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Why Merino Wool?

Merino Sheep at the Duckworth Ranch in Montana

Why Merino wool?

A quick guide on the benefits and properties of Duckworth 100% source-verified made-in-USA Merino wool.

Properties of Merino wool

The characteristics of Merino wool that makes it so desirable by such a diverse group of end users are its natural properties as a breathable, natural, and functional fiber. Merino wool is softer than regular wool due to its finer micron fibers. Merino wool is also amazingly breathable, which means quickly moving any sweat, moisture or humidity off your skin (keeping you dry) and into the atmosphere.

Is Merino Wool Itchy?

Merino wool will not itch. High quality merino wool will have a fine micron diameter and long staple length. There is a limited quantity of fine Merino in the world and that is why the cost of wool is more than cotton or polyester. The benefits of high quality Merino wool are its softness, stretch, loft and breathability, all with no itch.

The Best Wool For Year Round Use – Breathability

One of the major benefits of Merino wool is its uses in keeping you warm in winter. However often overlooked is the fact that wool actually keeps you cool in summer too.

Wool as a summer fabric is not new; desert nomads have worn wool for centuries. The lightweight and breathability make it far more comfortable in warm conditions than polyesters or synthetics. Wool’s high breathability makes it perfect for summer activities where wicking and comfort are critical.

Moisture Wicking and Quick Drying

Duckworth pioneered the ultimate fast wicking / quick drying fabric – Vapor Wool.

An intimate blend of Montana Merino, polyester, and cellulose that move humidity quickly across the surface of the fabric, creating a blotting effect for fast evaporation.

Vapor wool is the fastest wicking and quickest drying wool fabric we have ever tried and is a breakthrough for wool and wool blends for activities such as running, hiking, skiing, hunting, and biking.

Why is Wool Warm When Wet?

The crazy science behind wool is that wool is made up of cortical cells wrapped in a cuticle, wrapped in an epicuticle – a fibrous skin that helps repel moisture. This skin helps draw moisture vapor into the center of the fiber where its absorbed by a chemical process. In this process the hydrogen bond of water is actually broken, creating a chemical reaction with the wool fiber molecules to actually generate heat when taken on a lot of moisture. Combining this with pockets of air moving around is why wet wool will create heat, and hence, feel comfortable when wet (unlike any other fiber).

Natural and Sustainable Fiber

Since wool simply grows on a sheep’s back, we consider it the world’s most sustainable fiber. The wool fiber is shorn once a year by skilled shearers and, as if by magic, it grows back over the course of the year, producing fiber to create the environmentally friendly clothing material. Eco friendly fabric techniques are then integrated at every possible step of the process.

Why is Wool Odor Resistant? – NO STINK

The natural profile of Merino wool denies the odor causing bacteria (ammonia) the moist environment to thrive and deprives them of the damp environments to multiply. Because wool is constantly drawing the moisture up and away from your body, it prevents the sweat molecule from forming and bonding to the surface of your clothing.

Durable and Flame resistant

Wool’s inherent fire resistance comes from its naturally high nitrogen and water content. Because of these, wool requires higher levels of oxygen in the surrounding environment in order to burn. Wool may be ignited if subjected to a significantly powerful heat source, but does not normally support flame, and will instead smolder – usually only for a short time. In addition, wool’s cross-linked cell membrane structure will swell when heated to the point of combustion, forming an insulating layer that prevents the spread of flame. This also means that wool produces less smoke and toxic gas than synthetic fibers.

Wool fabrics are the first choice for military and anyone else exposed to fire or explosives. Wool’s attribute of only smoldering and not melting or dripping into the skin can be a lifesaver.