Whether you are on a multi-day trek in the mountains or simply lounging at home, wool garments help you stay fresh for longer compared to garments made from other fibres, due to wool’s unique odour resistant properties.
Perspiring is a natural way the human body regulates its temperature, especially
in response to hot conditions or strenuous exercise. However, high levels of perspiration lead to liquid sweat which is the driver of body odour. Sweat itself has no odour, but if it remains on the skin, the humid environment is perfect for bacterial growth, leading to body odour.
Wool has a number of unique properties that minimise the effects of body odour:
- Wearing wool means less sweat and hence less body odour
Wool fibres can absorb large quantities of water vapour (up to 35 per cent of its own weight) – twice as much as cotton and thirty times as much as polyester. This helps to keep the skin surface drier and prevent the build-up of sweat, thereby discouraging bacteria and unpleasant smells.
- Wool absorbs and ‘locks away’ odours
The unique chemical structure of wool enables it to bind odours within the fibre where bacteria do not thrive. The garment not only remains fresher for much longer, it also requires less washing which is good for the planet.
- Wool garments respond well to washing
Odours are significantly released from wool garments when laundered. This means wool garments retain less odour than cotton and synthetics after washing.
Less breathable fabrics such as many synthetics cause the wearer’s skin to become more moist, encouraging bacterial growth and odour development.
Athletes such as mountaineers, who wear clothing for long periods without washing, report less odour build-up when wearing wool apparel compared to synthetics. And while odour resistance makes wool garments very suitable for sports and travel, it also makes Merino wool ideal for everyday next- to-skin items such as underwear, base-layers, socks or T-shirts.