progress — By rhone cpo kyle mcclure
Wool might be the world's first high performance material. Every aspect of performance that man has tried to replicate is inherent in this natural, renewable fiber making it a responsible raw material. In short wool keeps you warm, helps keep you cool, and can repel water as well as wick moisture. So when wool goes from sheep to shirt you are getting likely the most technical fabric produced by man or mother nature. So why wool?
At the fiber level wool creates breathability by naturally allowing air to flow.
Thin fibers allow tiny air pockets in the fabric to trap your body heat, which provides superb insulation. And on the flip side as moisture evaporates when the outside temperature rises, the air in these pockets cools and keeps you feeling comfortable.
Wool fibers wick moisture away from your skin and can absorb around 30% of their weight before you feel wet. This moisture is then released from the fabric through evaporation. Body heat helps with this process as you are more active.
Merino wool products are naturally odor resistant due to the lanolin in the fibers that is anti-microbial and prevents the adherence of odor causing molecules to the fabric.
Warm even when wet.
When fibers absorb moisture, they also release small amounts of heat, which can help you stay warm on a cool, wet day.
High warmth to weight ratio.
A wool shirt is significantly warmer than a synthetic shirt of the same fabric weight.
Soft touch, not itchy.
Wool gets a bad rap on itchiness but we use the finest merino products available so worry not. Merino wool is also made up of small diameter fibers that are not prickly or irritating.
Both absorbs and repels water.
The cortex of the fiber absorbs moisture, while the epicuticle scales on the outside of the fiber are hydrophobic. This allows wool to simultaneously absorb moisture from your skin while resisting external moisture like rain or snow. The scales also give a wool garment a dry skin-feel even after it has absorbed moisture.