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5 reasons you need to swap your stinky synthetics for natural Merino

February 05, 2019

5 reasons you need to swap your stinky synthetics for natural Merino

So you love running, or even just being in nature? Fair enough, so do we. Which makes it all the more confusing to us why people insist on doing it in something so unnatural - like stinky synthetic running gear. Sure, synthetics come in fancy colours. But they’re… plastic! Even the ones that are made from recycled plastic are made from, well, plastic. So if you love being in nature, go the whole hog and do it in something natural, like Merino. Or even better, our unique, super fine, super soft 100% Australian MicroMerino® fabrics. And if you’re not yet convinced, here are five reasons why you really need to get serious about going Merino. Yes, even when it's warm.

 

It’s lightweight.

The last thing you want is gear that will slow you down. So lightweight makes sense. But you don’t want to compromise comfort or safety by being freezing out there, and you’ll be hard pressed to find something that packs more warmth per weight than Merino. Although it may sound contradictory, it's worth remembering the natural thermoregulation of our MicroMerino® fabrics also helps insulate you against the warmth too. Making it even more versatile across all sorts of conditions.

It’s nice and light in your pack, and nice and comfortable when you’re wearing it without bulking you up. You can wear it from cold morning into a milder day, then into a cold evening again, and it will go the distance with you. Oh, and as an added bonus, it’s also worth remembering most tight-knit polyesters can be quite ‘sweaty warm’ so companies tend to make them thinner so they’re not as uncomfortable, but the thinner they are, the less protection you get from harmful UV rays. A problem you won’t have with Merino which is naturally UV resistant.

It’s naturally breathable and insulating.

Again, we can’t take credit for this, Merino wool just happens to have some pretty amazing properties and this is another one of them. The nature of the fibre means it offers excellent insulation and allows the fabric to breathe, keeping you cool if things warm up, but without letting the cold in when the temperature drops. This is especially important if the temperature varies during your run because it means you won’t overheat as soon as you, or the weather, warms up. And you know how those waterproof jackets claim to be breathable but you end up sweating up a storm in them because they’re actually not really? Yeah, well our gear isn't like that. It’s the kind of breathable that is actually, genuinely, naturally breathable. Most people don't think of Merino as a summer fabric, but the truth is, sheep have to stay comfortable when it's warm as well, and their Merino wool allows them, and you, to do just that. If you don’t believe us, wear it. And if you don’t agree with us, send it back.

It doesn't stuff up the environment.

You know that environment you love so much? The trees, that beautiful clear air, those unpolluted streams? Yeah, well our clothing doesn't stuff that up like many synthetics do. And although Merino has a tendency to be less durable than some synthetics, that’s because they’re natural and will also eventually break down. And not in 400 million years like your fancy synthetic running top. Hey, we know this isn’t the only reason you’ll choose Merino, but it’s nice to know it’s biodegradable and won’t be stuffing up the environment you love so much, right?

It’s stink-free.

Maybe this isn’t such a big deal to you, but what about those around you? Our MicroMerino® fabrics are naturally odour-resistant. We don’t do anything weird to it or add any dodgy chemicals, it’s just one of Mother Nature’s many gifts to us. The natural properties of the Merino mean it will stay stink-free for longer, even days at a time. Perfect for long ultras. Or multi-day races. And trust us, even if you don’t appreciate it, the people around you will.

Naturally moisture wicking.

OK, listen up, because this one’s important. First of all, without getting too technical about things, the scientific reality is the structure of the Merino wool fibre makes it way better at ‘active moisture management’ than synthetics which are basically solid plastic fibres. Merino, on the other hand, has a natural water repelling exterior (the cuticle) and a water holding (hydrophilic) interior. In plain English, Merino will move sweat and moisture away from your skin and release it as vapour far better than most synthetics. And don’t take our word for it, a CSIRO study shows it transported significantly more uncomfortable sweat away from the skin than a synthetic fibre. Their words, not ours. This process results in lowering the humidity in the micro-climate between the skin and your Merino top. In short, it will keep you more comfortable in all sorts of weather conditions. “A wool T-shirt absorbed more perspiration during exercise, and felt less clammy than an identically knit polyester garment.”

Merino can actually absorb up to 35% of its own weight - let’s see a synthetic do that! And before you ask, sure, if it’s holding 35% of its own weight in moisture, yes, the material does get slightly heavier, but not at the expense of comfort. In fact, while so-called ‘quick dry’ materials may dry faster, that drying process can actually cool you down - not ideal in cold weather when you’re trying to stay warm. Merino,on the other hand, will stay warm and comfortable even when it's wet right through.

What’s next?

If you’ve gotten this far and are thinking about choosing Merino, your next question is most likely going to be “Which brand should I buy?” Well, we’d love to tell you to buy from an Aussie company that just happens to qualify as mandatory gear for the UTAand that our stuff is easily softer and more comfortable than a lot of other brands, but that’s a story for another time. For now, we’d just be happy to see you out there staying comfortable in Merino.



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Fabric Guide

While Merino is an amazing natural fibre, not all Merino fabrics are created equal. At ioMerino, we make our own fabrics, using only the best quality fibres, and to very specific specifications that make the most of the natural benefits of Merino. All of them are 'Merino rich’. No cheap blends passed off as Merino. No cheaper scratchy fibres or synthetic substitutes to save money. No unethical production. And each fabric is made for a specific purpose. So if you see something with a small amount of elastase or nylon added, you can be sure it absolutely needs to be there to enhance the natural stretch and durability. 

It took every bit of our 140 years of experience in the wool industry to perfect our fabrics, but we think you’ll agree the end result was more than worth the effort.

Ethically Made. Ethically Sourced. Perfectly Natural. 

 

Altitude / Zodiac

Lightweight 170gsm 96% Australian Merino Wool with 4% elastane for extra stretch and comfort. A MicroMerino® Fabric. 

 

Ultra / Universal

Lightweight 160gsm 83% Australian Merino Wool blended with 12% nylon blended for extra durability and 5% Elastane for stretch and comfort.

 

Chaser

Midweight 265gsm 96% Australian Merino Wool with 4% elastane for extra stretch and comfort. A MicroMerino® Fabric. 

 

Summerino - Keystone 

Ultra Lightweight 150gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric. 

 

Merino Compression

Midweight 280gsm 76% Australian Merino Wool, 15% Elastane and 9% Nylon for extra stretch and compression properties.

 

Vital

Ultra lightweight ribbed 155gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino®  Fabric. 

 

Summit

Outer Weight 280gsm Fleece 100% Australian Merino Wool. MicroMerino®  Fabric. 

 

Pinnacle

Midweight 260gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino®  Fabric. 

 

Elemental 

Midweight 260gsm waffle texture 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino®  Fabric. 

 

Stride / Glacier / Velocity

Midweight 255gsm French Terry 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino®  Fabric. 

 

Natural Merino Wool benefits: