Karsten Delap staying cool in ibex wool. Tai Chi 6b+, Calpe, Spain
First of all, one billion sheep (worldwide census, circa 2011) can’t be wrong. Come summer, sheep around the world shed their heavy wool for a lighter-weight variety. The average sheep only lives about 10 years – they’re not going to spend five of those uncomfortable.
But we’re not resting on our laurels for this one. We’ve collected the top five reasons – from history to culture to science to comfort - to sport Merino wool this summer.
Reason #5: An 18.5-micron Merino is just as soft as your favorite well-worn, cotton T-shirt. In the textile world, we call the “feel” of the fabric, the “hand.” Check out: Ibex U-Sixty T (men’s and women’s).
Good to note that Ibex also makes Merino base layers and tops in the staggeringly low 17.5-micron range.
Reason #4: Wool looks damn good! Okay, this may be a touch subjective, but a wool weave adds that certain “je ne sais quoi” to the sophistication of a silhouette. Men know this from selecting a high quality suit. Women know this from formal clothes to T-shirts. The drape of wool takes an ordinary staple item and makes it extraordinary.
Reason #3: Let’s talk lanolin. Perhaps you’ve heard that wool has antibacterial qualities, meaning that it manages odor far better than synthetics and other natural fibers? It’s all because of lanolin. Lanolin is a natural, oily wax emitted by sheep’s skin. On the sheep it serves as their personal DWR (durable water repellent) and helps to prevent skin infection. Most of the lanolin is washed from the wool during processing. However, just enough remains to prevent mildew and bacteria from building up in your summer running clothes. You in wool = you, less stinky.
Reason #2: The Bedouins of the Middle Eastern deserts and the Tuaregs of the great North African deserts. Yes, you read that correctly. For hundreds of years, these nomadic people have chosen wool for their treks across some of the hottest lands on Earth. Wool is well-known for it’s superior insulation, but few people realize it works both ways. To keep the heat out and the sun off your skin, it’s best to choose a looser fitting wool garment, like the Bedouin “thobe” or the Ibex Seventeen.5 Nelson (or the Seventeen.5 Chelsea for women).
Reason #1: You love the planet. Merino wool is an excellent temperature moderator, retains very little odor, looks great and is soft as a baby’s… cheek. If those reasons aren’t enough to sway you that Ibex Merino wool should be your summertime staple, think about our orb. Wool is a sustainable, natural and 100% biodegradable and compostable fiber. Wool will far outlast most synthetic fibers due to its unique “crimped” structure. But even when it comes time to say “goodbye” to your well-loved woolies, you can rest assured it’s only natural fiber going back to the natural world.
Stay cool, friends.