Material Study: Merino Wool
A few weeks back we explored whether Merino wool could be the future of sportswear? This natural fabric packs a punch when it comes to balancing performance properties with a buttery soft hand feel.
This week, we’re looking specifically at the wool that we use for our Otis, our signature Merino wool t shirt.
Sourced from the hills of New Zealand
Much of the world’s production of Merino wool stems from Australia, but we worked with Global Merino, a US based textile manufacturer to produce our Merino wool. Although their head office is based in California, all the processes from sourcing, weaving to dyeing are done in the beautiful country of New Zealand. Known for its vast roaming land and picturesque sloping hills, the Merino sheep from the Mackenzie basin certainly live the good life.
The wool we use for our Otis is a 17.5 micron fibre, which is considered an ultra fine Merino. The lower the diameter, generally the softer the hand feel, and this is what gives our Merino wool t shirt that lovely natural softness. It’s this diameter which differentiates the Merino wool from its heavier, scratchier counterpart. People are often surprised by the softness when they first come into contact with Merino, but its rising popularity has helped spotlight its soft hand feel.
Innovation through the core
Merino wool on its own is brilliant, however, there is the question of its durability. We wanted to ensure that our Otis would last season after season. With that in mind, we worked with our partner on an innovative construction technique called Rapt ™.
This process involves running a durable nylon yarn through centre of the Merino fibres. This technique gives our fabric the durability of a synthetic whilst maintaining all the fantastic properties of 100% Merino wool.
Aside from its hand feel, Merino wool is also one of nature’s best performing fibres. It has the innate ability to regulate your body temperature, warming you up when you’re cold and cooling you down when you’re warm. This is why it becomes such a favourite amongst distance runners; as your body temperature rises as you get deeper into your run, the fibre reacts with you to keep you comfortable, allowing you the space to perform.
Additionally, Merino is naturally breathable, moisture wicking and impervious to odour. It’s the combination of these elements which explain just why it’s become one of the favourite performance fabrics among premium sportswear brands.
Our Merino plans
For us, Merino wool is an integral part of our core offering. The Otis Merino wool t shirt offers softness and performance in equal measures and cemented itself as a favourite amongst our range.
As we start to introduce new products next year, we will continue to source Merino from the leading mills worldwide, exploring new innovations, blends and technologies to bring you the best fabrics possible, allowing you to perform at your highest level.