Merino wool, wool from the sheep of the specialised merino sheep, is the best fabric for a base layer hands-down. Don’t just take our word for it though, here are some excellent reasons why merino base layers are the best.
MERINO WON’T ITCH
Wool can be an itchy fibre, especially when it’s directly against the skin. Merino wool has finer and softer fibres than other wools making the fabric much better against the skin. The finer fibres bend and flex with your bodies movement, forming soft flexible curves rather than kinks and points to poke into the skin. This, accompanied with the smoother fibres mean that merino feels soft and delicate next to the skin.
MERINO KEEPS YOU WARMER
People are often surprised by how light merino base layers are, thinking they need to be thicker and heavier to keep them warm. Merino wool is very warm for the weight keeping you cosy without the need for bulky layers. The fine fibres create tiny pockets of air and hold these air pockets close to the skin. Air is a fantastic insulator, it warms up quickly and keeps that warmth close where it is needed. Merino is a warm layer wherever you wear it but, against the skin is the most effective place to wear this wonder layer.
MERINO KEEPS YOU DRY
When we exert ourselves, we all get a little damp as our body releases sweat to cool us down. Sweat can work a little too well though and as we stop we can cool down very quickly as the heat is evaporated away. Merino wool allows you to sweat but acts to move the sweat away from your skin, releasing it to the dryer environment beyond. Where synthetic base layers would get wet and stay wet, merino wool keeps you feeling dry and fresh.
MERINO WOOL DOESN’T SMELL
If you’ve ever given a synthetic base layer a sniff after you’ve worn it, you’ll know that it retains the smell of sweat. Try the same with merino and you won’t be able to tell if you’ve worn it. If you find yourself in a cafe or pub at the end of the day, or on a multi-day trip, you’ll be confident in raising your arms, knowing you’ll smell fresh and clean.
This property also means you don’t have to wash your base layer after every use, saving your washing machine and making the woollen fibres last even longer.
MERINO LOOKS GOOD
So this isn’t a technical property but it is an important feature of merino. Skin tight synthetic layers can make even the most confident of us wary of stripping off layers, contoured lycra not leaving much to the imagination. The softness and flexibility of a merino base layer keep you feeling comfortable and wearing a flattering layer if you need to remove your mid layers.
Merino wool really is a wonder fibre and it comes into its own when it’s worn against the skin as a base layer. You can feel warm and comfortable for longer while looking and feeling fantastic.