Why does Timberland use Merino Wool?

At Timberland we combine innovative performance with a vision for sustainability. Material choice is a crucial part of our process. We use Merino wool in a wide range of our clothing, from lightweight tees and shorts to versatile outer jackets. Merino wool brings an unmatched combination of comfort, breathability and insulation. This guide provides a deep dive into Merino wool, helping you to select the right clothing for your specific needs.


What is Merino wool?

Merino wool is a natural fibre that comes from Merino sheep, native to Australia, New Zealand and mountainous regions of Central Asia. These sheep deal with both hot summers and freezing winters and, as a result, their wool is extremely versatile. Merino wool clothing harnesses these features to improve the performance of outdoor clothing. The resulting gear is lightweight, durable and comfortable for outdoor activities all year round.


What are the properties of Merino wool?

  • Moisture wicking

    Merino wool wicks moisture away from the skin when you start to sweat, keeping you dry. If your clothes become damp due to wet weather, the quick-drying fabric is indispensable. 

  • Temperature regulation

    Merino wool traps body heat close to the skin, maintaining a comfortable temperature in cold conditions. Outstanding breathability allows air to circulate in warmer temperatures, preventing overheating. This combination makes Merino clothing ideal for outdoor wear in changeable conditions

  • Odour-resistance

    Merino wool fibres contain an enzyme that neutralises odour-causing bacteria. This is ideal for long hiking trips or camping holidays. Merino wool is a popular choice for socks due to the combination of breathability and natural odour resistance.

  • Durability

    Merino wool is a very flexible fibre. The elastic fibres withstand the wear and tear of outdoor activities without stretching or breaking. This produces long-lasting clothes that you can rely on.

  • Comfort

    The fibres of Merino wool are finer and more elastic than traditional wool, which makes them softer and more comfortable to wear next to the skin. The lightweight nature of Merino fibres also enhances comfort and flexibility.

Where does Merino wool come from?

Merino sheep live all over the world, but the largest producers of Merino wool are Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. These regions offer lush pastures, temperate climates, and an abundant water supply. The ideal environment for Merino sheep.

Their wool protects Merino sheep against sub-zero winter temperatures. It also remains breathable enough to handle high temperatures in the summer. This ability to handle variable conditions led to the exploration of Merino wool in clothing.

This effective and efficient natural fibre is ideal for creating high-performance activewear. 


Is Merino Wool warm?

Merino wool helps you to stay warm in low temperatures. The fine fibres create a natural insulation layer, trapping air and body heat close to the skin. This insulating effect regulates body temperature in cold weather. The breathable fabric prevents overheating.

Lightweight, soft and flexible, Merino wool is ideal for layering in cold environments. When choosing clothes to work together in layers, it can be helpful to think through three layers: baselayer, mid-layer and outer layer.

The base layer is the clothing that is closest to your skin. This should be lightweight, moisture-wicking and breathable, making Merino wool an ideal choice. Wear a mid-layer over the baselayer to provide additional warmth without adding too much weight. Your outer layer should be waterproof to provide protection from the elements.

At Timberland, we use Merino wool to obtain superior warmth without adding bulk. The result is flexible, comfortable clothing for outdoor activities in chilly conditions.


Is Merino wool itchy?

Merino wool is not itchy, due to the fine, flexible fibres. A common complaint about other types of wool is that they are itchy and uncomfortable to wear. Thanks to its ultra-thin, elastic fibres, Merino wool feels soft against the skin.

Unlike coarser wool varieties, Merino wool does not cause irritation or itching. This is an excellent choice for sensitive skin. Merino wool is also naturally hypoallergenic, and less likely to cause uncomfortable reactions on your skin.


Is Merino wool waterproof?

Although Merino wool is not fully waterproof, it is naturally water-resistant. The fibres of Merino wool have water-repelling properties. This prevents moisture from penetrating the fabric. In light showers, Merino wool clothing will not become soggy, but for heavier rain, you will need a waterproof rain jacket.

From weekday workwear to weekend adventures, we’ve got everything you need to thrive outdoors. Find mindful materials, innovative designs and faultless performance at Timberland.

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