Merino wool is an ideal material for clothing. It has outstanding heat regulative properties. The individual fibers can absorb up to 30% of their own weight in moisture. It moves moisture away from the skin, so clothing feels dry and comfortable despite weather conditions or sweating. Merino wool is warm in cold weather and nice and cool in the summertime.
Merino wool must be mulesing-free. Mulesing has been a routine surgical procedure for the majority of sheep especially in Australia where most of the commercial wool comes from. It is a method used by some sheep farmers preventing their sheep from being killed by infections caused by insects. Mulesing procedure means cutting skin from around a lamb’s breech to create an area of bare, stretched skin. Because the scarred skin has no folds or wrinkles to hold moisture and feces, it is less likely to attract blowflies who might cause the death of the sheep. This procedure is really painful for animal and pain could last up to 48 hours.
When buying wool, you should look for standards and certifications that ensure the fair treatment of animals and the respect of the environment, such as the Responsible Wool Standard and ZQ Merino Standard. There are also clothing made from recycled wool which means using pre- or post-consumer wool waste to make a new outdoor garment.