The Merino is an economically influential breed of sheep prized
for its wool.
Merinos are still regarded as having some of the finest and softest wool
of any sheep.
Merino wool is finely crimped and soft.
Staples are commonly 65–100 mm (2.6–3.9 in) long.
A Saxon Merino produces 3–6 kg (6.6–13.2 lb) of greasy wool a year,
while a good quality Peppin Merino
ram produces up to 18 kg (40 lb). Merino wool is generally less than
24 micron (µm) in diameter.
Basic Merino types include: strong (broad) wool 23–24.5 µm, medium wool
is 19.6–22.9 µm, fine 18.6–19.5 µm,
superfine 15–18.5 µm and ultra fine 11.5–15 µm.
Ultra fine wool is suitable for blending with other fibers such as
silk and cashmere. Some produces lightweight knits made from Merino wool and possum fur and/or angora.
Merino need to be shorn at least once a year because their wool does not
If the coat is allowed to grow, it can cause heat stress, mobility issues,
The term merino is widely used in the textile industries, but it
cannot be taken to mean the fabric
in question is actually 100% merino wool from a Merino strain bred
specifically for its wool.
The wool of any Merino sheep is "merino wool". However, not all merino
sheep produce wool suitable for clothing,
and especially for clothing worn next to the skin. This depends on the
particular strain of the breed.
Merino sheep bred for meat do not produce a fleece with a fine enough
staple for this purpose.
Athletic clothing: Merino wool is common in high-end, performance
athletic wear. Typically meant for use in running,
hiking, skiing, mountain climbing, cycling, and in other types of outdoor
these clothes command a premium over synthetic fabrics.
Several properties contribute to merino's popularity for exercise clothing,
compared to wool in general and to other types of fabric: Merino is
excellent at regulating body temperature,
especially when worn against the skin. The wool provides some warmth,
without overheating the wearer.
It draws moisture (sweat) away from the skin, a phenomenon known as wicking.
The fabric is slightly moisture repellent (keratin fibers are hydrophobic
at one end and hydrophilic at the other),
allowing the user to avoid the feeling of wetness.
The combination with angora and poly-amide creats and very warm, very nice on the skin, strong and stabile product.