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Merino VS synthetics 

So you love 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 outdoor gear. Sure, synthetics come in fancy colours. But they’re… they’re… plastic! Even the ones that are made from recycled plastic in an effort to do less damage to the environment 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 convinced yet, here’s five reasons why you really need to get serious about swapping your stinky synthetics for something natural.


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 freezing out there, and you’ll be hard pressed to find something that packs more warmth per weight than Merino. It’s nice and light in your pack, and nice and comfortable when you’re wearing it without bulking you up. 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 it is, the less protection you get. A problem you won’t have with Merino.

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, without letting the cold in. This is especially important if the temperature varies while you’re out and about, 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. If you don’t believe us, wear it. And if you don’t agree with us, send it back.

It’s good for the environment.

You know that environment you love so much? The trees, that beautiful clear air? 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 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? Merino is naturally odor-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. 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 naturally 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. “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 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 wet right through.

So, if you’re interested in staying warm and comfortable in the great outdoors while doing the adventures you love the most, check out our range of lightweight layers here.

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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: