Regulate Your Temperature with Merino Wool Base Layer
Finding the right materials for your clothes can be a confusing challenge. There are so many materials available today, and the differences aren’t always obvious.
Between all the various synthetic fabrics, organic cotton, Merino wool, and more, there are a lot of features to compare and contrast. That’s why the experts here at Tasc Performance have done the work for you and put together guides like this one to make things clear.
Today, we’re going over Merino wool, one of the best materials for regulating your temperature and a sustainable natural material as well. We’re talking about it’s best qualities and why you should add it to your wardrobe for workouts, outdoor adventures, casual occasions, and everything in between.
What Is Merino Wool?
Merino sheep are a breed group that originated in Spain but have since spread to many parts of the world. Some of the most notable areas where these sheep are raised today include Australia and New Zealand. Like most sheep, they are raised for their highly practical wool.
Wool has a reputation for being warm, durable, and soft to the touch, but there are even more properties that may come as a surprise to you. Wool is naturally odor-resistant (thanks to anti-bacterial properties), fire-resistant, and provides UPF sun protection. It's also resistant to staining and wrinkling!
In addition, Merino wool is a bit thinner than other kinds of wool and extra soft. This makes it ideal for activewear as it is lightweight and comfortable to wear during activities of any kind.
Merino Wool Is a Natural Material
One of the greatest challenges facing the fashion world is sustainability. Materials such as traditional cotton and synthetics like polyester have dominated the market for decades, but more and more the facts show how harmful they can be.
For example, synthetics often come from non-renewable fossil fuels and create huge amounts of carbon emission just to process. Most synthetic materials are treated and finished with chemicals, which pollutes water during their creation and even when you wash the clothes. Plus, the problem isn’t over when the clothes have been produced and sold: These materials can take up to 200 years or more to decompose.
Cotton may seem like a sustainable material, since it is a natural one, but unfortunately the traditional means used to produce cotton aren’t eco-friendly. The main issues are overuse and pollution of water, our planet’s most precious resource. Thankfully, organic cotton offers a better alternative.
Not only is Merino wool a naturally sourced material, it’s also biodegradable, which helps protect the planet when our clothes finally are ready to be put to rest. In about 12 months, Merino wool can be fully returned to the natural cycle.
Merino Wool Regulates Body Temperature
Thermoregulation is a key concern when it comes to activewear or any other styles. Essentially, it’s the collection of processes by which our body maintains a balanced temperature. Sweat and shivering are some of our main thermoregulatory tools, but there are many more, too.
Our clothing can either help or hinder our ability to thermoregulate. Wool is an excellent insulator, which means it keeps you warm when the outside environment is cold. However, it also has the right amount of breathability so that excess heat inside your clothes can escape.
Merino Wool Is a Moisture-Wicking Material
To further help the body thermoregulate, the best clothes need to be able to wick moisture.
Moisture-wicking is when a material can draw moisture from the skin and release it as vapor into the air efficiently. Note that this isn’t the same thing as moisture absorbing. Materials like cotton or various terry fabrics are great at absorbing moisture. However, they don’t dry quickly, which makes them lackluster for everyday clothing or sportswear.
Wool is one of the best moisture-wicking materials out there, alongside peers such as bamboo. By rapidly turning sweat into vapor, wool clothing helps keep you dry and comfortable. This is especially important any time you exercise, since being in wet clothes could lead to overheating or rapid chilling, depending on your environment.
Merino Wool Is Anti-Odor
Unfortunately even a thermoregulating, moisture-wicking material can’t completely prevent sweat and the odor that comes with it. Still, wool has extraordinary antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that fight the odor buildup caused by the sweat in the moment and after wear!
This means not only do you stay fresh longer while on your workout, but your clothes also get a longer lifespan overall (which means fewer purchases and less waste).
How Can a Merino Wool Base Layer Help You Work Out?
Merino wool’s exceptional qualities make it a great fit for many different walks of life. Whether you’re looking for versatile styles for your active lifestyle, or some high-performance clothing for a great outdoor adventure, Merino wool might be your new best friend.
Stay Comfortable While Working Out
When you think of working out, wool probably isn’t the first fabric to come to mind! Traditionally, polyester and other synthetic materials have been the go-to for activewear. Thankfully, the times are changing as we take full advantage of natural materials like wool, bamboo, beechwood, and more.
Wool is a great material for working out, whether indoors or out. Its thermoregulatory properties are just what you need to be comfortable and unhindered while you exercise, and a lightweight wool won’t hold you back as you go.
Being durable and resistant to odor, wool is also ready for the long run, so you won’t have to constantly buy new workout clothes.
Smell Your Best
Speaking of odor resistance, sweat is one of those inevitable things in life, especially if you’re living an active lifestyle. Even if you aren’t in a high-intensity workout, you could still work up a bit of sweat on a commute, running errands, traveling, or during other more casual occasions.
When the bacteria on our skin mixes with sweat, it produces odor. This unfortunate chemical reaction won’t be stopped fully in its tracks by any clothes you wear, but wool to still help counteract it with its naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Boost Your Endurance in Cold Weather
If you’re like us, outdoor adventures constantly call to you, but brutally cold weather can be a little deterring. With the right gear, however, cold weather challenges can become a breeze.
Not only is wool a warm, insulating material, but it also allows excess heat to escape, along with sweat, which it draws from your skin and turns to vapor. This is especially important in the cold, since getting wet and clammy could lead to rapid chilling or hypothermia.
Make Cleaning Your Workout Clothes Easier
Wool is a low-maintenance material, which is perfect for those of us living active lifestyles. If you’re working out everyday, you need clothes that can keep up with the pace! Wool is anti-wrinkle, anti-odor, and easy to wash.
Make the Switch to Merino Wool
Don’t waste any more time with those old polyester layers or trying to make cotton work for your workouts. Switch to modern materials like our Tasc Performance Merino wool blends, found in styles like our base layer collection.
Stay tuned to our Tasc Life blog for all things activewear, modern materials, and more.