Wool isn’t a fabric synonymous with ‘athleisure’ wear or workout apparel. In fact, you probably pictured your old, thick, scratchy jersey when you read the word ‘wool’.
Well, it’s time to turn that stereotype on its head. South African Merino wool is leading innovation in activewear, specifically as a base layer in apparel for serious sportspeople. Cyclists, runners, soccer players and more are adopting nature’s leading technical fibre in their kit line-up.
Comfort meets function
Monica Ebert from South African Merino Wool clothing brand Core Merino says that it’s not widely known that wool is the ideal fabric to wear in active pursuits.
“Wool is incredible comfortable, soft, doesn’t itch, or crease, is lightweight and keeps its shape. It dries quickly when wet, retains warmth, is breathable for keeping cool and does not hang onto odour – no matter how intense the work out,” say Ebert.
Ebert shares 5 amazing facts about wool:
Fact #1: Wool keeps you cool
Wait, what? That’s right! Merino fibres react and adapt with your body to keep you cool when the weather is hot. Ebert says that Merino wool has been particularly successful in running gear – soft, supple running shorts and t-shirts that wick moisture away to keep you cool while you run.
Fact #2: Wool protects you from sun exposure
Wool provides excellent levels of UV protection making it an optimal choice when worn outdoors.
Fact #3: Wool doesn’t need regular washing
Wool resists the build-up of odour molecules, which allows athletes to wear merino garments more and wash them less. Wool doesn’t trap the odour or sweat, and due to the protein molecules in the fibres, it’s also able to break down the odour-forming bacteria.
Fact #4: Wool helps to regulate body temperature
Wool keeps you dry during exercise due to its natural ability to absorb and release moisture, which results in less sweat build-up on your body.
Fact #5: Wool is environmentally-friendly
Merino wool is a completely natural fibre that is both biodegradable and renewable, so it is as gentle on the environment as it is on you. “Core Merino also sources its wool from South African sheep farmers who subscribe to a certain level of care for their animals and the environment,” says Ebert.
“Wool is a fibre that works in many formats for all seasons and all temperatures. The fibre has been adopted widely in international outdoor circles and we’re slow adopted locally too,” says Ebert.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.