We often talk about layering for insulation, or wearing wicking fabrics for moisture control, but we tend to neglect the fabric closest to our skin: Underwear!
Cotton vs Merino Wool
Why not just wear cotton undies? Well for starters, you don’t have to wash the wool as regularly and it doesn’t retain any odour, which makes it very attractive! Wool also performs considerably better in terms of durability and moisture control/wicking.
Cotton is made of cellulose and is an incredibly absorbent fabric, meaning it can take some time to dry, whereas wool doesn’t hold onto moisture, so can dry quickly. If you’re looking for underwear that may not feel as sweaty while you exercise, merino wool underwear will keep you drier than cotton. The quick dry benefit is also very helpful when you have to dry your undies overnight at camp.
Value for Money
Now, there’s no way to sugar-coat it, wool is definitely more expensive than cotton and Monica Ebert, from wool athleisure wear brand Core Merino, says that people are often put off by the price. However, considering the reduced need for washing, naturally anti-bacterial properties and greater durability, you end up needing a lot less changes of clothing.
She says that the second myth is that people believe wool to be itchy! You’d be glad to know that those days are over. Scratchy jerseys are a thing of the past. Merino wool is extremely fine and soft, so it won’t itch like other wool, its hypoallergenic and it’s an environmentally sustainable material.
Ebert quotes four reasons that merino underwear is worth the cost:
Wicks well: It’s a strong, natural material that performs well in terms of wicking moisture away from your body, keeping your skin dry and chafe-free.
Climate control: Merino wool is very insulating for its weight. That means it feels very thin, yet it insulates you better than thick cotton would. As a result, you’ll feel warmer in colder conditions (even if the fabric is wet). Conversely, in warmer climates, you won’t feel as hot.
Odour free: Wool is naturally resistant to odour-causing bacteria, which helps keep it odour free even after consecutive days of wear. Normal fabrics such as cotton or synthetics will start to smell bad after you sweat into them.
Long Lasting: Merino wool is almost seven times as durable as cotton. Your wool underwear will stay with you long after your cotton undies have fallen apart.
Go check out the range of Merino undies and other garments at www.coremerino.com.
Read the Hiking South Africa review here.