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About Wool

The wool fibre

100% natural, renewable and biodegradable, Australian Merino wool is famous worldwide for its next-to-skin softness, strength, innate versatility and technical benefits. Australian Merino wool's versatility extends from luxury fashion to high-performance activewear, accessories, homewares and everything in between.

Properties of wool

 


100% natural
Wool is 100% natural grown year-round by Australia’s 71 million sheep, consuming a simple blend of water, air, sunshine and grass.
 

100% biodegradable
When a wool fibre is disposed of, it will naturally decompose in soil in a matter of years, slowly releasing valuable nutrients back into the earth.
 

100% renewable
Every year Australian sheep produce a new fleece, making wool a completely renewable fibre.

Wrinkle resistant
At microscopic level, each Merino wool fibre is like a coiled spring that returns to its natural shape after being bent. This gives Merino wool garments a natural resistance to wrinkles.
 

Innovative
Fashion designers and activewear brands can choose from a range of innovative treatments and manufacturing techniques to create unique textures and finishes on Merino wool garments.
 

Naturally breathable
Merino wool is one of the most breathable fibres. Wool fibres can absorb large quantities of moisture vapour then move it away to evaporate into the air.

 

VIDEO
The Innovator

Warm and cool
In contrast to synthetics, Merino wool is an active fibre that reacts to changes in body temperature. So it helps you stay warm when the weather is cold, and cool when the weather is hot.
 

Odour resistant
In contrast to synthetics, Merino wool can absorb moisture vapour which means less sweat on your body. Merino wool even absorbs the odour molecules from sweat, which are only released upon washing.
 

Soft on skin
Merino wool fibres are extremely fine, enabling them to bend far more than traditional, coarser wool fibres. This makes Merino wool feel soft and luxuriously gentle next to your skin.
 

Naturally elastic
Natural elasticity helps Merino wool garments stretch with you, yet return to their original shape. So Merino wool clothing is ideal to wear when exercising.
 

Easy to care for
Most Merino wool garments can be machine-washed and tumble dried, providing a simple solution to the common question of ‘How to wash wool?’
 

Stain resistant
Merino wool fibres have a natural protective outer layer that helps prevent stains from being absorbed. And because Merino wool tends not to generate static, it attracts less dust and lint.
Video
Wool for workouts

Wool is the most reused and recycled fibre
Even though wool represents only 1.2% of the virgin fibre supply, surveys have shown it represents about 5% of clothing donated to charity. Wool is also one of the most sought after recycled textiles for converting into new long-lasting products, such as garments, mattresses and upholstery.
 

Fire resistant
Wool’s inherent chemical structure makes wool naturally flame resistant. It is a highly trusted natural fibre in public areas such as hotels, aircraft, hospitals and theatres. Whilst cotton catches alight at 255°C, the temperature must reach 570-600°C before wool will ignite; while polyester melts at 252-292°C and nylon succumbs at an even lower 160-260°C, wool never melts so it can’t stick to the skin like many common synthetics.
 

UV resistant
Merino wool clothing provides good protection from the sun, compared with the protection from other fibres. As a natural fibre, evolved over millions of years to protect sheep against the elements, Merino wool absorbs UV radiation providing protection from the sun. This makes it a good choice for a wide range of outdoor activities.

 

The complex chemical structure of a wool fibre is what allows it to have so many inherent benefits.

 

The Woolmark Company has created a suite of fact sheets, explaining the science behind wool's naturally inherent benefits along with the fibre's impact on the environment.

Fact sheets
12 Mar 2019

Wool and greenhouse gas

12 Mar 2019
12 Mar 2019

Wool and the carbon cycle

12 Mar 2019
20 Apr 2018

Wool is naturally breathable

20 Apr 2018
19 Feb 2018

Measuring wool's environmental footprint

19 Feb 2018

Fibre

The history of Merino wool

Wool has been used in clothing for millennia: from primitive man first clothing himself in the woolly skins of wild sheep - through the civilisation of Babylonia where people first distinguished wool sheep from food sheep - through Roman times when there were definite signs of selective breeding for a superior fleece - and through to the ascendancy of wool during the Middle Ages in Europe. By the late eighteenth century, the Industrial Revolution began a movement which took the textile industry from the home into the workshop and factory.

Read more

Fibre

Why cradle-to-cradle needs to be included in fashion’s sustainability rating tools

A review of a leading environmental impact tool for apparel finds that unless improvements are made, weaknesses in the underlying science could lead to misleading results, with potentially far-reaching consequences for the environment.

Read more
Latest News
15 May 2019
Fashion

Country Road unveils traceable Merino range

15 May 2019
Country Road has launched a campaign that uses science to verify the Merino wool in its knitwear range is from Australia.
02 Apr 2019
Fibre

Why cradle-to-cradle needs to be included in fashion’s sustainability rating tools

02 Apr 2019
Lifecycle assessment tools measure the impact of major textile fibres on the environment. The Woolmark Company has found significant inconsistencies in the science that underpins LCA tools. Here’s what you need to know.
15 Mar 2019
Wellness

The science of sleep

15 Mar 2019
Sleeping in wool has been scientifically proven to improve your sleep. This is how wool pyjamas and bedding help you sleep.
15 Mar 2019
Activewear

Lighter than air

15 Mar 2019
With its foundations rooted in innovation, it’s no surprise that Black Diamond Equipment has come out with a new gem – the world’s lightest technical t-shirt.