During the last million years, the Merino sheep has been exposed to chilling winters and literally blazing summers. Its not surprising then that its fleece has been found to have a number of attributes that help sustain life in hazardous environments. Merino offers naturally high UV protection and fire resistance, and, after recent innovations, even has application in bulletproof vests.
Merino Wool is much less likely to cling to ones body due to its moisture absorption qualities.
Controlled felting, milling or fulling is a finishing treatment used on Australian merino wool to achieve a number of effects including increased thickness, reduced air permeability and increased strength.
Merino Wool insulates against high temperatures and doesn't readily catch fire. Even when it does, it self-extinguishes when the source of flame is removed. More importantly, when merino burns it doesn't melt and stick to the skin. That's why many fire-fighters' uniforms are made from merino and why it's an excellent fabric for bedding.
HANDLE AND DRAPE
Australian Merino Wool has excellent natural handle. Its renowned drape is due to the fineness of the fibers as well as the natural elasticity and resilience of merino.
Australian Merino Wool has a number of health benefits including improved sleep for the general population, greater weight gain and reduced risk of SIDS for babies, and lower incidence of microbial infection for hospital patients.
Australian Merino wool has much greater capacity to absorb moisture vapor, which is why it has excellent breathability.
Testing of various textiles shows that merino has a natural UV protection factor of 30+ in more than 70% of cases, much higher than most synthetics and cotton. For harsh summers, merino activewear helps protect against the sun's potentially deadly rays.
All information courtesy of AWI unless otherwise stated.