Merino is one of the most popular fibres on the market right now, and it’s not hard to see why. Here’s the super fine lowdown on this soft wool:
Merino comes from merino sheep, like the little guy pictured above. The fibre is graded according to how fine its diameter is, using a measurement called micron (or micrometer). The finest fibres have the lowest micron value. Once the fibre has been spun into yarn, the micron value determines whether the yarn should be classed as fine, extra fine or super fine. Super fine merino contains the finest fibres and will usually feel the softest next to your skin. This can sometimes cause a bit of confusion, as ‘extra fine’ merino could be 4 ply, DK, aran or chunky - the name is no indication of the yarn weight!
Merino is an incredibly soft fibre, which does mean that it is not the most hard-wearing. For items that are going to see a lot of use, such as socks or bags, this fibre will start to show the wear, so it may be best to go for a merino blend, or perhaps a different fibre altogether.
On the other hand, merino has a light and bouncy quality to it, and can be great for people who find other types of wool too rough. Most of our merino yarns have also been treated so that they are machine washable, so they are also an easy-care wool option. This means they are great for baby items, or items worn next to the skin, like luxurious scarves and cuddly snoods.
Here are some of our favourite merino yarns: