Everyday I have the privilege of using what I consider to be one of the greatest materials on the planet; Merino Wool. Coming from Merino Sheep originally found in Spain but now generally from Australia, South Africa and parts of new Zealand, the wool comes in many different forms and is used in many capacities, but I always feel it gets a little overlooked and often undervalued for it’s amazing qualities, so I wanted to share some of the reasons it’s so great with you so that more people can learn about it’s magnificentness!…
Merino Fact No 1:
It’s sooooo soft. A question I get asked regularly online is ‘is it itchy?’ I can totally understand why you’d ask, a lot of wools have a scratchiness to them and it can be really unpleasant, particularly when wearing them. I can assure you I wouldn’t be working with it every day if it were scratchy in the slightest. Merino wool is super soft and delightful to work with.
Merino Fact No 2:
It’s Hypoallergenic. Not only is this extremely handy for a lot of my customers but for me, it’s rather essential since i’m actually allergic to loads of other wools so touching them everyday would not be fun. Merino wool being hypoallergenic means that it’s also a wonderful fibre to use around babies with their sensitive skin, you know it’ll be gentle and safe.
Merino Fact No 3:
It’s massively resistant, in a good way. Merino wool is naturally flame retardant which is obviously incredibly important when it comes to home furnishings. It’s also water resistant, stain resistant and odour resistant. All of these qualities are part of the genius of Merino wool. Of course if you chuck a whole glass of red wine over a merino wool blanket then it will make it wet, stained and probably a bit wine smelly (another good reason not to waste valuable wine) but with lower level drips and spills it’s brilliant.
Merino Fact No 4:
It’s breathable and temperature regulating. (Seriously, we’re only on number 4 and don’t you think it’s amazing enough already?!) It has active fibre’s which mean it reacts to changes in body temperature, both this and it’s breathability mean that it isn’t clammy when going indoors from outside, not only that but it helps to regulate the heart rate which also improves sleep!
Merino Fact No 5:
It felts beautifully. If you don’t fancy making everything out of unspun wool that is quite alright, merino wool comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes and also felts really well, particularly in water. The beauty of it’s felting also applies to unspun items, I partially felt all of my items so that it holds the fibres together and keeps pilling to a minimum. There will always be pilling when using this type of fibre but what’s great about Merino wool and it’s ability to felt is that it happens with friction too, meaning that every time you touch and use your blanket/scarf/cushion etc it will felt it a little bit. To begin with this will create pilling and if you’re not keen then you can pull the pills off with your fingers but as you continue to touch and use it you’ll gradually felt it more and more meaning the the fibres will lock together better. It’s basically self healing!
Merino Fact No 6:
It’s elastic fantastic! Merino fibres are naturally elastic so all the products are beautifully stretchy without being stretched (does that make sense?) although not entirely helpful for me when attempting to knit something to a specific size it’s is wonderful, particularly in blankets and means that they are super malleable. I always tell people not to worry too much if they’re unsure how much they want a blanket to hang over the sides of their bed because it’s so easy to manipulate you can basically mess about and see how you like it whilst still keeping it’s shape.
Merino Fact No 7:
It dyes amazingly. It’s fibres soak up dye really well making it colourfast. This enables it to be dyed in hundreds of colours which is where the only tricky decision really comes in to play….what colour to go for?!