shearers shearing sheep

New Study Backs Wool for ‘Stop-Go’ Sports

Written by Julie Bird, founder of Sleepy Merino, and a wool grower from Inverell NSW. Julie's mission is to improve the sleep and well-being of people all over the world with Australian Merino wool.

What many of you Merino wearers already knew, has now been proven! A recent Australian Wool Innovation study found scientific proof that 100% wool fabrics provide better thermal comfort than other natural and synthetic fabrics for ‘stop-go’ activities such as hiking, cycling, and shearing, especially during the resting phases when there is potential chilling.  

In fact the results for wool were outstanding, being the fibre with the highest capacity to buffer a transition from an environment of 45% relative humidity to 80%, with an impressive temperature buffering efficiency that is 26% superior to viscose, 45% superior to cotton, and 96% to polyester. While the polyester dried more quickly, this didn’t translate to enhanced comfort. In fact the reverse was observed. While the wool fabric stabilised thermal sensation after the first 10 minutes of resting, the polyester was still trending cooler and less comfortable after 25 minutes or more.

Sportspeople wearing wool also use less energy to maintain their thermal equilibrium, half or less than other fibres, leading to improved performance, with further work underway to identify the scale of this effect.

We have also done our own unofficial study in the Cressbrook shearing shed, with our shearers finding that their Sleepy Merino shearer’s singlets wick heat and sweat away from their skin during a run, so they remain dry during their ‘smoko’ break, for less chilling and better performance once they start back up again.

While Sleepy Merino is about sleep and loungewear, many of our items are also used for activewear by our customers. Next time you are parked up next to a peloton of lycra wearing, 'wiffy' cyclists at the cafe, help spread the word on the performance and comfort benefits of 100% fine Aussie Merino!

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