Merino Comfort & Wool Quality for Next-To-Skin Merino

Merino Comfort & Wool Quality for Next-To-Skin Merino

Wool’s place in high-end fashion and suiting is well established but a new emerging market of next to skin merino, base layer merino and intimate merino appeal is gaining momentum.
New merino testing technologies gives these emerging markets, both retailers and consumers alike, consistent results of wearer merino comfort and quality for next to skin merino wear.

merino sports wearWool ComfortMeter And Wool HandleMeter

When evaluating Merino comfort and wool quality for next-to-skin wear, the most common concerns that people have are prickle, allergies, and itch. The misconception that wool lacks the softness that is essential for next-to-skin comfort is based largely on subjective estimates of the fabric’s handle and feel. However, the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) and Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) have made a break through testing meters available, Wool Comfort Meter and Wool Handle Meter. These two new measures of Merino comfort and wool quality are objective and unbiased and give retailers consistent, repeatable results on the quality of the merino products to ensure a superior merino next to skin consumer experience.

What Are A Fabric’s Comfort And Handle?

Merino Comfort

A merino fabric’s comfort refers to its level of smoothness and wearer experience often referrenext to skin merinod in the past as a level of prickliness. Comfort is dependent on the fibre’s diameter, the spin and yarn finish used in the processing of the wool fibre and the fabric construction.

In general the finer the micron (smaller the number) the softer and more comfort next to skin with fibres of a diameter of less than 18 micron deemed to be comfortable and is suitable for next-to-skin wear.

Superfine merino wool is defined as between 15.6 and 18.5 microns are excellent fabrics for base layer garments and ultrafine merino wool, 15.5 microns and finer ideal for next to skin merino and intimate appeal wear. Hear more about next to skin merino comfort and handle meters and an Australian superfine grower’s bid to ensure the comfort and wearer experience for ultrafine and superfine merino end users as featured on Australian Broadcasting Commission Landline.

Merino Fabric Handle

A fabric’s handle, on the other hand, refers to its softness or feel by hand. The handle is dependent on the fibre’s thickness, density, and weight. Contrary to what most people believe, tests have conclusively shown that a fibre’s comfort and handle are unrelated attributes.

A fibre can, therefore, be hard to handle, but can have a high comfort value with a low prickle. On the other hand, a fibre can be incredibly soft to handle, but can be associated with high prickle or discomfort.

How Can I Evaluate Merino Comfort & Wool Quality For Next-To-Skin Wear?

You may already know that Merino wool garments are sustainable and naturally breathable. You may also be aware that Merino is a moisture wicking and odour resistant fibre.

But are you confident that you want to wear a Merino garment against your skin?

To make this intimate decision, you don’t have to rely on a subjective evaluation anymore.

Two new measures of Merino comfort and wool quality developed following five years of extensive research by Sheep CRC, have taken the guesswork out of Merino comfort and wool quality for next-to-skin wear.

merino next to skinThese two instruments empower retailers and consumers alike by providing increased transparency and confidence that Merino is the fabric of choice for base layers and next-to-skin wear with a superior feel and comfort factor that outperforms all other fibres.

Endorsed by the Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) as commercially viable and effective methods of assuring quality and comfort, these new technologies are set to revolutionize how consumer expectations are met by providing predictable comfort and guaranteed softness.

1. What Is The Wool ComfortMeter?

The Wool ComfortMeter is a breakthrough technology and is a new measure of Merino comfort and wool quality. It works by counting the number of protruding fibres in a given area of the fabric or fibre and accurately correlates this to wearer comfort.

The higher the number of bulging fibres, the more is the associated discomfort. The Wool ComfortMeter is, therefore, a quantifiable measure of Merino comfort and wool quality for next-to-skin wear. It also has useful commercial applications as a quality assurance test for medical and baby products.

For the benefit of consumers, the predictive value of the Wool ComfortMeter (WCM) has been honed by large scale wearer trials conducted over a period of four years.

How Does the Wool ComfortMeter Work?

  • The meter is non-destructive and scans the fabric placed on its testing bed, providing a single value indicating the fabric’s comfort level, with lower the WCM score the higher comfort level experience for the consumer.
  • There are three comfort level ratings within two wearer descriptions of active wear and every day fashions.

1.1 Active Wear

The active wear description has lower value ratings of between WCM 250 to 400 making it ideal for next-to-skin wear with the average person perceiving no discomfort at this level.

It takes into account the raised skin temperature of the active wearer, which raises the sensitivity of the skin to any irritation and hence the lower WCM value levels for this wearer description.

They are describe WCM values of 250 or less as luxurious and premium comfort next to skin experience at an elite performance activity level.

merino next to skinThese values give a wool comfort level described from luxurious though to everyday comfort depending on the level and intensity of consumer activity and well described in their Next-To-Skin, Wool Comfort & Handle pdf at

1.2 Everyday Fashions

The everyday comfort description group have a WCM value range of 450 to 600 in three user comfort levels.

Again the lower figure WCM value offers the best next to skin comfort experience to the most active consumer within this everyday fashions group.

2. What Is The Wool HandleMeter & How Does It Work?

This is a new measure of Merino (comfort and) wool quality that objectively evaluates the softness of a fabric by measuring the force required to push it through the Wool Handlemeter (WHM) instrument’s nozzle.

Like with the ComfortMeter, the HandleMeter does away with prior subjective assessments and gives a score rating or value on a number of the fabrics attributes including the fabric’s softness, warmness, smoothness, hairiness, and tightness. The WHM gives a value of between 1 to 10, and the higher the WHM value the softer the handle.

Unbiased And Repeatable Merino Comfort & Handle Values

It provides unbiased information about Merino comfort and wool qualityand handle values for next-to-skin wear. The Wool HandleMeter WHM is, therefore, an independent and objective calibration of a fabric’s handle or feel, which overrides previous subjective estimates and language barriers across global supply chains.

ComfortMeter & HandleMeterRead more about these new exciting technologies and down load their brochure at

Is Superfine Merino Wool Ideal For Next-To-Skin Wear?

Quite simply put, yes. New measures of Merino comfort and wool quality, by way of the Wool ComfortMeter and the Wool HandleMeter, have created clear product differentiation.

The bad reputation that wool had for being too itchy and prickly for base layer garments has been decisively repaired. It’s easier than ever for retailers to offer consumers quality merino next-to-skin and active merino wear.

Superfine and ultrafine Merino wool can now be independently certified as the most comfortable next-to-skin garments, offering unrivalled comfort and ultimate customer satisfaction. We now have the opportunity to confidently say that Merino comfort and wool quality for next-to-skin wear is unparalleled by any other fabric.

Non mulsed Australian superfine merino

What Is Merino Next-To-Skin Wear?

merino base layer

You have probably heard of ultrafine merino wool, and you are likely aware of the importance of a base layer merino, but are you wondering what is merino next-to-skin wear?merino base layer

These similar terms refer to the layer or merino clothing worn closest or directly next to the skin.

Superfine merino and ultrafine merino wool is increasingly used in a wide range of wool clothing.

Ultrafine merino is worn ultra-close, next-to-skin in the form of merino underwear and thermal wear with superfine merino in the next closest to skin garment to complete the merino base layer.

Superfine Merino Wool and Wool Blends

Many people associate the word “wool” with a prickly, itchy, and uncomfortable fibre that is the least likely candidate for a good next-to-skin fabric.

However, in recent years, merino sheep farmers and textile processors have combined forces and used advances in technology to develop next-generation merino and merino wool blends that are ideal as a base layer.

Ultrafine and Superfine Merino Next to Skin

Wool is an inherently natural and breathable fabric that can keep you warm in cold weather and cool in warm merino next to skinweather, and it is this property that makes ultrafine merino and superfine wool especially suitable for next-to-skin garments.

Millions of air pockets in merino wool trap a layer of air next to the skin and retain body heat in cold weather. Ultrafine merino underwear as a first layer next to skin is, therefore, insulating and keeps you toasty warm in even the harshest weather conditions.

By transferring perspiration away from the body, regulating temperature, and keeping you well ventilated in warm weather, base layer merino underwear keeps you from overheating or feeling clammy.


New Research highlight Health Benefits of  Superfine Merinosleeping with wool

Recent research has highlighted that babies sleep for longer and more settled when sleeping with wool. It is thought that merino wool ability to control skin moisture encourages a more even body temperature, resulting is an increased level of comfort for improved sleep.

Further early research results are finding these natural merino characteristics are also assisting in the treatment of  some skin conditions.

Performance Merino Clothing

merino sportswearSuperfine merino and ultrafine merino is used in an increasing range of merino wool clothing from the traditional designer garments and suits to include a new fine light weight merino knit fabric, used in next to skin wear and base layer merino in the performance merino clothing arena.

Next To Skin Merino

The spectrum or range of next to skin wear and base layer merino in clothing includes underwear and casual everyday wear to travel wear, active wear to sportswear or performance wear merino and merino blends with users from inexperienced to elite levels across many sports and occupations.

Merino Sportswear and Active Wearmerino sportwear

Next-to-skin Merino can wick away moisture from the body for a dry and comfortable feel, making Merino active wear and Merino sportswear popular with both amateur fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes striving for peak performance.

It’s possible to stay fresh much longer with a merino wool base layer because it is odour resistant and can be worn for longer duration without any unpleasant smells.

Pure Merino and Merino blends outperform all other fibres when it comes to extreme sports.

performance merino clothing 6Performance Merino clothing is the soft, comfortable, and friction-free alternative to uncomfortable synthetic fabrics or moisture-retaining and slower drying cotton.

With its low warmth-to-weight ratio, Merino is a lightweight and gently stretchable fibre that allows freedom of movement without chaffing, making performance Merino sportswear an unparalleled fabric to take your game to the next level.

Merino Next to Skin Wear Recommendation

Cold can mean just a slight nip in the air, but what is merino next-to-skin wear when it comes to extreme weather conditions? Merino wool is the base layer of choice for Tasmanian and Antarctic adventurer/guide Ewan Blyth who swears by next-to-skin merino underwear as the fabric of choice on the world’s coldest and windiest continent.

With a maximum recorded low of -89.6 degrees Centigrade, an average winter temperature of -50 degrees Centigrade, and sub zero temperatures in the summer months, not to forget the wind chill factor, keeping warm can never be more important than on the White Continent.

Blythe states his merino next-to-skin garments are resilient and easy to care for and that they keep him warm even when wet. He also finds merino base layers are astonishingly comfortable and don’t develop an offensive smell if he gets sweaty when he’s working hard showing visitors the spectacular scenery from sea kayaks.

Ultrafine Merino Next to Skin Wear for Warm and Cool Seasons

Cold weather is all very well, but you could rightfully be wondering what the role of Merino next-to-skin wear is in warmer climes? It may surprise you to learn that “wool is for cold climates” is a misconception and that lightweight Merino wool is an excellent warm weather fabric. Wool growers in Australia have worked with researchers in the textile processing industry to enhance the natural properties of Merino wool and make it suitable as a base layer for hot climates.

next to skin merinoOn account of its breathability and moisture wicking properties, Merino wool provides dry comfort in the hottest of weather conditions. Ultrafine merino in next to skin wear soothes your skin and keeps you cool in summer, protects and gives warmth in the winter. Australian merino sheep experience a vast range of climatic conditions from extremes of heat to cold, wet to dry with their merino fleeces sheltering them, keeping them safe from the elements.

Ultrafine Merino Base Layer Comfort Assurance

Whether you’re a fashion-conscious diva looking for a smooth fitting base layer or a busy mother of three for whom comfort is paramount, pure Merino and Merino blend base layers provide a lightweight, breathable, and luxurious fibre that is unmatched in comfort.

next to skin merino

This is not an unsupported claim based on human estimation. Five years of trials and more than 25,000 individual assessments have led to the development of two calibrating instruments that can accurately measure a garment’s wearability and next-to-skin comfort.

Skin comfort from base layer Merino has been objectively measured and found to consistently surpass consumer expectations. There’s no guess work involved any more, and pure Merino and Merino blends have come out winners when it comes to comfort in next-to-skin wear.

Cool Wool

Cool Wool is a sub-bramerino cool wool 8nd of Woolmark and is the latest trend that all the leading and influential designers are showcasing, taking advantage of this versatile fabric’s incredible features.

Cool Wool has featured on the spring/summer and autumn/winter collections of designers all around the world, catering to the growing demand for a fabric that is natural, sustainable, and supremely luxurious.

Superfine merino is a soft and fine fabric that is the epitome of luxury and the last word in elegance. Cool Wool has also gained popularity as it is lightweight and wrinkle free, making it ideal for global travel.

What is merino next to skin Wear?

Next-to-skin superfine merino is easy to care for, elastic, incredibly light, crease-resistant, fire-retardant, odour-repellant, and UV protecting, making it an exceptional base layer fabric. Now if someone asks, “What is Merino next-to-skin wear?” you can tell them it is a naturally breathable sustainable fibre that is ideal for next-to-skin wear with a veritable laundry list of beneficial features.