If you’re like me and prefer indulging your outdoorsy side whenever possible, you probably have some special treasured wool items you’re actually happy to get out of the back of your closet when the temps start to drop. You look forward to that time of year just a little more thanks to a few famous brands that have really brought wool back to everyone’s winter sports gear list.
Although Merino and other wools are ‘made by nature’ some people don’t realize what an amazing little technology wool is. Thanks to wool’s special shape and structure, its great at wicking moisture, breathing when you need ventilation, and of course famous for its ability to insulate even when wet. How it can possibly do so many things well at the same time requires a little explanation.
If you think about how an animal’s natural coat would be good at moving moisture out to where it can be evaporated, it kind of makes sense. Sheep need to have a controlled climate near their skin to stay healthy and keep their stress levels down. The surface shape of wool fibers offer natural capillary action. Under increasing moisture conditions, the fiber swells and the grooves that manage moisture get even more surface area to speed up evaporation. Heat which builds up while you’re working out speeds it up even more.
Besides wool’s surface which seems almost engineered to move sweat, wool is also really kinky, so there’s lots of air between the fibers when it’s knitted into fabric. If you’re wearing wool as a top layer, you’ll usually have plenty of fresh air accessing your skin to keep you comfortable. For when you put it under a wind layer, airspace is a natural insulator. The bottom line is wool is well suited to extreme changes while you’re out, like when you have warm weather early on a hike, but crazy conditions at the summit a few hours later.
So maybe you already know wool is special, but you probably haven’t met the c2 wool products yet. This past spring and summer we have been designing some base layer tops which combine the best qualities of wool with PolartecⓇ comfort forward fabric design. What they came up with is the most comfortable base fabric I’ve ever worn. Check them out at an event this fall, or right here on our website.