Welcome to our “Merino wool is: _______” series, where you’ll discover the wonderful benefits that make Merino the perfect fiber for blankets, especially children’s blankets! We also hope this information will give you a better glimpse of the amazing ways Merino wool will inspire and enhance your intentional lifestyle. This series debuted on our Instagram and we welcome you to join our journey there for behind the scenes photos and videos of our every day life here on our small farm! Enjoy!
Merino wool is: Soft
Most of our first thoughts when we hear the word wool is the ‘itchy’ factor that comes along with it. Raise your hand if you’ve ever experienced this wretched itchiness! On the flip side, our first thoughts about blankets is that they are snuggly and soft, am I right? So how could a wool blanket possibly be soft?
Merino wool is the answer. Merino wool does not itch! I’ll say it again, Merino wool does not itch!
The wool fibers in Merino wool are so fine, smaller than one-thousandth of a millimeter, and so thin that they are well below the itching threshold. Because the fibers of Merino are so fine, thin, and soft, they easily bend when they come in contact with skin instead of creating that unpleasant poking, itching sensation that you’ve most likely felt with other wool items.
This is great news when it comes to our blankets because not only will you want to snuggle your child in their blanket, they will want to snuggle in it as well! And because we know how important positive, loving touch is for your child’s development, we want our blankets to encourage that closeness between you and your child. Whether you’re reading stories together, laid out watching the clouds, holding your sleepy newborn baby safely in your arms, or any of the other priceless moments, your child will feel comfy, cozy, and wrapped in love. Using this super soft Merino wool for our handwoven blankets ensures no itching, poking, or roughness on your child’s delicate skin.
Do you have a favorite soft piece of clothing that you wish you could wear every day (or really do wear every day)? Did you have a favorite soft blanket when you were younger? Do you still have it? Was it passed down to you or made especially for you?
Merino wool is: Breathable
The breathability of Merino wool means that it can both regulate and buffer moisture in the air and moisture coming from the body. This is exactly what you want out of a blanket! These two qualities will allow your child to feel snuggled and comfy in their blanket without feeling stuffy, overheated or heavy.
Moisture buffering is the fibers’ ability to absorb moisture from the microclimate, which is the space between the skin and the blanket. This means that as moisture comes off of the body, the blanket absorbs it and doesn’t release it again until the microclimate is dry!
But surely the blanket must feel heavy and wet then, correct? Not so with Merino wool! Merino has the incredible ability to absorb up to 35% of its own weight in moisture without ever feeling wet to the touch! Amazing, right?! The fiber surface remains dry while the moisture moves to the fiber core. This also ensures that the wool doesn’t suppress the body’s natural cooling function of sweating, but rather will help cool your child down by absorbing any moisture coming off of their body.
So, if you’re in a colder climate, we know it can be a challenge to keep cozy warm! For example, maybe you’re cuddling with your little one as you listen to the crackling wood from the fireplace while warming up from the chilly outdoors, or on a walk to visit the neighbors and it’s quite cool, your Merino blanket will absorb the cold moisture in the air and keep it from getting through to your child. And, if you’re in warmer weather, such as picnicking, rocking your baby on the porch swing to enjoy the nice breeze, or making memories at the beach, the wool will absorb and release moisture and sweat creating a cooling effect, thus giving your child a light feeling of freshness.
I’d love to know where you live and how you might use your blanket in your weather! Maybe you’re in the desert spending your summers in the shade and your winters outside? Or maybe you’re in the hills or mountains where you have colder temperatures fairly often? Is it humid or dry where you live? What are some of your favorite activities during this season you’re in right now?
Merino wool is: Odor Resistant
Odor resistant! Aren’t those magical words we all like to hear!? This amazing feature of Merino wool comes down to the structure of each individual fiber.
The surface of Merino fibers are oriented like roof tiles, stacked on one another. This makes it very difficult for bacteria to get lodged within the fibers. And, we all know that trapped bacteria is what makes things the stinkiest!
Because bacteria isn't easily able to get lodged deep within the fibers, they resist buildup of odor, keeping your blanket from getting stinky and lightening your laundry load. This is exactly what you want in your child’s blanket. You can be confident it will smell and feel as clean and cozy as ever.
Does your child have a toy, or random washcloth in Elsie’s case, that they love to play with during the day? And that is in turn, constantly in the wash?
Merino wool is: Antibacterial
Merino wool fibers, and in turn our blankets, have their own type of built in washing machine: the keratin within the wool fibers. This keratin is a protein molecule that breaks down bacteria! That’s right, Merino wool is antibacterial!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Our blankets won’t have a buildup of bacteria, and as we recently discussed, resists odors penetrating the fibers, and therefore can be washed much less often than other blankets that are made of synthetic materials. Another reason why our blankets are the perfect staple item for your child! You won't have to worry about icky bacteria being stuck in their blanket and bothering their skin. And, can I get an AMEN for not having to do as much laundry?!
So, do you like knowing things are clean? Are you a bit of a clean freak like myself? Do you feel like you have to wash things constantly to make sure they're clean? If so, does knowing how great this benefit is by naturally being antibacterial give you a sense of relief and a boost of confidence now?
Merino wool is: Temperature regulating
Merino wool’s ability to regulate its own temperature as well as help with your child’s is in conjunction with the wool’s moisture regulating quality! An important aspect of the wool that gives it this magical ability to help you regulate your body temperature goes back to the structure of the fibers. The fibers have a naturally rippled structure which allows body heat to be stored in chambers, creating excellent insulation.
The air that gets stored in these chambers is what allows an insulating layer in both the cold and in the heat. In the cold, it protects against outside weather. In the heat, the moisture from both the body and the hot air goes into these chambers and then is released, creating a cooling effect. Which brings us to another important aspect of the wool being used in the heat!
As we discussed in our "Merino wool is: breathable" post, Merino wool can absorb more than 35% of its own weight in moisture. If the ambient air around the blanket is warm, the moisture dries faster, resulting in this refreshing evaporative coolness.
These temperature regulating qualities make our blankets the perfect one to have with your child in all seasons of weather. I can just picture your little one in the stroller with our blanket as you walk to the bakery together or through the park to enjoy the scenery! On cold and warm days, or the days when it varies, you’ll know your precious babe won’t be too cool or too hot, but rather just right!
Did you know a lot of high-quality athletic and outdoor clothing companies use Merino wool in their products because of these amazing features? Have you looked at any of your own gear that has temp-regulating features to see if it might have Merino wool in it?
Merino wool is: Strong and Resilient
One major benefit of Merino wool is it’s incredible strength and resilience!
Compared to other fibers, Merino wool can withstand more pressure, making it more durable. Because of the keratin in the wool and the crimp of each individual fiber, Merino has the ability to bend, flex, and stretch in any direction more than 30,000 times without damage. It’s an incredibly strong fiber and the most ideal one for a child’s blanket! Whether you're at a picnic in the park or playing superheroes through the house, your Wool Haven blanket will stay strong throughout years of use.
This also means Merino wool has the ability to retain its shape and size after wearing and washing! Let it dry completely before pulling or stretching the blanket though. The wool has a mighty strength when dry, but when it’s wet, those keratin proteins are open and vulnerable and can easily break. So, as a basic rule of thumb: when your blanket is wet, just be careful when handling it as to not damage the fibers.
merino wool is: Incredibly sustainable
Merino wool has many properties that make it, and in turn your blanket, a piece that will last and be with you and your family for generations. You can be confident that your child's blanket will last through all the adventuring you’ll do together. From precious newborn, to growing babe, to toddler, and your child may even adopt our blanket as their special lovey into their older childhood years!
God's beautiful creations provide everything required to make Merino wool sustainable. First, starting with the sheep, then combining sunshine, fresh air, pasture grasses and water, this creates the perfect recipe, making the wool naturally renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. If composted, Merino wool will decompose and slowly release nitrogen based nutrients to continue nourishing the soil. That is so incredible and so important!
Because of this sustainability, Merino wool fits well into our company mission to minimize our footprint and strive to be responsible caretakers of the Earth.
Merino wool is: Quick drying
The fact that our Merino wool blankets are quick drying is a quality built on a lot of the foundational principles we’ve discussed already.
The structure of the fibers in the wool are able to absorb moisture and keep the outside of the blanket dry which is amazing! And we’ve also discussed how the fibers quickly release moisture once the temperature around the blanket increases creating a cooling effect, also amazing.
But what this also means is that your blanket can dry in a matter of a few hours given it's in a well-ventilated area and not super humid to begin with. And, the quicker the blanket dries, the quicker your child can get back to playing and snuggling with it!
Merino wool is: A Sun Protectant
The quality that Merino is a sun protectant really applies to ALL seasons! You've probably seen commercials of dermatologists recommending sun protection even in the winter, right!? Our skin is very vulnerable to the elements, so whether you have children with fair skin like we do in our family or just plain sensitive skin in general, you'll appreciate Merino's lovely sun protecting capabilities.
Aside from being breathable and temperature regulating, Merino wool provides excellent NATURAL sun protection!
The wool fibers (fleece) on the Merino sheep themselves protects their own skin when grazing in the pasture and being exposed to the sun during the day. Therefore, your Merino wool blanket can help protect your child’s youthful and precious skin from harmful UV radiation. Some fabrics can be treated to have additional UV radiation protection, but Merino wool provides this protection all without being treated. And, since we advocate for natural sun protection (i.e. wearing hats, et cetera), Merino has come to our own family's rescue!
This means that time spent in the sunshine, such as taking naps and walks outside, will be more carefree and less worrisome since you’ll know your child is naturally protected from the sun while wrapped in their blanket! And, that way you can actually enjoy those special moments outside together that so deserve enjoying!
What do you enjoy doing outside this time of year?
Merino wool is: Static Resistant
Did you know there were so many wonderful benefits to using and wearing Merino wool before our "Merino wool is: _______" series began!? It's been a joy to teach this series and I hope whenever you need a refresher course, you'll revisit these posts! Today, we are finishing with a lovely quality, especially for our adorable littles.
Merino wool is static resistant! This characteristic of Merino wool is based on some principles we previously talked about in the series, but this benefit hinges primarily on the wool’s ability to absorb moisture from the air around it.
We've all experienced that dreadful static shock at one time or another, right?? You can hear the crackling noises and then you touch something or someone and . . . zap! This is very common in climates with dry air. No fun, right? Especially with little ones!
Since Merino wool absorbs moisture vapor in the air, it tends not to create static electricity. This means it is less likely to cling to the body or other fabrics.
I really love this benefit in our children's blankets during our cold and dry wintery seasons here where we live, which will be upon us soon! But, I know wherever you live, this amazing quality will work its wonders . . . with less of those unwanted zaps!
I surely hope you've enjoyed this series. If you have questions or need advice about all things Merino, please send me a hello by clicking the button below! Thanks for diving deep into Merino wool's loveliness with me and I hope you'll get the chance to experience all of these marvelous benefits yourself someday, if you haven't already!
Many blessings to you,