There are misconceptions about wool – it's itchy, it's hot, it makes you sweat . . . While this may be true of cheap, low-quality wools, it isn't true of Merino wool. Natural, sustainable, and oh-so comfortable, learn all about Merino wool and the 8 main reasons you should choose to wear it.

Why Should You Wear Merino Wool?

A single Merino sheep standing on the ground of a dusty outdoor landscape. Photo by Yoonbae Cho on Unsplash

Not all wools are created equal, and Merino wool stands out as the best among this class of fabrics. Merino wool has a variety of features and benefits that makes it an all-around wonderful material to wear, whether you’re seeking comfort, function, style, or all of the above.

What is Merino wool?

Merino wool is a natural fiber sourced from the sheep breed of the same name. Merino sheep evolved to grow this variety of wool to adapt to a variety of environments in Australia and New Zealand, from 5 to 95 degrees. Just one Merino wool-bearing sheep can produce four to five pounds of the fiber every year. And because sheep regrow their coats annually, it makes Merino wool a renewable, sustainable, and cruelty-free source of natural material for garments.

Thermal Regulation

Woolen coat of sheep. Photo by Vince Veras on Unsplash.

Thought wool would make you sweat? Wrong. Merino wool has the natural ability to regulate body temperatures, both for the sheep who grow it and the humans who wear it. This is due to the structure of the Merino wool fiber; each strand of wool has ridges and creases that insulate air and hold in heat, providing warmth when necessary. When it’s hot and you need to cool down, the same fiber structure works to transport heat and moisture away from the body, maintaining a comfortable, breathable cool. So whether you're working hard or hardly working, you'll stay completely comfortable.

Naturally Moisture-Wicking

Two people wearing hiking shoes with wool socks sit on a felled tree trunk in the woods. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.

Worried about perspiring in your sweater and needing to wash? No need to fret with Merino wool, whose fiber structure is porous, meaning there are small gaps in the fiber that allow air and moisture to pass through. Unlike synthetic fibers, which are not porous and can leave you feeling damp when you sweat, Merino wool’s porous structure acts as a seamless transporter for unwanted wetness, drawing beads of liquid out away from the skin and funneling them to the exterior of the garment where they can evaporate into the surrounding air. This is why much apparel designed for outdoor activities, from hiking to golf, uses Merino wool as a core manufacturing component – it keeps you dry and comfortable even as you’re exerting energy.

Ball of white wool yarn rolled up on and resting on light hardwood floor. Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash.Antibacterial

Merino wool possesses natural antibacterial properties – and there’s science to back it up.

Just one of many examples: a joint study from the Universities of Zagreb (Croatia) and Grenoble Alpes (France) found that wool samples, when exposed to bacterial cells and left untreated, prevented the bacteria from multiplying. This is due to the structural design of Merino wool fibers, which act as an absorbent barrier, or a biofilm, between a source of bacteria (such as human skin) and the surrounding air, where such microbes would otherwise grow.

Simply put, the natural composition of Merino wool traps bacteria and stops cell numbers from increasing, keeping the fibers cleaner and fresher than other wearable alternatives.

man wearing Saint Croix merino wool rib knit cardigan with patterned dress shirt underneath.


Have you ever worn a cheap or synthetic garment and found that it tends to latch onto scent faster than others? That's not an issue with Merino wool. Just as it wicks away moisture, it also does an excellent job of preventing odor buildup.

The reason our clothes can start to smell has to do with a combination of sweat, bacteria, and a lack of air flow or breathability in the garment. Since Merino wool is all at once moisture-wicking, porous, and antimicrobial, it follows suit that the fabric absorbs unwanted odors and prevents their underlying bacteria from multiplying.

So you can wear Merino wool longer without worry of it starting to smell. Do keep in mind that your wool garments should still be cleaned regularly, just maybe not as often as, say, tees, workout leggings or undergarments!

A woman in a plaid flannel warms her hands over an open fire. Photo by Ilya Shishikhin on Unsplash.Flame-resistant

Feeling outdoorsy? The next time you’re on a hiking or camping trip and gathered around an open fire, you can feel safe and warm in your preferred variety of Merino wool sweater. With an ignition point of approximately 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, wool is one of the most flame-resistant materials out there. In fact, did you know that Merino wool is the preferred choice of fabric for firefighter blankets? 

Super Soft

Front profile of an adorable white sheep. Photo by Sam Carter on Unsplash.

Softness, comfort, and quality are at the top of most people's list when it comes to clothing must-haves. If you’ve ever worn a true Merino wool garment, you’re likely aware of how soft this fabric is, but do you know why?

High-quality Merino wool fibers measure at about 17.5 microns, while the average human hair measures at about 100 (a micron is one millionth of a meter). Merino wool is so fine, in fact, that when it comes into contact with human skin, it bends easily, reducing friction and creating that smooth, enjoyable-to-wear sensation. The fineness of this fiber also means it has virtually no rigidity or ability to “stand up,” hence the super soft feel. 

Bokeh photography of person holding soil in hands. Photo by Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash.Biodegradable

If you care about the kind of fabric you're wearing, you're likely an environmentally conscious consumer as well. It's worth noting that Merino wool, as a natural fiber, is 100% biodegradable. Lost a wool sock while out and about? No worries – in about 12 months, that accessory will be reclaimed and reintegrated into the earth, releasing its essential organic compounds back into the soil. So unlike fast-fashion products made from industrial synthetics which take thousands of years to decompose, you can feel confident and positive about choosing to wear eco-friendly wool.

Wrinkle-ResistantA close up image of three pairs of Saint Croix dress pants, in black, dark gray, and rich walnut brown.

Between work, travel, and everything else, it's critical to have clothing that can keep up with your movement as much as your style preferences. With wrinkle-resistant properties, Merino wool fibers have remarkable durability and shape retention, despite their fineness. Case in point: One of our favorite in-store demos to do at SAINT CROIX involves our Merino Wool Trousers, which we invite customers to crumple, squeeze, and twist, so they can see how the fabric effortlessly falls back into its flat, smooth, wrinkle-free state. The same wrinkle-resistant properties of Merino wool apply to all other garments made from the miraculous material, making it a fantastic choice for weekend trips, workouts, and long-term wear alike.

Ready to wear Merino wool? SAINT CROIX offers many luxury menswear pieces handcrafted in America with superior-grade Australian Merino wool. From sweaters to socks, let us help you discover your new favorite all-natural look.

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