To some people, wearing wool when it’s warm outside seems crazy. “Isn’t that the stuff you wear to stay warm when it’s cold?!?!?!”
Well, yes, but it’s also the stuff you wear to stay cool and comfortable when it’s warm. We could talk for hours about the science of it, but let’s start by comparing it to the insulation in your house. The same stuff does both jobs right? Or even better, a woollen under blanket on your bed. You keep it on all year round, and in winter it does one job, while in summer it does the opposite. Yep, it’s basically one of nature’s many little miracles.
Which is why we introduced our Summerino range - Merino that still delivers a layer of warmth when it’s cold outside, but is made light enough to be crazy comfortable in the heat as well. Here’s why:
First of all, it’s completely natural and naturally odour resistant. Not because we treat it with chemicals. It just is. We’d love to take credit for that, but it’s basically Mother Nature’s handy work. You can wear it for a lot longer, or even over and over again, day after day, without the stink you get with most other fabrics. (Without mentioning any names, we have a few big sweaters at the office who can’t wear synthetic for more than an hour without working up a stink. Yet they can wear their Summerino T for several days in a row, just airing it out overnight, without the pong.)
It’s ridiculously good at wicking moisture. And absorbent. ’Wicking’ is one of those words that a lot of people have heard of, and sort of know what it means, but not really. The science is really quite fascinating, but think of it as the moisture being drawn away from your skin so that you don’t feel wet and icky. Our MicroMerino® fabrics do that really, really well. So on a hot day when you work up a sweat, the wicking kicks in and keeps you feeling fresher longer.
MicroMerino also happens to be super absorbent. Which means it can hold a whole lot of moisture before it actually feels wet. The merino wool fibres can absorb around a third of their own weight in moisture, and it won’t feel fully wet until it’s absorbed almost two-thirds of its weight. Math aside, this means the insulating properties work just fine even when it’s wet. Another reason you’ll stay comfortable for longer.
Some people think wearing Merino wool is going to be itchy. Not so. Well, certainly not with our MicroMerino® fabrics. Our specifications ensure we use only the best fibres, knitted into fabrics that are smoother than you might think is possible. A study as recent as late 2016 proved that when using superfine merino wool, it’s not only not itchy or allergenic, it actually proved beneficial to people with skin allergies! According to the study, “The wool appears to be keeping the moisture content of the wearer’s delicate skin at the levels it should be, preventing it from becoming too dry and therefore reducing the risks of bacterial infection and the desire to scratch the itch.” So there!
Wearing MicroMerino is a real breath of fresh air. Literally. It’s highly breathable allowing air to pass through freely which stop you feeling clammy. People can talk up other fabrics as much as they want, but if it’s synthetic, you’re basically wearing a big plastic bag. Not a nice feeling for you, and not great for the planet when you’re done with it either
Yep, there are other fabrics that can be lightweight, but it’s almost impossible to find anything that insulates anywhere near as well. Our MicroMerino® fabrics have one of the best insulation to weight ratios of any fabric on earth.
We hope this is one you’ll never have to personally put to the test, but have you ever wondered why people like firefighters and racing car drivers usually wear wool? It’s flame retardant and doesn’t melt or stick to your skin. You don’t have to be physically on fire to benefit from this either. Even being close to extreme heat can result in synthetics melting and burning your skin. So our MicroMerino® fabrics will actually keep you safer should you ever find yourself in that sort of situation. Coming from Australia where bushfires cause so much damage to our wilderness areas each year, this is something close to our hearts.
Ever seen a sunburned sheep? Even here in Australia where it gets super hot? No, right? That’s because Merino wool offers natural protection against the sun. (Did you know that by comparison, animals including rhinos, elephants and hippos are all much more prone to sunburn. And pigs! Which is one of the reasons they coat themselves in mud. We think you’ll agree a layer of our Summerino is a much better solution for you!) The protection factor varies depending on the weight of the fabric, but even our lightweight Summerino T-shirts offer a good level of protection - and more than most comparable cotton and synthetic fabrics. In extreme weather or at altitude where the sun’s rays can be their most harmful, of course we still suggest you wear sunscreen.
Here’s some of the comments we’ve found from people who wear Merino in warm weather. “Merino is basically made of magic.” Or how about this: “Merino wicks better than petrol based fabrics. It provides better insulation when wet than petrol based fabrics. In hot weather this property works like the magic thermos that knows to keep your ice from melting in hot weather, and stop you're tea going cold in cold weather.” Thanks guys, couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
And last but not least, a nice Summerino layer is about as versatile as it gets. Pack one of these on your next adventure and it's like packing three tops in one. Wear it on its own in the warmth when you want to stay cool and stink-free, on its own when it’s cool and you need a layer of warmth to kick in, or combined with another layer or two, without ruining your layering system, when it’s cold.
Ever wondered why we quite often refer to our merino outdoor clothing as ‘layers’ or ‘base layers’ rather than just calling them ‘clothes’. Maybe it’s time we explained why.
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.
Lightweight 170gsm 96% Australian Merino Wool with 4% elastane for extra stretch and comfort. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Lightweight 160gsm 83% Australian Merino Wool blended with 12% nylon blended for extra durability and 5% Elastane for stretch and comfort.
Midweight 265gsm 96% Australian Merino Wool with 4% elastane for extra stretch and comfort. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Ultra Lightweight 150gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Midweight 280gsm 76% Australian Merino Wool, 15% Elastane and 9% Nylon for extra stretch and compression properties.
Ultra lightweight ribbed 155gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Outer Weight 280gsm Fleece 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Midweight 260gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Midweight 260gsm waffle texture 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Midweight 255gsm French Terry 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.