Organic Merino Wool base- layers
I'm so chuffed with my organic Merino thermal base layers that I've just bought my 3rd pair. They are not the cheapest thermals, but wearing them for up 6 months of the year I wouldn't have it otherwise. For cold climates layered clothing systems are awesome, and need to be able to transfer moisture, provide a lot of warmth, and protect from wind and rain. The merino’s fleece is built for extremes – breathable in summer, insulating in winter, yet the wool is exceptionally soft and lightweight. Compared to other wool products, it's very comfortable against the skin. It is naturally breathable and warm even when wet. Merino regulates body temperature, has a great warmth-to-weight ratio and naturally controls odor. I won't tell you how long I've kept mine on before without washing them...
The Merino is an economically influential breed of sheep, originally from Turkey and central Spain, and its wool was highly valued already in the Middle Ages. Today, Merinos are still regarded as having some of the finest and softest wool of any sheep.
Merino is excellent at regulating body temperature, especially when worn against the skin. The wool provides some warmth, without overheating. It draws moisture (sweat) away from the skin, a phenomenon known as wicking. The fabric is slightly moisture repellent as keratin fibers are hydrophobic at one end and hydrophilic at the other- nice design! This allows the user to avoid the feeling of wetness.
Like cotton, wool absorbs water (up to 1/3 its weight), but, unlike cotton, wool retains warmth when wet, thus helping wearers avoid hypothermia after strenuous workouts, eg, climbing or weather events. Like most wools, merino contains lanolin, which has antibacterial properties, I rotate my pair for 6 months and they go a long time without smelling bad. Due to finer fibers and small scales the wool is super soft. The small fibers have microscopic cortices of dead air, trapping body heat similar to the way a sleeping bag warms its occupant.
We're into some of the advancements in modern synthetics, especially high performing breathable waterproof skins, but there's nothing like organic merino wool undies and down for feeling perfectly snug in dry powdery winters.
Basically, these undies are awesome, if you live in a cold climate, get some...
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