Facts About Wool

8th Oct 2018

The benefits of 100% Merino in one sentence:

Thanks to recent research by sportswear companies around the world, we are learning that extra fine merino wool is peerless when it comes to performance! Did you know that fine merino wool is anti-bacterial and non-itchy? Warm when it is cold, cooling when it’s warm, recyclable as well as sustainable?

                                                                                                                       Above: A Merino Ram

THE SCIENCE OF WOOL:

Natural

Merino wool is a protein fibre from sheep making it entirely natural, renewable and sustainable. Nowadays sportswear companies are recognising wool through their own research, as being the most effective all-weather insulation. Synthetic or cotton fibres have not yet matched its unique properties. Farmers, the wool growers, actively work to safeguard the environment. At the end of your jumper’s life, the woollen garment can be put in the compost heap where it will decompose and return to soil releasing nutrients.

Anti-bacterial, Odour Resistant and Breathable

Sweat contains not just water and salt, but also oils and lotions. When our perspiration wicks through synthetic fabrics, these get stuck in the synthetic fibres. The trapped moisture creates an irresistible feast for bacteria that cause an unpleasant smell. Merino wool fibres are naturally crimped and form millions of tiny pockets of air. . This makes for best choice of textile to absorb and release moisture easily (up to 30% of its own weight) which then evaporate into the air. It is extremely breathable and very comfortable and Merino wool fibres do not hold a static charge, unlike synthetic materials. And another reason why woollens need less washing than cotton or synthetic fabrics. Non-itchy: There is a misconception that extra fine Merino wool is itchy. Recently an Australian Doctor proved, that extra fine wool can heal eczema after 6 weeks of wear; unlike cotton. His argument was that everybody, especially young, sensitive children should wear the very fine soft wools and less cotton (which has a high level of chemicals used in its manufacturing processes).

Temperature Regulating

Merino wool has been proven to be the ideal temperature regulating material: warm when it is cold and cool when it is warm. It is a hygroscopic fibre, meaning as the humidity of air rises and falls, it will absorb and release water vapour. During the absorption phase, heat is generated making it a natural insulator. In Scotland before Kilts were invented, Scottish men used to dip woven fabric in water before wrapping it around their bodies to keep them warm while they slept outside in the open.

Resilient and Elastic

Wool fibres resist tearing and can be bent back on themselves over 20,000 times without breaking. Due to its crimped structure, wool is also naturally elastic, and so woollen knitwear has the ability to stretch comfortably with the wearer and return to its natural shape, preventing wrinkling and sagging. Wool therefore maintains its appearance for longer, adding value to the product and its lifespan. Wool is also hydrophilic. Meaning it is highly absorbent and retains liquids—and so dyes richly without the use of chemicals. The protective waxy coating on wool fibres makes wool products resistant to staining and they also pick up less dust as wool is naturally anti-static.

Safe Solution

Merino wool is naturally safe. It does not cause allergies or promote the growth of bacteria. Thanks to its high water and nitrogen content, wool is naturally flame-retardant, and has a far higher ignition point than many other fibres. It will not melt and stick to the skin and it produces less noxious fumes (the most common cause of death in large fires.) Finally, wool has a higher level of UV protection than most fibres.

Better for the Environment

Synthetic materials are bad for the environment, not only because of the petrochemicals used to manufacture them, but also because of the aggressive chemicals required to clean them and the fact that they are not easily recycled and usually end up in landfill; not so with Merino wool.

WOOL AWARENESS FACTS:

In 2017, new research released by the environmental charity Hubbub revealed that:

• 44% of the public are unaware that microfibres are released into our waterways when we wash our clothes and often end up in our food. This means that we are effectively eating our own clothes!

• Synthetic clothing is on the rise and now accounts for around 60% of all clothing produced. However, a survey of over 2,000 people across the UK showed that 44% of people don’t realise that synthetic fibres such as polyester, acrylic or nylon are plastic.

• Only 56% of people know what microfibres are and these pose a much bigger problem. Half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres a year contribute to ocean pollution– 16 times more than the plastic microbeads from cosmetics. This is alarming.

So, there you have it – Merino wool is quite simply the best material available when it comes to delivering a high performance material with comfort; allowing you to focus on living your life with a healthy and clear conscience. Therefore, we at ERIBÉ Knitwear recommend you… LIVE NATURALLY AND CHOOSE WOOL!

To learn more about Wool please see The Campaign for Wool website at www.Campaignforwool.org.

ERIBÉ have been knitting with wool since 1986 and the garements have been wear tested thoroughly by Rosemary and her team to make sure they can become one of your long-standing wardrobe favourites! Be sure to have a browse of our wool collection today and grab yourself something made out of this phenomenal fibre! 

Above images: Raglan Sweater Lamiane in Swansdown and Haar available on our site now.

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