Everyone who has been camping or hiking in their life knows that it is very important to have comfortable clothes. The clothes need to be moisture-wicking, lightweight, easy to dry, and so on. One type of material that will not come to your mind immediately but has all these features is merino wool!
Merino wool is the type of wool you can get from merino sheep. In the past, you could often find such wool-giving sheep in Spain. Nowadays, you can also find them in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and some parts of South America. Having the quality that it does, merino wool is one of the most sought-after materials at the moment!
Today, I would like to talk to you about the things that make merino wool a great material and some of its disadvantages. Before you buy yourself some items made from merino wool, make sure that you go over the lists of disadvantages and advantages.
So, if you are ready to learn all about the material, let’s get right into the article!
Table of Contents
What are the Disadvantages of Merino Wool?
Wearing merino products is a great thing that I recommend to everyone, but these products will have their shortcomings. Before you go out to buy some merino wool items, I recommend that you go over the list of disadvantages to this material. This will help you decide if it is worth getting things of this kind!
It is not the softest
Merino wool is excellent for many reasons, and while some people consider it to be soft enough, others would not agree. After all, you are wearing wool. It will not be as itchy as regular wool, but it might not feel the best against everyone’s skin.
If you are looking for something softer, I recommend going with cotton or alpaca fur. They are not the best for outdoor activities, but they are softer than merino wool. You can also go with synthetic fabrics, but do not turn to regular wool in any circumstance!
It is not that durable
The durability of merino wool is not as good as the durability of synthetic materials. Still, you should not take this piece of information as seriously as the others. There is a way to make the material a bit more durable.
Resort to airing the items instead of washing them all the time. You can even skip a few washing cycles since these items will not be stinky and will often get dirty. That will keep the clothes intact for longer.
It is very expensive
This is one of the things that usually turns people away from merino wool items. They can come at very high prices, especially the products made from quality merino wool. Not everyone will afford them, while resorting to low-quality merino wool will not give you the same experience.
I would have to say that you get at least one item of clothing made from merino wool fibers. It can be an outer layer item that you will use with any kind of t-shirt underneath. You will also be able to use it during summer and winter, which is a bonus if you ask me!
It is plain and limiting
Another disadvantage of merino wool is the fact that it is somewhat limiting. It does not come in many colors and has no patterns. This goes for items made from nothing but merino wool.
Yet, I have to say that some companies have been trying to make colored merino wool items using natural dyes. This is great because it can contribute to the versatility of the items – they can come in more colors that will not fade and be natural. I would take this over artificial coloring any day of the week!
It retains moisture
Yet another downside to wearing merino wool clothes is the fact that they can stay moist for long. When you wear this type of clothes, you can expect them to absorb your swear as well as any spills. Also, the clothes will not dry as fast as you would like them to.
This means that the moisture will stick around for a while, and it will weigh you down. If possible, take off the clothes and let them dry before putting them on again. It should take about 40 minutes to dry and look brand new.
It comes from animals
The most significant disadvantage of merino wool is that it comes from animals. These animals do not always live in the best conditions and are often not treated well. Farmers can sometimes hurt them while dealing with their wool.
At the same time, it will take a while before the sheep grows its wool enough for shearing. So, there is not much of this material you can find on the market. This leads to the sheep being exploited, the farmers not having enough money to look after them, and so on.
If possible, look for wool that comes only from ethical farms. That way, you will reward the farmers who take proper care of their sheep and provide good living conditions for the sheep.
What are the Advantages of Merino Wool?
Now that you know all about the shortcomings of merino wool, I encourage you to read more about the benefits you can get from it. If you ask me, I would say that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. I have never been able to resist buying merino wool clothing, and here is why!
It is odor resistant
Merino wool is the perfect material for outdoor activities in both summer and winter. It will absorb sweat, pbut it will never become smelly. Even if you do not wash it after every use, you will find that the material stays odor-resistant!
That is not the only thing – the merino clothing does not get dirty and does not stain often. This means you can put off the washing for a few months before you get to it, and the clothes will still smell as fresh as possible.
It is washable
You can wash most merino wool clothes in the washer, but I recommend doing it by hand. That way, you can be gentle with the clothes and protect them from damage. Remember that you need a special wool detergent to wash the clothes.
If you are planning on putting merino wool in the washing machine, I recommend that you do not let it tumble for too long. Also, never use a tumble dryer – stick to air drying at all times. It will take longer, but at least your clothes will be intact afterward.
It is moisture-wicking
Yet another great thing about merino wool is that it is moisture-wicking. You can wear merino clothes without worrying about them getting soaked from sweat. You will also not have to deal with underarm circles no matter how much you sweat!
It is versatile
As for the versatility, I would have to mention that merino is a material you can use for summer and winter clothes. There are even different merino sheep breeds that give wool for summer or winter clothes. It is amazing how nature works, is it not?!
Often, you will be able to wear the same clothes for summer and winter activities without worrying about feeling hot or cold. This is where the versatility of merino comes through, so enjoy it as much as you can!
It is more comfortable than regular wool
Regular wool is one of the most uncomfortable materials in the world. It is very itchy, especially if the entire garment is made with nothing but regular wool. I am not keen on wearing this type of clothes – I always go with merino wool!
Merino wool is super soft. Any garment made with it will be soft and comfortable at the same time. It might come at a high price, but it is worth it. Trust me, and you will feel like you are cuddling with a cloud!
It is not itchy at all
While it is super soft and comfortable, the merino wool is also not itchy at all. Sometimes, people mistake it for regular wool and mistake it for being itchy. Keep this in mind so that you do not make the same mistake – it is regular and not merino wool that is the itchy one.
When comparing merino with other materials, I have to say that this material is as soft as any other. Because of this, I encourage you to get at least one garment made from it!
Is Merino Wool Really That Good?
If you ask me, as someone who has worn merino wool clothing before, I would say that the material is very good. The merino wool fibers can be so soft that you will feel wrapped in a cloud while wearing the clothes.
Since I have brushed upon this topic, I would like to tell you more about the items you can make from merino wool fibers. Merino wool clothing consists of merino wool pants, merino wool socks, merino wool shirts, merino wool underwear, and products like merino wool towels. There are a ton of things that you could make with merino wool, and they will all come at quite high prices!
I listed some of the features of these fibers above, but let’s talk about the fibers themselves for a bit as well. What you should know about these fibers is that they are long, strong, as well as quite soft. Some people find them a bit itchy, but I would say that is a characteristic you can often find with regular wool products only.
While strong and long, these fibers are also relatively thin. They are a lot thinner than human hair, for example.
Do not let that trick you into thinking that they will not be durable because of their thinness. A sweater of human hair will most likely be less durable than a sweater or merino fibers. When deciding whether you want to go with these fibers or another fabric, keep that in mind!
How Long Does Merino Wool Last?
One of the key disadvantages of merino wool is its durability. It is not quite as durable as some other materials or fibers. For example, these fibers are not as durable as synthetic fibers, while they are also not as cheap as synthetic fibers.
Durability and the price of merino wool are things that you should consider when buying items made with it. At the same time, there is another thing you should consider – the maintenance of the fabric. With merino wool, maintenance and durability are connected. Let me explain!
Merino wool clothes and items are washable, but they do not need washing often. The fabric does not get dirty or smelly often, so you will be able to air it out without washing it. This makes it a great choice for outdoor activities that involve at least some degree of sweating.
If you have any other material like cotton or synthetic, you will have to deal with strong odors and many stains. These materials are not odor resistant and will often need washing. You will soon come to realize that not having to wash the merino wool clothes is such a good thing!
It is good because it will make your material last longer. No washing means no tumbling the clothes in the washer and no damaging them. That will make your clothes last for at least a couple of years even with frequent wearing.
So, I can conclude that merino wool is durable but not as durable as some other materials. With proper maintenance and care, you will be able to enjoy your merino wool clothing even longer than you would expect!
Is Merino Wool Good for Winter?
One of the best things about merino wool clothing is that it is suitable for winter and summer. You can rest assured that your wool clothing will keep you warm all winter long, on long hikes as well as short walks.
I encourage you to go with merino clothes instead of clothes from other materials because of all these advantages that they come with. In case you do not remember from the information above, merino clothes can protect you from UV radiation. They will keep your body warm and dry and absorb the sweat without becoming smelly.
Cotton t-shirts are not the best choice for winter. Neither are regular wool t-shirts because they will make you itchy. You can go with synthetic fabrics, but they are not as soft and comfortable as merino fabrics are.
So, I would say that you should go for some merino clothes for winter and not worry about feeling sweaty or cold. In any case, who can resist a pair of high-quality merino wool underwear to stay warm? I know I cannot!
Is Merino Wool Good for Summer?
As mentioned before, merino clothing is suitable for both winter and summer. I know that this is not something you hear often, but it is the truth! The merino wool fibers allow you to stay warm during winter and cool during summer.
The moisture-wicking ability of this material is unlike any other. You will not be able to find it in any other material, no matter what kind it is. Wearing wool products will protect your skin from burning and your body from being sweaty.
Since people tend to sweat more in summer, I recommend that you wash the merino wool products at the end of the season, even if you only wore them as an outer layer.
Before washing the products, check the tag on them to see the recommended washing type. I recommend that you wash them by hand and with some special detergent for wool. Also, steer clear of fabric softeners.
Unlike other materials, you should not mix merino wool with fabric softener. That can compromise the quality of the product and cause it to tear. Keep this in mind whenever you plan to wash or clean your merino wool products.
That is everything that you should know about merino wool and its features. Remember that it can be super warm and cozy during the winter, but it can also be super cool and fitting for the summer. I encourage you to go over the lists of advantages and disadvantages given above before you buy any clothes made from this material. Also, remember to get merino wool items from ethical merino sheep farmers!
Thank you for sticking with me through this guide. I will love it if you share your experience with merino wool in the comments below. That will make it so much easier for people still questioning this material to decide whether they should go for it or not!