as it comes from a renewable source and does not require chemical treatments or harmful dyes.
Merino wool is also ethical if it comes from farms that respect animal welfare and do not practice mulesing, i.e. the removal of a flap of skin from live animals in the peri-anal area to prevent parasite infestations.
For these reasons, merino wool is a superior wool to other fibers that offers comfort, protection and breathability, adapting to different climatic conditions and seasons.
High-quality merino wool can be used to make clothing, blankets, rugs and other products, which stand out for their beauty and quality.