7 Myths on Merino Wool

Updated: Sep 22



Not all wool is the same.


ZQ Merino wool is sourced from certified farmers who meet our high standards across environmental and social responsibility, animal welfare and fibre quality. The fibre is also traceable back to source, so we know where our wool comes from and how it’s been produced.


But what comes to mind when you think of wool?

1. Doesn’t wool shrink in the wash?


ZQ Merino is designed for today’s busy lifestyle, whether out running, brunching or in the office. It’s machine washable and in some cases tumble dryable (although we prefer line dry as it’s kinder to the environment). Even after frequent laundering, your garment will retain its shape, colour and feel, like these colourful ZQ Merino tees.



2. Doesn’t it smell after a few wears?

Actually, ZQ Merino doesn’t have a lasting attachment to odour – often, all it takes is a little airing before your garment is ready to wear again - meaning it won’t need as much washing anyway! No issues when going from the office to that hot date, when wearing a ZQ Merino shirt!


3. Isn’t it scratchy or itchy to wear?


Remember those wool jerseys your granny used to knit you as a kid? They scratched and itched everywhere – and most likely made from thick wool fibres. ZQ Merino fibres are super soft and never scratchy. Our fibre is hand selected especially for next-to-skin garments. The key is the in the micron size of wool. Next-to-skin garments are made from superfine 17–19 micron fibre (one micron equals one millionth of a meter, so it’s pretty fine - our hair is typically around 50 microns). The finer the fibre, the more easily it will bend and yield when pressed into the skin, feeling soft rather than a prickle or scratchiness of a thicker micron.


4. Wool’s too hot to wear in summer, right?


Merino is a technical fibre, able to react to changes in your body temperature and the environment – insulating you in the cold, and managing heat and moisture when you are hot. We call this thermo-regulation. Unlike many synthetic fabrics, ZQ Merino is able to absorb and release moisture when needed. This is achieved by the merino fibre’s capacity to absorb up to 35% of its own weight in moisture before beginning to feel wet. This certainly helps when it comes to getting up a sweat! Merino can release this moisture, giving you a comfortable and balanced next-to-skin microclimate. Important for when you’re faced with that next big meeting…



5. Won’t it crease when travelling?


ZQ Merino has excellent elastic properties which enable the fibres to quickly bounce back and recover after stretching. Even if the fabric is deformed for a period of time, like being shoved into a suitcase – hanging it in a humid environment (like the bathroom while you take a shower) will quickly remove any wrinkles from that suit.



6. Won’t wool just add to the overflow of fashion waste?


An astonishing 150 billion new clothing items are being made annually, most from synthetic materials that won’t biodegrade. Microfibres are found in synthetic garments. According to a recent study with outdoor retailer Patagonia and the University of California, just one item can shed thousands of these tiny synthetic microfibres during laundering. These microplastics enter our waterways, polluting our oceans, get eaten by fish then end up in our bodies via the food chain.


Products and clothing made from natural fibres and materials, like wool, biodegrade easily and pose no threat to aquatic life.


7. Isn’t it just another clothing fibre?


A lot of merino products are made from random wool off the commodity market, with it’s origin unknown. This means the quality of the fibre and health of the animal is also unknown. Every single ZQ Merino fleece, from every single merino sheep is hand classed by a highly skilled wool classer before it even leaves the farm, so you know it’s only the best that gets used for clothing. And being ZQ certified, you know your fibre is coming from reputable farms that meet our specific standards of animal welfare, environmental sustainability and social responsibility.


Written by Rhiannon James

P. +64 3 335 0911

© The New Zealand Merino Company Ltd 2019