Merino wool is considered to be one of the finest and softest types of wool available. On top of its unique qualities merino is great for all seasons and is even considered as one of the best bedding materials. Today we are presenting you some additional info about the unique type of wool – merino.
Merino wool is renowned for its softness, elasticity and versatility, making it a popular choice for clothing and home textiles the world over. But as well as snuggly merino throws, cosy base layers and durable winter woolies, merino is at the heart of some brilliant innovative clothing designs. Using ingenuity and creativity, several companies are harnessing the inherent qualities of this fabulous wool fibre and producing clothing that delivers on style, comfort, sustainability and price. Prepare to be amazed.
Allbirds wool running shoes
Allbirds founder Tom Brown grew up in New Zealand – home of the merino sheep. He had a deep understanding of how merino wool could regulate body temperature, wick moisture away from skin and minimise odour. But he couldn’t understand why no-one was making shoes from the stuff. So, along with partner Joey Zwillinger, he set out to do just that. The result of years of research, design and creative thinking is the Allbirds sneaker.
These shoes are made from natural merino wool, with a minimalist un-branded look. They come in sizes from child to adult and in a range of colours, and are fully biodegradable. And they claim to be ‘the world’s most comfortable shoes’. We can well believe it.
Despite being a staple in nearly every wardrobe, denim has its downsides. It can be cold, and once wet takes ages to dry, making it an uncomfortable choice in winter. An initiative by Woolmark blends merino wool with cotton to produce beautiful, functional denim fabric, with all the strength and look of traditional denim but with the benefits of wool. The wool fibres are kept on the inside of the garments, leaving the outward facing side looking just like normal denim. Yet this fabric feels much softer and is comfortable next to your skin, with none of the stiffness of traditional denim.
Wool denim is easy to care for, far warmer and feels drier to the touch, making it a great alternative to your trusty blue jeans on cold, rainy days or when working outdoors. Finisterre make wool denim products with an additional water-repellant finish for extra dryness.
Aromatherapy merino wool clothing
If wellbeing via your clothes sounds like a way-out idea, think again. A new process called microencapsulation coats minute particles of essential oils in order to produce tiny capsules, which are then bound to the merino wool fibres in garments. Throughout the day these slow-release capsules give you your own unique aromatherapy treatment, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
Natural, safe and harnessing the therapeutic benefits of essential oils, this new technology is perfect for sports and homewear. Depending on which oils you choose, your clothes can now help you relax or re-energise. Merino wool is the perfect partner for this therapy given its super softness and versatility. Imagine lying under a warm wool blanket after a yoga session, with the gentle scent of lavender wafting from your sweater. What bliss!
UV protection merino wool
Clothes offer some protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays, but for greater skin safety why not try out some UV-protection merino? The merino wool fibres of these garments have been treated with a special UV-absorbent finish during the production process, which is then fixed at the highest possible temperature. This ensures the clothes can offer far greater protection from UV rays than normal clothing, making it an ideal choice for everyday wear in hot countries, or for your holiday wardrobe.
Not only does UV protection merino wool shield your skin, the treatment also protects the wool fibres against the bleaching effects of the sun. These clothes are also machine washable and dry cleanable, making them a practical option for any household.
To complement all this state-of-the-art wizardry, let’s not forget the beautiful simplicity of a well-made, top quality merino wool throw, crafted with love and years of expertise. From shoes to sleep, merino has pretty well got it covered.
With the end of summer in sight (sorry!) our thoughts are turning to cozying up for autumn. We can almost smell the woodsmoke and hot chocolate already. If you are thinking of investing in a new wool throw for your home but need some help choosing the right one, here’s a handy guide. Whether you are looking for an extra-special luxe blanket, or a hardwearing wool throw for the family to snuggle up under, we can help.
For a luxe, exquisite wool throw
Cashmere is what you are after. Long renowned for its ultra-softness and incredible warmth, cashmere is the ultimate in luxury wool. Our cashmere throws are crafted from top quality cashmere wool, and spun into meltingly soft throws that are perfect for the bedroom or for lounging on the sofa (you might want to keep it all to yourself though). A cheaper option is one of our cashmere/ merino throws, made from a combination that blends the best qualities of the two types of wool into one gorgeous, superfine blanket.
For a great all-rounder
If you are looking for a versatile, hard-wearing throw that can withstand family life without stinting on style, go for a pure wool throw. These are perfect for cuddling up in front of the TV, or throwing on the grass for a picnic, or draping over a bed on a chilly evening. Wool will keep you warm without being stuffy, and has inherent anti-bacterial properties, so you can keep cleaning to a minimum. A good wool throw will last for years, meaning you could be investing in a family heirloom, with all the memories of family picnics, holiday film-watching and being tucked into bed woven into every fibre.
For some subtle pattern
If you want to bring some pattern into your interior, without going for all-out bold, statement pieces, one of our alpaca throws might be just what you need. Crafted from a blend of wool and supersoft alpaca yarn, these throws have a subtle plaid pattern and come in three delightful muted colour ways. Ideal for complementing the minimalist/ Scandi-chic look with a gentle swathe of colour.
For sustainable, long-lasting softness
Merino wool is used worldwide as an insulating material – from thermal undergarments to bedsocks – and with good reason. It is incredibly warm yet very soft and lightweight, making it a great choice for people with sensitive skins or who find pure wool a bit itchy. Our merino throws are produced from sustainably sourced wool and will last a lifetime if properly looked after, making them an ideal addition to an environmentally-friendly home in need of a pop of colour or some extra softness.
For something bright and cosy, with a hint of luxury
Our mohair throws come in a delightful red and blue colourway, and are crafted from a blend of superfine merino wool and luxurious mohair. The design is bold yet charming, inviting you to curl up with a book under its warmth, or stand outside on a winter’s evening staring at the stars with it draped around your shoulders. Charming, unusual yet ultimately homely and cozy. What else could you need?
And the fantastic thing about all these wool throws is that even if the sun shines on well into September, you can use them for wild camping nights sleeping outdoors, or impromptu picnics on the beach, or building the best sofa forts the summer vacation ever saw. Season upon season, a wool throw will bring you joy and comfort.
One of the most popular types of wool used in textiles and clothing is merino. Soft, hardwearing and cosy, you will find this wool in garments from thermal underwear and sports base layers to woollen blankets and designer suits.
So why is merino such a superstar fabric? Well, the answer lies with Nature. Originating in Spain, Merino sheep now traditionally graze in the high altitude and extreme temperatures of the New Zealand Southern Alps, and the high rainfall areas of Australia. Their coats have evolved to produce a thick, warm fleece to ensure they survive the freezing mountain winters, and a finer coat that is grown in spring once the heavier fleece has been shed or shorn. Once humans started using the wool and harnessing these temperature-regulating properties, merino wool grew in popularity.
But merino wool doesn’t just keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. Other beneficial qualities include:
- Anti-microbial properties mean that merino doesn’t allow bacteria from sweat to develop into odours.
- Moisture wicking Merino can absorb up to one third its weight in liquid, keeping moisture away from your skin. It will also keep you warm, even when wet, making it a popular choice as a base layer for skiing and winter sports.
- Soft and silky Unlike some woollen fabrics, merino is superfine and soft to touch, meaning it is not itchy. It feels light, as well as snuggly.
- Resilient Anything that has developed to withstand the extremes of mountain weather is going to be hardwearing and long lasting. Merino wool is strong yet naturally durable, and retains its shape due to the elasticity of the fibres.
- Sustainable Naturally-occurring, biodegradable and renewable, merino’s eco credentials are something special too (though the controversial practice of mulesing to prevent fly strike means you might want to check the source of your wool if you want to be sure of ethical production).
Don’t just take our word for it, experience the magic of merino for yourself with one of our sumptuous merino throws. Our range of blankets come in a variety of designs, from simple block colours to multi-coloured patterns. Each one combines the luxurious comfort and cosiness of merino wool, with the functionality of this brilliant textile. Whether you are looking for a throw to curl up with on the sofa or a blanket to brighten your bedroom, we’ve got you covered.
For many of us cashmere wool has become synonymous with status and luxury. From classic wardrobe staples like a cashmere cardigan to wackier incarnations like Narciso Rodriguez’s 1990’s cashmere-covered Birkenstocks and Toast’s cashmere espadrilles, this versatile wool has kept us in style, and cosy, for years. In this post we unpick the story of this fabulous fibre.
History of cashmere
Cashmere originated in the mountains of Inner Mongolia, China, Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan, where the Capra Hircus goats have roamed for centuries. As early as the 14th Century people were using the fleece of these goats to make warm blankets and garments to help them through the punishing Himalayan winters. In the 18th Century, with the growth of the British Empire and the expansion of world trade routes, cashmere was exported across Europe and the Americas. It became very popular with aristocratic women, who loved its softness and warmth and wore cashmere shoulder shawls as the height of fashion and good taste. The Industrial Revolution saw a great expansion in the production of cashmere, with centres of production growing in France, Italy and Scotland. Cashmere’s popularity then dipped until the 1980s when designers began using the wool in exclusive, luxury garments. It became a symbol of wealth and high fashion, but has now found its way onto the high street with stores mixing it with lower quality fibres to keep prices down. The proliferation of cheaper cashmere has meant more people have access to its super soft cosiness, but has also meant quality is not always maintained.
How is cashmere produced?
Domestic goats are shorn or combed to collect the fine fibres, but wild goats are also a valuable source of this wool, leaving clumps to be collected during the moulting season when they rub themselves on trees and rocks to shed their coats for summer. Once the wool has been gathered it is scoured or washed to remove any dirt, dried and then de-haired (separating the main coat from the cashmere hair). Usually only about 20% of what is gathered can be classed as true cashmere. This is then dyed, spun, knitted or woven.
Why is cashmere so expensive?
It’s a simple matter of supply and demand: it can take up to four years for a goat to produce enough cashmere wool to make one sweater. The fact that it is so time-consuming to produce means its value is increased. But it’s not just this that makes cashmere such a pricey fabric. The fibres are longer, finer, stronger and more isothermal than sheep wool, making it an ideal choice for clothes and blankets. Its melting softness adds to its appeal, with people willing to pay more for a garment that will offer them greater comfort.
How to wash cashmere
Always follow the care instructions on your garment, but most good quality cashmere can be washed in cold water (below 30 degrees) on a delicate cycle or by hand. Use a mesh bag to protect the wool if washing in a machine. Lay the item flat on a towel to dry to keep its shape and prevent stretching. Never tumble dry (unless you want your precious cashmere sweater to end up as a tiny doll’s dress!).
With such a prestigious heritage, and being so hard-to-come-by it’s no wonder that cashmere remains a luxury fabric. Our cashmere throws will bring this simple opulence into your home in an understated way, keeping you and your loved ones warm and cosy as well as looking exquisite.
These funny-looking creatures are becoming a common sight peering over hedges or trotting around farms, and they have long provided us with their exquisite yarn. From baby alpaca throws to couture high fashion garments, alpaca wool is loved for its incredible strength and its delightful softness. Here are 10 things you (probably) didn’t know about alpacas.
1.Alpacas are a species of domesticated camelid originating in the high Andean plains of South America, but are now kept and bred in over 17 different countries worldwide. This is due to their fabulous yarn and the fact that they are pretty low-maintenance animals.
2.There are two types of alpaca: the huacaya (mainly used in woollen processes, for clothes and textiles) and the suri (which has a fleece more suited to worsted weights used in suiting and coats).
3. Alpaca wool fibre comes in 22 natural colours, making them the most colour-diverse animals used by humans.
4.The super softness of the yarn comes from the fact that each fibre has fewer scales than sheep’s wool. This also gives alpaca wool its lustre and smooth-to-touch surface.
5. Sir Titus Salt first introduced alpacas into the British market in 1836, and the yarn was very popular with well-to-to Victorians.
6. The average alpaca produces 2.4kg of fibre each year and they live for around 15-20 years.
7. Archaeologists have discovered alpaca mummies dating back to the 15th Century
8. You can take alpacas for walks, treks and sponsor them. Here’s our friend Ali walking Timmy the Alpaca in the middle of Storm Doris.
9. A baby alpaca is called a cria. Our baby alpaca throws are not made from the fleece of crias, it is just the name given to the extra-fine fibres we use.
10. Alpaca wool was originally used for Incan royalty. It retains its luxurious reputation to this day, whilst also being a practical yarn. Which is why we love it.
With spring just around the corner we all start dreaming about lightweight jackets, windbreakers, sneakers and late afternoon walks in the park. To make sure you are ready for it when spring finally comes there are several items for you to get that are essential for spring. One of the essentials is a cosy throw that is just perfect for you and we are here to help you find one.
While most of us are well aware of natural fibres such as linen, wool and cotton, the more unique ones such as merino wool are often overlooked. This natural fibre has a lot of unique qualities and benefits making it one of the greatest natural fibres you can find. The simple natural fibre, taken from Merino sheep – merino wool is fluffy in appearance, but very lightweight.
Able to retain and diffuse heat as needed because of its insulating qualities merino wool is perfect for people with sensitive skin and great for cold weather.
We would like to tlk about different types of wool. Whether you are planning an afternoon picnic at a park, an evening at a rooftop bar or simply an outdoor movie night you are bound to get cold unless you have got something warm to cover your shoulders. And what better thing is there to keep your shoulders warm then a cosy wool throw?