The world’s smartest sheep?
Do you have a favourite sheep? Probably not. But ours is Albert, a Merino sheep from New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Originally from Spain, Merino are known for their ability to cope with extreme temperatures (35°C in summer to -15°C in winter). Their secret? Super-smart fleece which keeps them warm in the snow and cool in the heat.
Luckily, these unique creatures don’t keep the benefits all to themselves. Clothes made from Merino wool are super cosy and breathable, making them perfect for babies and children. Here are some other things you might not know about this highly intelligent yarn.
It’s gorgeously soft
Unlike many other types of wool, merino is silky soft and non-itchy. It’s so soft and comfortable that it’s recommended for the most sensitive of skin, for example babies who suffer from eczema.
It’s anti-bacterial and hypo-allergenic
Merino naturally repels dust, which is a major cause of allergies and asthma suffering. It also contains natural lanolin and keratin (a substance naturally found in our skin, hair and nails) which both have powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
It helps regulate temperature
As you’d expect, merino wool is brilliant at keeping little ones cosy. And because it’s also highly breathable, it’s great at releasing excess heat, which helps avoid overheating. Babies and toddlers can’t regulate their temperature as well as we do (their bodies lose heat four times faster), but with merino wool, your little one can stay cool when it’s hot, and warm when it’s cold.
It dries fast
Each and every fibre of merino wool has a protective layer that naturally repels water. Any water that does get in is then drawn away from the skin into the core of the merino fibre, and then outwards into the air. Brilliant for keeping your little one warm and dry, and it also dries quickly after washing — ideal for busy parents.
Merino wool is naturally flame resistant and self-extinguishing (fire fighters often use merino base layers for this very reason).
You can throw it in the washing machine
Amazingly, merino clothing is also machine washable (hooray). As long as you follow the instructions on the label, merino is really durable and will keep its colour and shape.
It helps you sleep. Really.
Medical studies have proven that merino actually improves babies’ sleep patterns. It’s been found that babies sleeping on merino settled more quickly, cried less, fed better and gained weight faster.
Because we love Merino so much, we have it in every product and manufacturer we can get our hands on (well only the very best ones anyway). Below is a guide on the manufacturers in case it helps with your decisions on what to buy.
Merino Kids is an international award-winning textile company from New Zealand that specialises in using 100% natural fibres, for the design of newborn, baby, infant and toddler sleepwear. The company was founded by Amie Nilsson in 2003 and since that time has grown significantly to now become one of the global leaders and commentators of using natural fibres for young children.
Rochelle, the founder, was inspired to launch Bambino Merino following the unexpected premature birth of her son in 2005. Aware of the dangers of overheating and concerned about the health of her special care baby, Rochelle quickly discovered that breathable natural fibres are preferable to synthetic alternatives. When dressed in garments containing polyester her son became sweaty, hot and uncomfortable. It was then Rochelle decided to create a range of natural baby sleeping bags and clothing – all made from breathable New Zealand merino.
Superlove merino was founded during the winter of 2012 in the English lake district by Becky Sayer and Suse Fletcher. As long-time merino converts, they wanted to wrap their babies in the same. The result was Super Love merino, the warmest range of superfine merino clothing for babies, toddlers and kids, developed with high performance, double knitted merino designed for the British and northern European climate. All items are designed and made in the UK.