Merino wool is usually the first choice for knitters and the reasons are much more than those listed below, but for sure the advantages of wool are indisputable.
Silky softness: The softest quality of merino wool – the extra ultra fine merino – comes from very young animal and selected after screening. The fiber of this quality has a diameter of about 16 micrometers (micron) 0,016mm. Compare it with human hair which has a diameter of 100 micrometer (micron) and we can easily perceive the softness quality.
Breathable material: Wool knitwear, even in its most dense version, is a good breathable material. It evaporates very quickly due to this feature. This characteristic is ensured by the rough surface structure of the wool fibers, which are generated by microscopic crusting.
Thermally inert: Wool knitwear and all woolen textiles, creates to the body a microclimate, which prevents the rapid penetration of external climatic conditions on the skin like the cold of winter (woolen fiber “warms”) or the heat of summer (woolen fiber “cools”).
Absorbent: The surface of the fibers are hydrophilic, removing perspiration. The interior of the wool fiber absorbs moisture up to 30% of its weight without feeling moisture or cold when wearing. And fully “absorbed” thread remains dry to the touch and not lose anything from the thermoregulatory capacity.
Antibacterial: Wool is made of 90% protein (keratin), which traps all harmful substances such as viruses and bacteria, and reduces the decomposition and multiplication of them. Woolen clothes don’t smell, even after multiple use. They will get rid of odors if you just let them to air.
Allergy-Free: There is no known allergic reactions to wool. To prevent any misunderstanding, when people say “I have an allergy to wool” they refer to the discomfort rough woolen garments cause them. Those garments are made from wool with large diameter in micrometers (micron), so the fabric made, is much harder and irritates the sensitive skin. Extra fine merino wool, has a soft, almost silky touch and even the most fanatical opponents of wool will love it.
Protection from UV radiation: something that many synthetic fibers do not or do only insufficiently.