merino for UV protection and thermoregulation
Of all the questions we get about merino wool, one that surely tops the list is when you can wear it. And we always answer the same way: all the time! And, yet, the skeptics remain. OK, cool, we hear you about wool for the winter and the fall, they say. But, really, you can really wear wool, even when it’s hot outside?
Yes! Yes you really, really can! And you should
Here’s why: merino wool is naturally temperature regulating. Lots of other synthetic textiles try to be, but either they don’t do a great job, or you’re constantly layering on and off, zipping and un-zipping, to keep yourself comfortable and dry.
The struggle is real. But, it doesn’t have to be.
When we wear wool, it does to us, just what it does to our wooly friends, the sheep, who can sport their fluffy coats all winter and all summer long. You see, unlike synthetics such as polyester or nylon, merino has a chemical structure that allows it to store or release heat depending on both what’s happening inside and outside your body. As wool absorbs moisture from the air, it releases heat, warming you up and preventing you from feeling chilled when it’s wet and cold. Fun fact: wool can absorb up to 30 percent of its weight in water and still feel dry to the touch. As the temperature drops, wool fibers create pockets of warm air to insulate you, trapping heat next to your body.
When it’s balmier outside, wool releases moisture and heat from you, the wearer, and those same pockets of air hang onto cool air preventing you from feeling too hot. When wool sucks that moisture away from your skin, you stay cool and dry, even when the sun is blazing. Neat, huh?
But that’s not all. Our merino is truly perfect for all seasons because it also has a naturally high UPF rating. In fact, ours is UPF 50+. We know!!
It is possible to increase UV protection on other textiles by using all sorts of chemical additives. But, because of its particular internal composition – merino fiber is an excellent absorber of harmful UV-A and UV-B radiation – it needs none of that unsnuggly stuff.
So, the next time we tell you, yes, you and your little iksplorers can wear your merino in any weather, will you believe us? Pretty please? We’re pretty sure you won’t regret it.