Is Merino Wool Itchy? [Explained]

The best outdoor gear that you will ever find is made with merino wool. Many people overlook this type of wool, thinking that it is as itchy as the regular type of wool. That is a common misconception about merino wool – merino wool is not itchy at all!

The main difference between regular and merino wool fibers is that the former are itchy while the latter is not. The merino sheep can give you a perfect natural fiber that will feel soft against your skin and help you stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Yes, merino wool comes with a lot of advantages over traditional wool. I recommend that you try wearing some clothes made with merino wool – I bet you will never want to take them off! Stay tuned if you want to learn even more about merino wool and its characteristics. 

This article will tell you all about merino wool, so make sure you read everything with the utmost attention!

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Is Merino Wool Itchy

Why Is Merino Wool Itchy?

Is merino wool itchy - a question I get asked often. I want to point out that many people do not consider merino wool to be itchy at all. You can get the itchy feeling if you have very sensitive skin, but that is not very common. It has been found that most people have pain receptors that can sustain the itch factor that comes with merino wool.

Regular wool is often considered to be the itchy fabric among the two. Traditional wool fibers come from different types of sheep. Merino wool fibers are the ones that do not come from the regular breed of sheep but from a special breed called the merino sheep.

If you are new to the different types of wool, you might be wondering what the difference between merino and regular wool is. At the same time, you might be wondering what contributes to one type of wool being itchier than the other.

Let me tell you this – it is all in the measurement and fiber diameter. In simple terms, you could say that the lower the diameter of the fibers, the less itchy they will be. Regular wool fiber is anywhere from 37 to 40 micrometers in diameter. In contrast, merino wool fiber is anywhere from 16.5 to 24 micrometers in diameter.

Another thing that you should know is that the techniques of spinning the wool are going to contribute to its itchiness. I have mentioned that different types of sheep give different types of wool. If you do not mix the wool from regular sheep with the wool from merino sheep, you will not compromise the softness of the merino wool.

Regular wool fiber is stronger and can lead to skin irritation. The fibers are so strong that even after you use them to make some wool products, they will be stout and poke at your skin. If you have incredibly soft skin, you should avoid products made from regular wool.

Merino, in contrast, is a type of fiber that does not contribute to skin irritation. Most people consider it to be super soft, but if you think it is a bit too itchy for you, there are some things that you can do to make the itchiness go away. I will tell you more about that as we move on to the next section

How Do You Stop Merino Wool From Itching

How Do You Stop Merino Wool From Itching?

Merino wool is very high-quality wool. Clothes made with merino wool are much better than clothes made with synthetics or cotton. Not only are these fibers natural, but they also offer softness like no other material.

Still, in some cases and depending on the manufacturer, merino clothes can be a bit itchy. Some people have a problem with wearing them because of this itch factor. If you are one of them, do not worry – there are ways to make the clothes less itchy!

You can solve the itchiness problem by taking proper care of your clothes made with merino wool. That includes knowing how to wash them, what type of detergents to use and which to avoid, as well as how to dry them.

Washing merino wool

Let’s talk about the washing first. You can always machine wash the clothes when it comes to washing, but I do not recommend that. The machine wash cycles can shrink the clothes, and you do not want that. I would recommend that you wash the garments by hand and do that with the utmost attention.

When washing the garments, you should use special wool detergents or mild detergents. Please do not use any softeners because they can damage the merino wool fabric and make it even itchier. Run the clothes through cold water and detergent, then squeeze out the excess water, and you are all done.

Drying merino wool

The next thing you should do is dry the clothes. I do not recommend using a drying machine as all that tumbling may be too much for the merino fibers. You should always air dry the clothes. This will take some time, but at least the clothes will stay intact.

If you follow these recommendations, I do not doubt that you will never feel itchy in your wool products again. You can also use these steps when dealing with regular wool clothes, but they will not completely remove the itchy.

Does Merino Wool Get Less Itchy After Washing?

As I have already mentioned, washing merino wool will make it less itchy and more comfortable than before. Still, you need to follow the steps given above to soften the clothes to perfection. As I pointed out above, if you do everything, you should feel the difference even after one wash.

But there is another thing to keep in mind – some people have wool allergies that make it impossible for them to feel comfortable in this type of clothes. If you have a wool allergy, you will find that wearing clothes with these fibers will cause skin irritation, redness, and even blistering.

If that is the case, you should steer clear of this type of material. No matter how you wash them or maintain them, the clothes made with merino wool will not be a good fit.

If you are not sure whether you have wool allergies or not, you can find that out by doing an allergy test. You will get a definite answer that lets you know if you can wear this type of material or not. I recommend doing this test if you suspect that you and merino wool do not get along.

sensitive skin

Merino Wool Sensitive Skin

Your skin can be sensitive to merino wool for one of two reasons. You can either have an allergic reaction to this material or the garment you are wearing is not made with quality materials.

Some brands make merino wool items, but they do not use good wool. That can also be a problem leading to a strong skin reaction.

More often than not, companies mix merino wool with other types of fibers. Many garments are not all wool, and you will not notice that until you start feeling itchy. I recommend that you always check the label and see if the garment contains only merino wool fibers and nothing else.

Merino wool is the type of material that there is not much. Merino sheep cannot grow their wool as fast as the clothing industry. Because of this, people resort to using wool from questionable sources and making clothes that cause skin problems.

I am an advocate for using wool only from ethical farms. I know that the process of getting the wool can be expensive and time-consuming, but I like to support the farmers who dedicate themselves to this job and put in the work. They also treat the sheep well and provide them with good living conditions.

Non-ethical farmers are farmers that I do not even want to think about. Often, they are worried about everything but providing the ideal material in a sustainable, ethical way. I would recommend that you avoid them because it is usually wool from these types of farms that are of questionable quality.

Is Merino Wool Less Itchy Than Cashmere?

In some cases, merino wool can be less itchy than cashmere. Cashmere is usually considered as the softer of these two, but if it is not high-quality cashmere, it can come with its downsides.

While cashmere is an excellent choice of material, cashmere products come at costly prices that not everyone can afford. If you are looking for something as good as cashmere but comes at a lower price, then merino it is!

Let me tell you some of the reasons why you should choose merino wool over cashmere and all other materials!

Moisture-wicking

People love the moisture-wicking abilities of merino wool. The outdoor gear made from merino wool can absorb your sweat all day long and still not be too moist or too heavy. I love that this material can keep your body dry at all times!

Antibacterial

The antibacterial properties of merino wool are insane. It can repel all odor-causing bacterial while at the same time not allowing mold to grow on it. Considering how much sweat it can absorb, it is a miracle that the material can also repel mold and odor!

Washable

It is clear from the information given above that you can wash your merino clothes whenever you want. Unlike other wool products, the ones made with merino fibers do not need washing often. You can skip a few cycles and not have to worry about the clothes smelling bad or looking bad. They will not smell, not stain, and not get dirty at all!

Versatile

Another thing I love about this material is that it is pretty versatile and you can use it to make all types of clothes and some other items. At the same time, this material will keep you cool during the summer and warm during the winter. This is a quality that you will not find elsewhere, but you will come to love.

After reading about these advantages, I bet you are dying to try out some merino wool clothes. I encourage that, especially if you are a person who does a lot of physical activities. This material is ideal for outdoor gear, but you can also use it for regular clothes.

Whatever the case might be, go out and get yourself some merino wool clothes. Treat yourself and your body to the unbelievable experience that is merino wool. I can say with certainty that you will not come to regret it!

Andrew Mullen

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