We all love the feeling of sinking our fingers into soft, fluffy wool. In fact, we would all love to own a merino wool throw or cushion. Merino wool is the finest in the world, but how do you know if you are buying the genuine article? Find out a little more about this super soft, luxurious material.
Prized for its soft and warm wool, Merino sheep have been bred for their fleece since the middle ages. Originally from central Spain, the breed has grown in popularity and is now bred all over the world. In the middle ages, exporting livve merino sheep out of Spain was an offence punishable by death. Such was the value placed on this unique material.
Each strand of merino wool, often thinner than a human hair, has a rugged surface structure, which gives it its famed softness as well as excellent heat insulating properties.
The term merino wool is widely used in textile industry, however it does not necessarily guarantee that the product in question is made from 100% merino wool or indeed made from the fleece of merino sheep bred for wool.
It is common practice to blend merino wool with other types of wool, particularly for home soft furnishings. Only 100% merino wool will give cushions and throws that soft, uniquely luxurious touch. Subjecting merino wool to mass manufacturing practices such as bleaching, chemical dyeing and automated spinning and weaving further reduces its softness.
So next time you look at a merino wool cushion or a merino wool throw, ask about the provenance and manufacturing methods.