Wearing Merino Wool in the Summer
Unlike lambswool, which truly does best on cold winter mornings or foggy autumn nights, merino wool clothing is adaptable enough to perform well on both winter and summer days. This is due to the several innate abilities of this natural fiber which have evolved in response to the extreme local climate of its sheep. But you can understand merino’s brilliance in hot weather without having to be a sheep scientist, so we’re going to do our best to advise you on how to wear this wonder material throughout spring and summer.
Merino keeps you cool and dry
Keeping cool is essential for those sunnier days, sometimes it can be hard to push ourselves to exercise and get outdoors so once you get there the last thing you want is your clothes holding you back. Purely synthetic fibers and even 100% cotton items can trap heat and moisture and leave you feeling like you’re wearing a small tent! You want to be able to run, jump, hike or cycle without getting sweaty, clammy and itchy from the materials you’ve chosen. Well have no fear, merino is here!
How does merino work in hot weather?
Merino has developed to be able to control the rate of evaporation which allows it to release moisture slowly when you’re cold (keeping in the heat), and release it rapidly when you’re hot (cooling you down). This temperature regulating feature makes merino a perfect choice for summer!
Both our Maisie Tee for women, and our Raasay Tee for men, are 87% merino and a perfect summer staple for walking up on the hills, down by the river or relaxing at a barbeque with friends. Our relaxed fit works with the natural fiber to keep you cool and allow you the flexibility to stretch into whatever position life takes you, whether it’s reaching for your bike or a beer.
With a merino blend, like our Torro Sweatshirt, you can even wear a jumper in the sun and still feel light, breezy and fresh.
A lightweight layer for changing temperatures
Spring and summer is often the time we are most likely to get into running or cycling and these two activities demand that you wear lightweight fabrics that won’t slow you down. However, the name of the season doesn’t always determine the weather and as us UK natives know cold winds and wet weather can descend at any time.
To prepare for this scenario you want to be able to quickly layer up without carrying awkward weight around with you. So, start off with a merino wool base layer like our Alys Vest top or Tweed T-shirt which will allow you flexibility and movement without extra heat. Then bring with you a mid-layer or outer layer to throw over it for when the sun disappears like our Caddon Cowl Neck or our Fergus Zip-Neck. These will instantly protect you from those colder moments without bringing you to the boil. For more detailed information about weights you can head over to our merino weight guide.
Odour-resistant and simple
A majority of merino flocks are in Australia with 81% of merino coming out of the country. So the sheep who live there are accustomed to dealing with walking about in extreme heat and extreme cold. Yet these sheep don’t sweat it because their fleece keeps them cool and dry and luckily we can use these features to sustainably enhance our garments. Merino wool may be magic but it’s not a miracle, you may be kept cool and dry but that doesn’t mean you won’t sweat at all.
Luckily there is another property to help us out with this issue, odour resistance. Due to the temperature regulation and fast wicking ability of the wool, when you are sweating there is less moisture staying on our skin and being broken down by bacteria, which is what causes the smell. Secondly, the sweat is absorbed and contained within the fiber so again it is not available to be broken down by bacteria and thus less smell. This allows you to exercise with less stress, making use of either our Oronsay ¾ top or the Arran Enduro top in whatever activity you get up to.
This sweat can be released simply through air-drying your clothes allowing them to be reworn and smell fresh without the need for a full wash. Perfect for when you’re on the go and you want a simple wardrobe that you can reuse and repurpose without going to the dry cleaners.
So there you have it! A condensed guide on why and how merino is so good for your summer wardrobe, without even mentioning the benefits for the planet. Hopefully after reading this guide you will feel more confident in designing a simple summer wardrobe.