What textile specialists, the inhabitants of Nordic countries and most winter sportsmen have known for many years is now breaking ground with the general international public due to the latest trends in outdoor clothes. Virgin sheep’s wool is coming back to the market as a new fibre in the area of functional garments. Mainly extra fine and super fine types of Merino wools are popular again today because demands on the functionality of garments are increasing and synthetic fibres cannot satisfy them in many areas. One of these areas is knitted functional underwear. Actually, it is logical. Sheep’s wool is a fibre that has been developed by nature to protect a mammal for millions of years.
Advantages of wool in short:
- Fine almost soft touch - the finest types of Merino (super fine) have fibres of 16 micrometres (microns) in diameter, i.e. 0.016 millimetres; for comparison: human hair is 100 micrometres thick;
- Thermoregulation ability - woollen textile materials create on the body microclimate which protects the skin from fast penetration of the outside climate - either cold in winter (wool holds warmth) or hot in summer (wool stays cold)
- Wool is anti allergenic - no allergic reactions to wool are known. However, this property cannot be confused with the fact that some people are so-called “allergic” to wool with regard to its touch. It is possible to avoid this “unpleasant” touch simply when you select Merino wool extra fine or even super fine (16 micrometres). These types of wool are very soft, almost silky to the touch.
- Wool protects from UV radiation - many synthetic fibres do not do this at all or they do it insufficiently.
- Elasticity - knitted fabrics made of wool are naturally elastic, so no added synthetic elastomers are needed in knitted fabric. It is possible to extend woollen fibres by up to 30% and then they return to their original shape;
- Hollow fibre - sheep’s wool is naturally a hollow fibre (!);
- Woollen fibre is still the only known textile material that has all of these properties at once!!! It is a man of many talents amongst fibres, a sort of “decathlete” in the world of textile fibres.