What is Merino Wool?
Merino Wool is Soft, Luxurious and Comfortable
We know, we know... wool is not the normal fabric associated with soft and comfortable sleepwear, or for getting an improved night’s sleep! Won’t wool pajamas be itchy? Nope. Not Chill Angel's Merino Dreamwear™.
There are many different types of wool, which come from thousands of different breeds of sheep and each variety of wool has its own unique benefits and qualities. There is course and sturdy wool that is very well suited for making beautiful carpets and upholstery. There is rugged wool that is ideal for knitting heavy weight fishermen’s sweaters. And at the other end of the spectrum, there is merino wool.
The merino sheep grow an exceptionally elegant and soft wool, which is luxurious and fine, similar to cashmere. Merino wool is the best wool to wear next to the skin for sleepwear, base layer garments, underwear and socks. However, it is important to know that not all merino wool is created equal, either. There are various grades and qualities of merino wool. The finer and softer the fiber, the lower the micron count, which measures the diameter of the fiber. 1 micron = 1 millionth of a meter. Most base layer fabrics measuring less than 20.5 micron count. This is the typical threshold for most people to start feeling a little bit of discomfort or itch. To put this in perspective, the average human hair measures between 60 and 120 micron. So, merino fibers are 1/4th - 1/10th the diameter of a human hair!
Here are some of the most common micron counts that most merino wool brands use in next-to-skinwear garments:
|Fine Medium:||19.6 – 20.5|
|Fine:||18.6 – 19.5|
|Superfine:||17.6 – 18.5|
|Ultra Fine:||16.1 – 17.5|
Chill Angel uses both Superfine and Ultrafine merino in our fabrics. Our "Angel Light" fabric is ultrafine, 16.5 micron merino. This fabric is so luxuriously soft, you won’t believe it is wool. Yet, it still has all the same technical performance benefits as higher micron count merino.
Merino Wool is Natural and Biodegradable
Wool is naturally grown by living animals – sheep. All that is needed for the animals to thrive is water, sunshine, air and grass. It doesn’t get more natural and sustainable than that!
Wool is a complex fiber that is predominately made up of keratin, a protein that is present in our own skin and hair, which naturally complements the human body's own heating and cooling processes. The interlocking protein molecules within the individual fibers gives wool its strength, stretch and resilience.
Unlike synthetics which are industrially produced from non-renewable fossil energy, wool fibers are a created through natural process using a simple blend of natural ingredients. Of the major apparel fibers wool is the most reusable and recyclable fiber on the planet.
The earth-friendly quality of wool is bolstered by the fact that it is totally biodegradable and will break down rapidly and add nutrients back into the soil, like nitrogen, carbon and sulfur. As an added bonus, there are no micro-plastics to end up in the world’s waterways from wool.