Merino wool is a wool of excellent quality and versatility. It is a type of natural fiber with an origin that can be found in the sheep that give it its name: the Merino sheep.
The softness to the touch and the thermal insulation it provides are two of its main characteristics, mostly used in luxury items or high-performance sportswear.
Merino wool can resist UV rays and its inherent properties also help to repel any water that may fall onto it, in addition to absorbing body odors.
Together with its delicacy when in contact with the skin, this is a raw material that presents a perfect balance between comfort, performance, and style from the moment it is put on for the first time.
Merino wool is a type of natural fiber of an animal origin – sheep. It is one of the oldest natural animal fibers, with a history that goes back to the 12th century.
It was around this time that the merino wool breed of sheep first appeared, as we will tell you later when we give an account of its origin. Even so, since then the merino wool industry has been developing to the point of being recognized worldwide as being of true excellence and sophistication.
Every year, these sheep are the real responsible for the production of merino wool. As it is a natural fiber of animal origin, this is also a type of sustainable and completely renewable raw material. For thousands of years, wool has been used by humans to create garments and others. Our ancestors used the entire skin of sheep to cover themselves and protect them from the harsh weather.
That was how it was until history reached Babylon. In one of the greatest civilizations of its time, here began the separation between the flock that would be used to feed the citizens and the sheep that would provide the material to cover them.
A few centuries later, during the Roman Empire, there are signs of an effort to selectively breed these sheep, in order to have access to a better-quality raw material. In the Middle Ages, wool spread throughout Europe, reaching Spain in the 12th century, where the merino sheep is found for the first time.
There are several theories about how that animal got to that country.
The first two theories say that the herds were imported from North Africa, namely Morocco, and taken there. Over time, they mixed with other breeds of sheep which would give birth to the merino wool sheep for the first time.
However, it is the third theory about the origin of merino wool that finds the most support in science, including genetic and archaeological studies.
This is the theory that states that the merino wool sheep was created in Spain from the very beginning, although today it is in fact the result of several combinations or crossings.
This is due to the dedication given to selective breeding that took place during the Roman Empire, but also to the importation of herds from North Africa and even those which came from England – the moment when merino wool sheep definitely appear for the first time in history.
Today, the merino wool breed of sheep is found all over the world, mostly in mountainous or high-altitude areas. Although merino wool is produced in all these zones, the truth is that each one of them may have slightly different characteristics than the other, since there are strains and variants of sheep different from the original Spanish one.
Before buying merino wool, it might be worth knowing the characteristics of merino wool. They offer many benefits, beginning with the natural fiber itself.
These are extremely thin fibers. Three times thinner than a human hair. So thin they fall under their own weight. And for this reason, merino wool fibers are extremely soft.
Because it is so thin, when the merino wool fibers touch the skin, it bends. What touches us is the body of the fiber, rather than its tips, which in some cases can cause skin irritation. In addition to their thinner constitution, merino wool fibers are also a little apart from each other. This gives space for the creation of capillary tunnels through which air enters or exits.
The sensation varies from season to season.
When it's cooler, merino wool conserves body heat. On the contrary, when the weather is warmer, air can escape, leaving its users cooler and drier. In other words, merino wool is a type of circular knitted fabric that adapts to any type of temperature.
These characteristics are also what makes it an anti-odor and antibacterial material. And even after several uses, it will look new, as if ready to unveil.
Merino wool is a type of circular knitted fabric of excellent quality, luxury, and versatility. It is adaptable, resistant, and very easy to maintain.
At ITJV, merino wool is only available through catalogue request and sample validation.
This text was written and published in 2021