Being extremely fine, merino fibres are able to bend far more than other wool fibres. It also has higher elasticity that helps prevent garments made with merino wool from losing their shape. This makes it a perfect fabric for thermals, undergarments and socks.
The natural crimp of merino cleverly insulates by trapping body heat in air pockets, keeping you warmer for longer. If you layer a merino base layer over another merino item, you can increase the warmth trapped around your body.
Merino wool’s breathability is another valuable benefit. It releases warmth as needed to prevent overheating and so cool you down when conditions heat up. The wool also absorbs up to 30 percent of its weight in moisture while still maintaining its insulation properties, keeping you dry and warm even when you’re out in the elements. It’s naturally moisture-wicking and can draw perspiration away from the skin so you stay dry when working up a sweat.
Unlike synthetic fibres which smell after significant use, merino wool naturally resists bacteria and odour retention, so you avoid those unpleasant odours that impregnate some outdoor clothing. As it resists odour, bacteria and stains, you don’t need to wash it as often or as rigorously as synthetics. Simply airing your merino garments overnight will usually freshen them enough for the following day.
Merino wool is made out of keratin, much like human hair. So it is completely biodegradable and will breakdown, decomposing to release vital nutrients back into the soil, acting like a fertiliser.