WHY MERINO WOOL?
The merino sheep is one of the most ancient breeds of sheep on the planet, and certainly the toughest. Tufte only use wool from farms that do not practice mulesing. Read more about merino wool and its qualities.
While the regular sheep chew grass and have a great time in the lowlands, most of the merino's live high up in the rugged Southern Alps of New Zealand, surviving both the hot summers as well as the freezing winters. The merino’s summer coat keeps cool in temperatures of up to +35ºC. In the winter the merino grows an extra layer of wool over their base coat to protect themselves against temperatures as low as -20ºC.
The merino fabric has many great qualities; it is super lightweight, soft, non-clammy, warm in the cold and cool in the heat, and has the ability to resist odor. It’s naturally renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. No merino is developed in a lab or modified in any way. Every fleece is hand selected to ensure high quality.
Softness is an important attribute in all our clothing. Most of our products are inner layers, to be worn next to skin. As the skin is the largest organ of the human body, most of the skin will be in direct contact with the clothing. Therefore, the products and fabrics need to be soft enough to ensure comfort.
Wool fibers are judged by their softness and fineness in the micron-scale. The lower the micron the softer the fabric. Merino is one of the softest fibers on this scale, which means it is nothing but soft and comfortable against the skin. We only use merino wool that have a micron of 18.5 or lower, which is called super fine merino wool.
We only use wool from farms that do not practice mulesing. Instead of this painful and surgical procedure, our farms simply wash the sheep’s backsides. This simple move save the animals any unnecessary pain and discomfort. We're happy to be using wool from happy sheep.
“Wicking” is the ability of a fabric to absorb moisture away from the body and transfer it out to the environment. For clothing worn next to skin, this is an important factor and can help improve comfort and performance.
The merino fibre has a natural wicking ability, absorbing water from the skin helping the body to stay dry and maintain a comfortable body temperature. It can absorb up to 35% of its own weight in water in high humidity before feeling wet. This is much higher than most of the synthetic fibres in the market, and will help keep the body warm even though the clothes are wet.
The merino fibre harvesting is called shearing. Once a year the merino is shorn. Normally this happens between August and November, to ensure the still have their warm and woolly coats for the cold winter months. The person responsible for shearing leave a good amount of wool left on the sheep to keep them warm. The shearing is not just for harvesting wool, it is also an important process to keep the animals comfortable. They can accumulate an enormous amount of wool, which can lead to blocked vision as well as being very uncomfortable during the hot summers.