Merino wool is well known for being soft, fine and more sensitive than many other fabrics – so it lends itself perfectly to children’s clothing.
To fully understand the many benefits that organic certified Merino wool can deliver, it’s best to start at the source of this natural, renewable fibre; the Merino breed of sheep.
Why are Merino sheep so economically influential?
Not many people are aware of this fact, but there are over 200 sheep breeds, but only one is famed for its super soft wool; the Merino breed. Merino sheep first arrived in Spain in the 12th century, and that’s when they truly began to thrive, with the wool used for soldiers’ uniforms and lavish clothing. In 1765, Charles III of Spain — considered one of the greatest in Spanish history — presented a select flock of his rare Merino sheep to the German Elector of Saxony, starting the spread of this important species throughout the world. With the ability to thrive in very harsh environments, Merino wool has seemingly magical properties — and trust us, that’s not an overstatement. It is warm in cold weather, cool in hot weather, wicks away moisture, stays warm when wet and is bewilderingly soft against the skin.
Natural properties/benefits at a glance
- No musky scent when worn for several consecutive days.
- Does not melt or drip when it burns.
- Natural fire resistance (FR), meaning if you take the energy source away, it will stop burning.
- Keeps you nice and snug when it’s bitterly cold outside.
- It’s thermoregulating, helping you remain cool when it is hot or humid.
- Minimises moisture by moving it away from the skin.
- Natural UV of SPF40+.
- Highly durable — Up to 6 times stronger than cotton.
Is Merino wool environmentally friendly?
Merino wool is biodegradable, and it is widely touted as one of the most environmentally friendly natural fibres, but it’s essential to understand that not all Merino wool is organic and sustainable. Hence, it depends entirely on the source of the material, farming practices and the values of the brand you intend to buy from. At Elves in the Wardrobe, our Merino Wool comes from Disana, who specialise in producing the very best quality Merino Wool, and all of their farms in South America are monitored and certified by accredited certification institutes according to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
You see, only the finest wool from Merino sheep is suitable for baby & children’s clothes because only wool that is thinner than 22 micrometres is soft enough and doesn’t scratch. Disana’s raw materials must comply with strict organic criteria to ensure supreme comfort as well as the highest standards of ecology and social responsibility.
Is merino wool ethical?
It’s a sad reality, but too many farmers in Australia and various other countries around the globe still perform a procedure called “mulesing” — the removal of the woolly skin near the buttocks of a sheep, which ‘protect’ the sheep from maggot infestations by certain fly species. This is often without any painkillers, meaning the procedure is terribly painful for the sheep to endure, however, the flies in question are not found in South America, so the process of preventing “flystrike” isn’t required on Disana’s farms.
Disana’s strict adherence to environmental and social standards has seen them gain the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) quality mark. Having undertaken long and extensive certification and testing procedures (characterising natural textiles of the highest ecological quality) every step during production is checked in advance, closely monitored and documented, ensuring these guidelines have been met. Disana prides itself on its high quality, organic baby and children clothes. They prove that with meticulous attention to detail, a deep concern for animal welfare and a passion for making the world more environmentally friendly, merino wool can be a more ethical and greener alternative to synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester.
Why has Merino wool become so popular?
As discussed, there has long been a strong demand for merino wool, and many of the reasons why it was so popular 300 years ago apply today. Below are just a few of the reasons why our customers love Merino baby clothes:
Any baby under 18 months will struggle to regulate their own temperature because their body surface is about three times greater than that of an adult. Merino helps to ensure babies remain at an optimum temperature, so they don’t have to use up vital energy to generate warmth. As a result, they are more relaxed and sleep for longer periods, which improves health and happiness.
Prevents skin allergies
With a soft and silky layer, fine merino wool from Disana is gentle on the skin, so merino clothes are more comfortable to wear without itchiness. By transferring heat and moisture away from the body, the skin remains dry and less irritated.
Easy to look after
The merino wool clothing you’ll find on our website is incredibly lightweight and breathable, whilst the wool has a natural self-cleaning effect. This means it has to be washed only in rare cases. Usually, airing is sufficient.
It’s well documented that untreated natural fibres have a high burning rate; however, Merino wool contains natural fire retardants, so the burning speed is prolonged. Therefore, it does not melt, shrink or stick to the skin when exposed to flames or high temperatures.
Our Merino clothing is utterly timeless and available in a wide variety of vibrant colours to complement your little one’s unique personality. We have plenty of garments available from boiled wool pants to knitted jumpers, nappy covers, blankets and overalls.