„Merinos are truly the royal family of the wool world“ Robson/Ekarius write in „The Fleece and Fibre Sourcebook“. Merinos were discovered in the 12th century by the Spanish royalty, who imported them from Northafrica into Spain. Today, they are mainly bred in the southern hemisphere, in countries like Argentina (primarily in the region of Patagonia), New Zealand, South Africa, or Australia, which is the largest producer of Merino wool today. In rough climate, with extreme heat and freezing cold, they develop an especially fine wool.
Their fleece is mainly white and is generally recognized as the softest sheep's wool today. But be aware that there are many different kinds of Merinos, whose fleeces vary greatly in softness. The European Merinolandschaf, for example, has much coarser wool than most of the Merinos bred on the southern hemisphere.
Unfortunately, conventionally bred Merinos often have to suffer mulesing, which is extremely painful and traumatising for the animals. For this reason, we decided to use only Merino wool which is GOTS-certified and therefore guarantees that mulesing and many other bad practices are strictly forbidden. With the focus on Merino wool we want to help increase public awareness of this important issue. More information here.
Our Merino Yarns
The softness of wool is measured in “microns” (the smaller the micron count, the softer the wool). More than 22 microns normally feel scratchy on the skin. Our wool from Patagonia has 19.5 microns and therefore has an especially soft touch, which is not only because of the fineness of the raw wool, but also because we chose special methods to process it.
Because our yarns are so comfortable to wear on the skin, they are also ideal for children's garments, as children and babies are particularly sensitive to scratchy wool. And since our Cheeky Merino Joy and Big Merino Hug yarn are fit for the washing machine, there is no need for tedious hand washing.
In addition, Merino wool has particular properties which make it one of the most popular materials for hand-knitting yarns and textiles:
- Temperature regulating: Merino sheep live in areas with extreme climatic conditions. Their wool is therefore capable of natural compensation for great heat as well as severe cold. For the same reason it can also adapt to the human body temperature – and this is why you always feel comfortable wearing Merino wool.
- Odour compensating: As opposed to cotton, which has to be washed very often, it is often sufficient to simply air Merino wool and wash it less frequently – that way you save yourself a lot of work and the environment the high usage of water and washing powder.
- Moisture absorbing and breathable: Merino wool is able to absorb moisture and transport it to the dryer side of the fabric extremely well. Therefore it always feels nice and dry and comfortable on the skin and for this reason it is also used increasingly for sportswear.