Flocks sweaters and cardigans are all made of the finest Italian merino wool. We were asked this week why we loved merino wool and why we choose it over so many alternatives, including cashmere. There are a multitude of reasons which make for quite a long answer but at the end of it, hopefully, you will be as convinced as we are.
But first, a very quick introduction to the merino sheep. The Merino breed originated from Spain around the 12th century and is considered to have some of the finest and softest wool. They are extremely hardy and adaptable creatures, able to survive in harsh and extreme climates. From Spain, their distribution spread across Europe and the breed is now prominent in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, South America and northern Europe.
Now back to why we love it…
Luxurious yet durable
The drape and hand feel that is achievable with high quality Merino wool is incredible. It is possible to create a textile that feels as luxurious as cashmere yet has a higher level of elasticity and durability that comes with sheep’s wool. This durability is very important to us as we want our clothes to become a treasured wardrobe staple for years and years.
There are many grades of merino out there and the wool we use is extremely fine. Our customers have been amazed that there is no cashmere or silk blended into our yarn.
Merino wool is renowned for its ‘breathability’ and it regulates itself to your own individual body temperature. This means they’ll help keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. Clothes made from merino wool are therefore very versatile. They are well equipped to deal with quick changes of environment e.g. air travel, nipping in and out of air conditioned offices or days in the great outdoors. They work across seasons too and our collection is perfect for layering up in winter or as a quick cover-up on a summer evening.
The individual merino wool fibres are extremely fine and supple; one-third to one-tenth of the thickness of human hair. This means they can lie flat against your skin rather than ‘poke’ or scratch it. This scratching is what can cause some wool to feel itchy. Merino, however, is gentle next to the skin. If you don’t usually like the sensation of wool directly on your skin, give merino wool a try as you may have a totally different experience. (NB – merino wool does contain lanolin)
Low (er) Maintenance
Merino wool is much lower maintenance than cashmere. It is significantly more odour, stain and crease resistant. That said, Flock knitwear does deserves a little TLC to keep it looking as great as possible through the years so we do recommend that you follow our care guidelines
Finally, merino wool is a totally natural fibre. In using wool, a natural fibre, we avoid a number of environmentally damaging, chemical processes involved in synthetic textiles manufacture.
Merino wool is renewable – healthy sheep will grow a new fleece every year. It is biodegradable – if it is returned to soil it is relatively quick to decompose and in doing so returns nutrients back to the earth. Finally it is recyclable – up-cycling, re-fashioning, recycling… it can be used over and over again.
So I think that pretty much captures it all! If you do have any questions on merino or how we make our clothes we would love to hear from you. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org