Merino sheep are a breed of sheep, whose wool is very soft and of high quality. The merino sheep is slightly smaller than the ordinary sheep, but, in spite of this, its main advantage is wool.
This breed first appeared in Spain in the 12th century. Merino is a descendant of sheep from Asia Minor and North Africa. Due to the high quality of the wool, the Spaniards were the main producers of wool at that time. Merinos were so valuable that the export of them outside of Spain had a death penalty. However, in 1723 several sheep were secretly exported to Sweden, then to Saxony. And already in 1788 the first 70 sheep were exported to Australia. Today, it is Australia that is the main supplier of merino wool in the world, thanks to its mild climate and huge pastures.
Merino sheep perfectly adapts to the environment. Their soft, beautiful and slightly wavy hair also has good absorbent and antibacterial properties. The length of the wool, on average, is 65-100 mm. A width is less than 24 microns (μm).
Merino wool is of several types: wide (strong) 23-24.5 microns, medium-diameter wool 19.6-22.9 microns, fine 18.6-19.5 microns, very fine (superfine) 15-18.5 microns and ultrafine wool (ultrafine) 11.5-15 microns. This kind of wool, of course, is the most expensive, the number of animals is not numerous and, according to rumours, such an overvalued hair is not tangled or coarse, such animals wear special capes in windy and rainy weather! Ultra-thin merino is suitable for mixing with other types of yarn, such as silk and cashmere. In New Zealand, light knitwear is produced, created by mixing merino wool and opossum fur.
Merino sheep's wool is often used for making clothes for mountain and sports such as running, hiking, cycling and other sports outdoor sports, as merino has an excellent absorbing properties. Merino products are recommended for daily wear in the city, the unique properties of this wool do not interfere with heat exchange.
Products made of merino are warm, but do not overheat its owner’s body in the wet weather. Like most types of yarn, merino has an antibacterial effect. Merino yarn has an excellent correlation of heat and lightness, as it has air particles between the hair, gives it such great heating properties.
Keep in mind that when washing, the product should not stay in the water for long, avoid twisting, just light wringing by hand. When unfolding the product for drying on a smooth, absorbent surface, it may seem that the product has lost its shape. Do not worry, you need to accurately place the product, align the edge of the product, the sleeves and when dried, the merino will become elastic and springy.