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An Introduction to Merino Wool and Why You Should Add It To Your Wardrobe

Despite the fact that it has been around for centuries, Merino wool has gained a lot of attention in recent years when everybody suddenly started to point out how amazing this fabric is and how many advantages it has compared to other fibers. It seems to have captured the hearts of many because it is natural, resistant, thinner, and softer than standard wool. So, what exactly is Merino wool and what makes it so special?

The origins

As suggested by the name, Merino wool comes from Merino sheep. These animals, much appreciated for their special coats, are believed to have originated in 12th-century Spain. Over time, due to numerous cross-breedings with other sheep, as well as the natural conditions to which they have adapted, they became known for their fine and fluffy wool that helps them regulate their body temperature.

Shrek- the famous Merino sheep

Merino sheep grow their coats all year round and they do not normally shed. Their wool is usually pretty heavy: the norm is around 4.5-5 kg to a maximum of 15 kg, depending on the size of the sheep. Thus they need to be shorn once a year in order to live a normal life, otherwise, the poor animals will collapse under the weight of their own body. According to Wikipedia, in 2004 a Merino sheep from New Zealand, later named „Shrek”, became famous all across the world after running away from the farm back in 1998 and successfully avoiding getting caught and shorn. Since then, Shrek has been growing his fleece for 6 years, and when he was finally caught, his wool weighed 27 kg, almost 6 times the norm! According to the rumors, after all the time spent in the wild, his wool was so thick that when a wolf tried to attack him, he could not bite through his fur coat.

Reasons to wear Merino wool

There are various reasons to wear clothes or to purchase home decor like blankets or carpets made of Merino wool. Lightweight, elastic, extremely resistant to natural elements, and simply beautiful,  this type of wool is highly appreciated for a reason. Here are only a couple of the many characteristics of this incredible fabric that will make you want to add it to your wardrobe:

Soft and breathable

Merino wool is made up of very delicate and thin fibers. Merino wool is soft and breathable, half the size of traditional wool fabrics, and even thinner and softer than almost all other fabrics, including silk, cotton, cashmere, and even synthetic fibers. Unlike regular wool, it is more comfortable, less itchy, and lighter in weight. Overall, it is a delight to wear!

Odor resistant

Merino wool has the great benefit of not getting smelly even after being worn plenty of times. Due to it being a natural fabric, the fibers have antimicrobial properties that stop the bacteria, the main cause of the odor, from developing. So Merino wool clothing can be worn all year round without being worried about smelling bad, especially when you are around other people, for example in public transport, on a plane, or even at work. Here is a random fun fact: the longest time a Merino wool sweater has been worn without it smelling is 212 days straight!

Easy to care for

Unlike traditional wool, Merino fabric is much easier to care for. It does not require to be washed by hand in cold or lukewarm water, since modern knitting technologies allow you to throw Merino wool clothing in the washing machine without worrying about it coming out 3 sizes too small. Also due to their odor-resistant properties that we have discussed previously, these clothes need much less washing than regular ones. You might also give the „air washing” method a try- after every use, hang your sweater, t-shirt, or any other item in a windy place and let it sit for a while. After a few hours spent in the fresh air, these clothes will be just as good as new!

Versatile

When thinking of wool, we normally imagine some warm, cozy men’s Irish wool sweaters and women’s Irish wool sweaters that we wear at the family gathering on the Christmas Eve that our shop Tara Irish Clothing provides a large range of. Or some fuzzy wool mittens that protect us from the cold when we are making snowmen and having a snowball fight. In the case of Merino wool, though, things are different: in addition to Irish sweaters, scarves, and mittens, there are also many lightweight pieces such as t-shirts, long sleeve tops, base coats, shirts, and many more items that can be worn on both cold winter nights and hot summer days. These characteristics make Merino wool perfect for all seasons, as it adapts to the changes in the temperature of your body,  thus keeping you warm when the weather turns cold and cool when the weather gets canicular. It is also the beloved fabric of many tourists from all over the world who visit both hot exotic countries and freezing snow-covered landscapes, since they know that Merino wool clothing will never let them down and they will always look their best regardless of the state, climate, or occasion.

Vegan-friendly

We are aware of the fact that many vegans do not only avoid eating animal products, but also refuse to wear fur, leather, suede, and other materials made from animal exploitation or slaughter. Merino fur, on the other hand, is an excellent option whether you are vegan or just choose to support cruelty-free products and fabrics. Sheep, as previously mentioned, need regular shearing in order to be able to live a normal life, and the shearing process does not cause any harm to these animals, so Merino wool is not only soft, sustainable, and comfortable, but it is also ethically sourced.

Sustainable

Sadly enough, more and more people these days prefer to purchase clothes made of low quality, industrially produced from non-renewable fossil energy synthetic fabrics, that will look bad after only a few usages and will not serve more than a year or two. Merino wool, on the other hand, is a natural fabric. The sheep that it comes from are being raised on isolated farms in the countryside, where they receive all the proteins, vitamins, and minerals that they need to produce the highest quality Merino fibers. Clothing made of this type of wool is sure to last a lifetime, thus being sustainable, biodegradable, and eco-friendly.

Worth the investment

Last but not least, considering all of the advantages that Merino wool has to offer, it is well worth the investment. Even though this fabric cannot really be called, it is really worth the money, particularly given how sustainable it is. Would you rather buy a new cheap sweater every year that will only look good for a few months or buy an article of clothing that is more on the expensive side, but will last for a lifetime? The right answer is obvious. If you are happening to be looking for one, we would recommend paying attention to the beautiful, high-quality Irish wool sweaters. Not only are they made of Merino wool, but they are also elegant and have highly meaningful stitches. Tara Irish Clothing carries a large selection of Irish sweaters that hold the fascinating past within. Browse and choose the style that represents and fits you best.

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