When you imagine wool clothing, you probably envision a thick sweater or socks that are meant only for the coldest winter months. However, Merino wool is different. You can wear it in the winter, fall, and spring. And yes you can even wear Merino wool in summer.

Still, you may be thinking, “how can something so thick and heavy be worn during the hottest time of the year?” Well, here’s the thing: Merino wool clothing comes in all shapes, sizes, thicknesses, and specialties. In fact, it’s probably the best four-season fabric out there.

So today, I’ll walk you through eight reasons why you should be rocking your favorite Merino wool clothing throughout the summer months. And then, I’ll give you some of our top ultralight Merino Wool Gear picks so that you can stay comfy and cool all summer long. 

Hot or Cold, Wool Regulates Your Body Temperature

Due to Merino wool’s natural crimp, tiny air pockets form next to your skin. These air pockets act as an insulator against the cold air in the winter months, but also as a buffer against the heat during the hottest months of the year. In other words, Merino wool’s natural properties keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Pretty neat, right?

Merino wool crimp

But there’s more to it. As you sweat, the superfine Merino fibers wick moisture away from your skin so you don’t get all hot and soggy. Then, it transfers that moisture back into the atmosphere so your next-to-skin microclimate remains dry. According to Temperature Master, this process is similar to the body’s natural cooling mechanism: sweat evaporation. But, instead of evaporation, it’s the Merino wool that rids the moisture from your skin.

If you’re still confused as to why staying makes you feel cooler, think of the difference between 95℉ (35°C) in Arizona versus the same temperature in Florida. The lower humidity in the air makes it feel less hot. And as anyone who has been to Phoenix in the summer will tell you, “yeah it’s hot, but it’s a dry heat.” Merino wool works the same way.

Merino Wool Is Extremely Breathable & Ultralight

Breathability is based on how well moisture flows through the fabric. Wool, in general, has excellent breathability properties, which aid in the cooling process that we’ve previously mentioned. Yet the reason we don’t wear traditional wool in the summer is that the thicker material tends to hold more moisture, and your additional sweat has nowhere to go.

However, as Merino wool has much finer than traditional wool, clothing brands can use it to create thinner, ultralight apparel that speeds up the cooling process. 

And when we say ultralight, we truly mean ultralight.

Many clothing brands offer Merino wool gear that’s 150 gm2 or less. For reference, that’s the same thickness as two pieces of standard copier paper. How crazy is that?

And while the ultralight fabric is not as durable as some of the heavier fabric thickness, many brands tend to blend in a strong nylon core for added strength. Therefore, you shouldn’t have to worry about your clothing ripping or tearing.

Wool Doesn’t Stink!

Sweating man

If you’re a person who tends to sweat excessively (like myself), you need to change your wardrobe over to Merino wool. Like now. 

Believe it or not, wool doesn’t retain odors, meaning that you can wear it multiple times, and not have to check your pits constantly. It just doesn’t stink. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t – and the science behind this odor resistance is interesting, to say the least. 

Basically, the reason you stink when you sweat is that the bacteria on your skin digest the nutrients in sweat and excrete a volatile odor. That’s right, you stink because germs on your skin are snacking on your sweat and farting out nasty gas.

Anyways, many people believe wool has anti-bacterial properties, but that’s just a myth. Unlike synthetics which are made from oil-based polymers, wool is composed of keratin (like your hair), which is water-based. Thus, the oil-based odors from your skin don’t ‘stick’ to the fabric like they do with synthetics. They simply become trapped in the moisture and move freely into the atmosphere, all without embedding themselves in the fibers. Ipso facto, your shirt doesn’t stink.

Personally, I’ve worn Merino wool t-shirts for up to two weeks without any major funk. The only thing you have to do is give the tee some time to air out (usually while sleeping or showering) and the fabric should be odor-free. That means less washing, more wearing, and more time to enjoy the summer sun!

Merino Wool Has a High UPF Rating

If you spend your summers outdoors exposed to the sun’s radiation, the sad truth is that you’re at a higher risk of developing skin cancer. And while sunscreen is necessary, many experts believe it’s only effective for two hours per application (and even sooner with increased activity). So, the next best protection against the sun is your clothing – and that’s where Merino wool comes in handy.

Compared to other performance fabrics, Merino wool has a much higher UPF rating, meaning it protects better against ultraviolet radiation. For example, synthetic fabrics tend to have a UPF rating of 20 or less, meaning they only block out 95% or less of the UV rays. On the other hand,  Merino wool clothing tends to have a UPF rating of 50 or more, meaning that it blocks out 98% or more of the sun’s radiation. This improved protection is because Merino fibers are crimped which allows for better light absorption.

How else do you think you sheep spend all day in the sun without getting burned?

Merino Wool Gear is Perfect for Traveling

Alright, I know that sounds like a general statement, but it’s the truth. Merino wool is the best fabric for travel clothing! Since it’s odor-resistant, you don’t have to pack as many clothes in your suitcase (or your hiking backpack). Plus, it’s relatively quick-drying, so if for some reason you have to do laundry while on vacation, you can let it dry overnight. It will be ready to wear or pack in the morning!

Oh yeah, Merino wool is wrinkle-resistant, too! Well, sort of. While this benefit has been debated among avid travelers, the overall consensus is that wool wrinkles less than fabrics like cotton. This is because the spring-like fiber structure prevents them from becoming misaligned.

Although, as much of today’s Merino wool clothing is blended with a low percentage of synthetics to improve overall strength, you may get a few wrinkles here and there. To avoid this, try using the “burrito roll” while packing. The fewer hard creases in the fabric, the better! And, it will help you to save space in your suitcase. It’s a win-win!

How to fold Merino wool clothes

Wearing Merino Wool in Summer is Fashionable

When many people think of Merino wool gear, they think of outdoor performance clothing. Although, it’s not just for the trail. In recent years, there has been a big push in using Merino wool in the fashion industry. Companies like Woolmark have been partnering with fashion designers across the globe to bring Merino wool to the runways and retail shelves. In fact, each year they award the Woolmark Prize for Merino wool design innovation. You can check out the 2022 finalists here.

Moreover, even your standard Merino wool clothing is making its rounds in the celebrity world. Mila Kunis, Jennifer Garner, and Ashton Kutcher have all been spotted rocking Allbirds, one of the comfiest Merino wool shoes on the market. Moreover, Blake Lively and Rihanna have rocked designer Merino wool clothes at various events. So, if you want to dress like your favorite celebrity this summer, why not go with Merino?

Merino Wool Clothing Is Sustainable

Merino wool sustainability

Merino sheep eat grass, soak up the sun, and live a happy life. Their wool is harvested for clothing once or twice a year (at no harm to them), and the cycle repeats. Merino wool is one of the most sustainable clothing materials on the planet! In fact, wool is even biodegradable, so it can be used in the soil that grows the grass for the sheep to eat. Hence, the cycle of sustainability.

However, many environmental activists are concerned with the popularity of Merino wool gear contributing to increased livestock emissions and desertification of grasslands. And, their skepticism is indeed justified. Yet in recent years, woolgrowers have made it a priority to protect pasturelands. And when you compare the negative effects of livestock emissions to those of oil-based synthetic clothing, it doesn’t even come close.

Moreover, wool is biodegradable. And as the fashion industry accounts for a staggering amount of space in our landfills. So, it’s imperative that as consumers, we do our part in purchasing high-quality clothing that will reduce waste. Merino wool clothing is not the solution by any means, but it’s a good place to start.

Most Importantly, Merino Wool Is Comfy!

And last but not least, the main reason you should wear Merino wool in summer: it’s super comfortable. Whenever I wear Merino, it feels like I’m being draped in silk. Like a cloud is giving me a hug. But enough with the subjectiveness, there is actually science behind why Merino wool is comfy.

Merino wool fiber thickness

As compared with traditional wool fibers (35-40 microns), Merino wool fibers are about half as thick (17-21 microns). This means they feel less scratchy than traditional wool as your skin receptors don’t process Merino fibers as an irritant. Moreover, the finer fiber diameter allows for better weave patterns and flexibility so the fabric moves with you, not against you.

A good rule of thumb when shopping for Merino wool clothing is that the lower the micron level, the softer the fabric. However, this sometimes comes at the added cost of durability. If you do need some extra fabric strength, look for options corespun with small amounts of synthetics.

All in all, the combination of fiber diameter, uniform fiber length, and material composition makes Merino wool one of the comfiest fabrics on the planet!

Final Note About Wearing Merino Wool In Summer

And there you have it: eight reasons you should definitely be wearing Merino wool in summer. It keeps you cool, is super comfy, protects against the sun, and more. Even celebrities are rocking Merino wool, and you should, too!

If you’re looking for the best Merino wool gear this summer, give us a follow on any of our socials or subscribe to our newsletter! We’re always looking for new sheep to join the flock!

Thanks again for reading!

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