A Natural Fiber with Supernatural Abilities
Why merino wool?
That’s usually the first question people ask when they’re introduced to the concept of merino wool in Sockwell Socks. They assume they’re itchy, hot, and lumpy socks that no one would want to wear. To combat that common misconception, we have four words for you: soft, thermoregulating, moisture managing, and anti-stink.
Great! So why are Rambouillet Merino sheep used over any other breed? The answer lies in the wool trade of the mid-fifteenth century. The Rambouillet Merino sheep can trace its roots all the way back to the Moors of North Africa during the Fourteenth Century. They accompanied Moorish conquerors to Spain and were left behind when Spain reclaimed the territory.
Their superior wool helped the Spainards dominate European wool trade and the government forbade exportation of the breed to ensure they remained at the top of the market. Rambouillet Merino sheep finally made their way to the United States in the mid-1800s.
To this day the breed is kept as pure as possible to maintain the super fine fibers that create the softest wool on the market.
Even if it’s soft, it might be hot, because wool is hot, right? Wrong. Wool is naturally thermoregulating fiber which means it will help you control the micro-climate of your body. Broken down into layman’s terms- it will help you maintain your body temperature ensuring you don’t get too hot or cold when you wear it.
It does this by absorbing water. While synthetics such as polyester only absorb up to one percent of its weight natural fibers such as cotton and wool fare much better. But even cotton only absorbs up to 24 percent while wool absorbs up to 35 percent of its own weight in water. So what does it do with all that moisture once it’s absorbed nearly half its’ own weight?
It’s 2017, and in the advent of athleisure apparel, you’ve likely heard the term “moisture wicking” used in abundance as a selling point for different stretchy pants or synthetic shirts. While at first glance you may think “Oh! Brilliant! When I get my sweat on my sweat won’t get on me!”
Upon closer inspection, you realize that what “moisture wicking” really means is that the moisture will be pulled away from your skin and then sit in the fabric that’s still, you guessed it, on your skin for the duration of the time you’re wearing the wicking garment.
While technology has advanced to the point of some synthetics successfully wicking and evaporating moisture nothing beats the efficiency and time of moisture managing wool. The secret is in the naturally hollow fiber. Wool acts like a straw sucking moisture away from the skin, and by utilizing your natural body heat, it rapidly evaporates the moisture faster than any synthetic on the market. Wool sucks up your sweat and evaporates it away. So, won’t it smell like a crusty, dried up gym sock by the end of the day?
As if wool couldn’t get any more amazing, we’re here to tell you that it is a naturally stink repellent fiber. Seriously, not only will you smell less sweaty but you don’t have to wash wool as often as other fabrics or treat it with fragranced soaps to get rid of the stench.
How is this possible? The outer layer of wool fibers has a high concentration of fatty acids, which have anti-bacterial properties and stink comes from the bacterial build up over time. The internal layers of wool fibers bind with acidic, basic, and sulfurous odors that are components of body odor. So wear your wool pieces longer and more often between washes without worrying about doing a sniff test before you leave the house.