Just bought your first set of Merino Wool hunting garments? Here’s how to take care of it so that it lasts a lifetime.
When you take care of your Merino wool, it takes care of you. This dense, durable, tough little fabric comes from the wool of the Merino sheep. This type of sheep is world renowned for producing the finest fibers of wool. The finer the fiber, the more it knots together. The more it tangles, the less chance of ripping and tearing. These are all qualities that make Merino Wool the finest fabric in the world for hunting gear.
Let’s look at why Merino is ideal for hunting, then review how you can take care of it properly to make it last.
What is it about this fabric that makes hunters rely on it, all over the planet? It has so many wonderful qualities that we need to write a list. First off, there is that roughness caused by the fine fibers. Add to that toughness that Merino is silken-soft. The softness makes it brilliant for base layers, which make up the essential foundation of any hunter’s cold weather gear.
Merino Wool is thin enough to be used as that base layer without upsetting the layers you add on top. It is moisture wicking, too, meaning that any sweat it endures is simply soaked away. You might think this would make it smell bad, but now, Merino Wool is also odor resistant. It always smells the same – and nothing like sheep at all.
So, it’s tough, soft, smells OK, moisture wicking, and it’s even waterproof. This makes it just as useful on those outer layers as it is on the base layer. It’s the best all-round material for hunting in cold weather, but that doesn’t mean that the old timers don’t use Merino in the summer, too. It’s just that versatile.
How to Take Care of Merino Wool
Last of all, Merino Wool is long-lasting. Learn to take good care of your garments and they will last a lifetime. Here are some tips on caring for Merino wool hunting gear care for when you need it most.
You should wash your wools after you return from a hunt. They might be odor resistant, but they still soak up your sweat. Wash it on a low speed, at a low heat, and do not use bleach or fabric softener. Use a mild soap only.
When washing, place the wool inside the machine alongside some coarser fabrics. A denim or a burlap will catch all the free fibers out of the Merino. This stops it fluffing up or bobbling.
Do not tumble dry your Merino Wool pieces. Instead, get them out to line dry or hang them over a heater. You should not wash and dry your Merino Wool more than once every couple of months. Leave to air dry naturally or you risk shrinking the garment. This is the same reason we do not wash it on high temperatures, since wool is prone to shrinkage.
If your Merino Wool has Shrunk
If it’s too late for you and that wool has already shrunk in the wash, you can try to unshrink it a little. Fill a bathtub full of lukewarm water, dissolve as much fabric softener as you can into the water, then add the garment. Leave it to soak for a while and try to stretch it out. Rinse well with cold water. You can even try this more than one time in a row to get back to the desired size. Leave it to dry naturally between each attempt.