Fabrics made from Merino wool are favoured by fashion and interior designers for their excellent “handle and drape” meaning it looks fantastic when used in a wide range of ways, it forms beautiful shapes (perfect for artworks and cushions) and hangs elegantly (great for curtains and throws). It can also be given various treatments to appear in all colours, textures, weights and weaves, giving endless options for patterned rugs or cushions for example. When used for custom upholstery it also cuts well, won’t fray, irons well and resists wrinkles.
Merino wool feels soft on the skin while also being resilient. The natural coil-like structure of a wool fibre allows it to be flexible yet strong and always bounces back into shape, keeping it looking high quality for the long term.
The materials used in your home need to be highly resilient, enough to withstand daily family use, visitors and spills. The fibres in Merino wool have their own natural protective layer that makes it both stain and odour resistant. Plus, it generates significantly less static than other fabrics so attracts less dust and dirt.
Product innovation now means many Merino wool fabrics are machine washable. So, many woollen throw rugs or cushions covers don’t need to be hand washed, saving a lot of time and effort.
Merino wool is naturally fire resistant – making it an obvious choice for use in public spaces such as airports, aeroplanes, hospitals and hotels – but also for your home. Wool will not catch alight until the temperature reaches between 570 and 600 degrees celsius while cotton will alight at 255 degrees celsius and polyester and nylon will ignite at as a low a temperature as 252 degrees celsius and 160 degrees celsius, respectively. Plus, wool never melts so it won’t stick to skin like other fabrics.
Merino wool is grown all year-round on the back of Australian Merino sheep needing just water, sunshine, fresh air and grass, making it a completely natural fibre that is safe for you to use and also completely renewable. It’s also biodegradable, meaning discarded items can disposed of naturally and it will actually release nutrients back into the soil as it breaks down.
When choosing bedding, wool is a naturally healthy option. Studies have shown that use of Merino wool in bedding and sleepwear can assist people in getting a better night’s sleep. Merino wool’s natural breathability properties have been shown to help with falling asleep faster and sleeping longer. Plus, unlike synthetics Merino wool has active fibres that react to your body temperature, helping keep you warm in the cold and cool in hot temperatures, making a woollen throw and blankets an obvious choice.
Illustration: Barry Allen Patenaude