The Story of Merino

Merino sheep is a breed of sheep which wool is particularly soft and has high quality. Merino sheep are  slightly smaller than a regular sheep, but despite this, their main advantage is wool.

 

Merino sheep

 

     For the first time this breed appeared in Spain in the XII century. Merino is a descendant of sheep from Asia Minor and North Africa. Due to the high quality of wool, the Spaniards were the main producers of wool at that time. Merinos were so valuable that their export outside of Spain was forbidden and the person could have got capital punishment. However, in 1723, several sheep were secretly transported to Sweden, then to Saxony. And already in 1788, the first 70 sheep were exported to Australia. Today, Australia is the main supplier of merino wool in the world, thanks to the mild climate and huge pastures.

 

    Merino sheep adapt perfectly to the environment. Their soft, beautiful and slightly wavy coat also possesses good absorbing and antibacterial properties.

 

The average length of the coat is 65–100 mm. And in width less than 24 microns.

 

Wool

There are several types of wool: wide (strong) 23–24.5 μm, medium-diameter wool 19.6–22.9 μm, fine 18.6–19.5 μm, superfine 15–18.5 μm and ultrafine wool 11.5-15 microns. The last type of wool, of course, is the most expensive, the number of animals is not numerous and it’s said that sheep graze in special cloaks when it’s windy or rainy  to prevent their wool from roughen. The ultrfine merino is suitable for blending with other types of yarn such as silk and cashmere. New Zealand produces lightweight knitwear created by blending merino wool and possum fur.

 

Merino sheep wool is often used for mountain and outdoor sports clothing such as running, climbing, cycling, hiking and other outdoor aerobic sports, as merino has an excellent absorbent and moisture-removing effect. Merino products are recommended for everyday wear in the city, the unique properties of this wool do not interfere with heat transfer.

 

Keep in mind that the product should not stay in water for a long time, avoid twisting, only lightly wring it with your hands. When folding the product for drying on a flat, moisture-absorbing surface, it may seem that the product has lost its shape. Do not worry, you need to carefully lay out the product, align the edge of the product, sleeves and when dried, the merino will gain its former elasticity and springiness.