Wool vs. Merino Wool


If you wear clothes, it’s safe to assume two things about you. First, that you probably do not get as many strange looks in restaurants as those that don’t wear clothes; and second, that you’ve probably heard of merino wool, and heard a lot about it. So what is merino wool, and how is it different from regular wool? Well, glad you asked. Put on your learning socks (are they made of merino wool?) and prepare to assimilate some knowledge.

There are actually many different kinds of wool, and the thing that makes different kinds of wool, well, different, is actually the animal that it comes from. Sheep’s wool is by far the most common and widely available type of wool, and it’s what most people think of when they think of wool. But there are actually several different kinds of sheep’s wool, such as melton, shetland, loden, lambswool and, of course, merino. Merino wool simply comes from a merino sheep, which primarily hail from the mountainous regions of New Zealand and Australia. There are many things that wool has in common, and these are the things you probably think of when you think about what makes wool, well, wool: Wool is a great insulator, keeping your body warm. Wool is water-resistant, keeping your body dry. Wool wicks moisture, which also keeps your body dry by pulling sweat away from your skin, so it can evaporate. It’s breathable and adapts well to changing weather conditions, which keeps your body more comfortable. And, of course, wool is, by and large, kind of itchy and scratchy. It’s not the most comfortable fabric to wear and have rubbing against your skin. That is, unless it’s merino wool.

Merino wool is really soft, and it isn’t scratchy like “regular” wool. That’s because merino wool fibers are much finer than standard sheep’s wool. But that isn’t the only thing that separates merino wool from the rest. It’s also lightweight for the amount of warmth it gives, making it a great option for wearing in outdoor weather activities like hiking because it adds a layer of warmth without much added weight. It’s also very strong, and naturally elastic, so it’s likely to be pretty durable too. So, the next time you put on a super comfy pair of lightweight wool socks, or that v-neck sweater your wife really likes, just think, there’s a sheep somewhere, probably in Australia, to thank for that. Specifically, a merino sheep. Which, due to his recent popularity, can probably be seen scaling the mountain cliffs puffing his chest out a bit. There are many very popular merino wool products available right now and the best place to find them is at Working Person’s Store.