Does merino wool shrink?

If you are a hiker like me then there is no way you don’t have pair of merino wool socks, I
guess that’s why you are here. Merino wool products are used by hikers all around the world. Socks are the popular merino wool item among hikers because of their great physical properties. But despite its great properties still, people have doubts in their mind after buying the Merino wool and i.e does marine wool shrink?

Does merino wool shrink?

Yes, merino wool shrinks to some extent if washed with hot water or exposed to high temperatures. According to many experts in the industry, wool is not a shrinkable material though the fibers are loosely packed just like linen.

According to them when we wash the wool or dry it, the fibers inside move around and come closer and closer. There lot of different opinions on the topic but one thing is clear that merino wool does shrink a little bit when dried or washed in hot water.

Besides this mild loophole merino wool is still considered as best for hikers in cold weather
conditions. But to counter this loophole one can follow the care guide for meron wool to
prevent any damage to the material while washing or drying.

But before directly jumping to steps first, I want to suggest you that wash the merino wool as little as possible because lanonian oils are already present in wool which makes it naturally antimicrobial.

So, this makes wool superior to other fabrics where you have to wash the material on regular basis, but with merino wool or any wool, you can skip the washing part if the garment doesn’t look dirty.

Does merino wool shrink?

Washing guide for merino wool

The guide is easy and enhances the durability and longevity of the material if followed

1. Wash your socks or any merino wool item at low temperature with normal running
tab water.

2. Do not use the tumble dry method to dry merino wool garments.

3. Avoid using and softener or bleach to clean the merino wool.

4. Instead, use non-biological detergents because this type doesn’t contain enzymes
and are more gentle than biological detergents, also good for sensitive skin.

5. When ironing merino wool set the settings to wool on an iron machine. Avoid prints on
the material.

Some Light merino garments don’t lose crease after ironing. In this case, you can
either use steam iron with dot 2 settings on warm iron. Other Than that merino wool is naturally has pilling. Pilling is basically caused due to friction in which fibers from the yarn agitates. More often pilling is caused when merino wool is rubbed against some other cloth or bag, washing merino wool regularly also leads to pilling that’s why gentle hand wash is recommended to prevent pilling and to maintain the shape of the garment.

Besides pilling, snagging is the second factor that can ruin the merino wool. Snagging is
basically creating a gap or hole between fabric with scratches. So, always beware of your
surroundings when you wear merino or any other wool, keep your distance from sharp edges.

Last but not Least is shrinkage. As discussed above merino wool does shrink when
exposed to high temperature or washed incorrectly without following clear instructions.

Though all the washing steps are discussed above still you should always keep in mind that
avoid tumble drying and instead hang the garment in a warm place for one night and it
naturally dry. For washing, you can use cold water if you wash it by hand, or set it to
wool/wash cycle on your washing machine and make sure the temperature does not exceed
the 30 degrees.

merino wool process

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Besides its shrinkage problem, still, merino wool is used in making garments, shirts, and
hiking garments or essentials. But why it is used? Well, merino wool may have few cons in
it, still merino wool has rich properties and that’s why it is a priority choice in making hiking garments and fashion garments or cloth items. Let’s see why merino wool is used in the making of hiking and fashion cloth items.

Naturally breathable

Merino wool is a breathable fabric that holds the sweat or water and then moves it away in
form of vapors. Merino fabric has plates in which moisture vapor can get in and leave you
feeling sweat free after a heavy workout. Not only merino wool but most of the wool type
fabrics are breathable because of loosely packed fibers. On the other hand, synthetic fabric
is not porous, which means they hold the water and your body has to make it warm to evaporate the water, thus leaves you calm or shi wring in winter. Because of this property merino wool is used most in hiking garments, especially socks.

Merino wool is odor resistant

What’s make merino wool unique is its odor resistant property. It prevents the smelling
bacteria to build up. Merino wool can be worn for a long period of time without a single wash, merino wool also used by hikers on long treks where it can take days to complete the treks and the hiker doesn’t have to change their garment again and again.

Merino wool is super soft

Unlike other fabrics, merino wool is very soft against the skin. The diameter of the meri o fiber is 1⁄3 that is smaller than the hair diameter. Merino wool is so soft that when comes in contact with skin it bends and thus feels very soft.

Merino wool is biodegradable

This may the main reason why merino is used for the production of most hiking and
outdoor garments. Merino wool is biodegradable and can when buried under soil, the soil will absorb the fibrous protein and enriches the soil by releasing back carbon and nutrients. Most of the time hikers do the same when they are done with their gear or garments because this is the best and efficient way.

Provide protection around the fire

Unlike other fabrics, merino wool provides protection around fires. The reason is merino wool does not melt like other synthetic fibers. This also the reason why hikers use this to protect themselves around campfires.