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What Is Merino Wool & How Do You Wash It?

 

Merino wool is named for a particular breed of sheep, which can be traced back to 12th century Spain. Known for producing fine-wool fibers, Merino sheep have become a popular kind of livestock around the world. In the 18th century, shepherds as far away as Australia and New Zealand received the first Merino flocks. As the fabric continued to evolve, it became known for its high-quality warmth and superfine diameter. 

With the selective breeding of ewes and rams, shepherds have produced many distinctive Merino sheep flocks. All of these breeds create fibers with common characteristics: soft, elastic, absorbent, and hypoallergenic. The fleece from Merino sheep prevents odors by trapping bad-smelling bacteria. In addition, the rippled texture of Merino wool offers exceptional insulation and moisture-wicking. Merino wool fibers also contain lanolin, a waxy substance that acts as a natural water repellent. 

A Classic Fabric with a Modern Twist

When the team at Comrad designed the new Merino wool ankle compression socks, we thought about how we could combine the rich history of Merino wool with the cutting-edge science available today. We began by supercharging the natural odor-fighting powers of Merino wool, bonding silver ions directly to the yarns used to make our socks. Silver repels bacteria, including the germs that cause odor. Our proprietary SmartSilver treatment keeps your socks fresh longer, no matter how much you sweat. 

Next, we thought about how we could fuse the durability of Merino wool with the targeted compression and 360-degree arch support that make our original ankle socks so special. Studies have shown that compression therapy can improve postural stability and reduce inflammation

As a result, you may notice that compression socks make you less likely to develop overuse injuries, like plantar fasciitis and stress fractures. Better yet, compression socks reduce swelling and leave you feeling energized even after a long day on your feet. You should be able to feel the benefits of compression right away. 

We make it easy to commune with nature in our socks, especially since you know that our merino wool is certified by the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS). This means that we protect the welfare of sheep and the land they graze on. 

The moisture-wicking properties of Merino wool make it a great choice for your next outdoor adventure. Merino wool garments are known for regulating body temperature, making them the perfect lightweight base layer. Because Merino is suitable in any climate, it is an ideal fabric for underwear and socks that cannot be swapped out easily throughout the day. Merino wool fabric also doesn't need to be washed as frequently as other materials, so it serves as a versatile item to bring on multi-day outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, and skiing trips. 

We recommend cleaning our Merino wool socks every 3-4 wears. 

Care Instructions

Compared to other types of wool, Merino wool provides more options for laundering. You can even machine wash this fabric, as long as you use cool water. 

Begin by turning your socks inside out and selecting a cycle with low spin and cool water. Simply run the load on delicate and avoid detergents that contain enzymes. Since enzymes break down amino acids for stain removal, they can also degrade the natural Merino fibers in your socks. 

Detergents without enzymes will normally be marketed as "detergent for delicates" or "non-biological detergents.” Also, avoid using fabric softener, which coats wool with chemicals that lessen its effectiveness. 

Although Merino wool socks are machine washable, you may also opt to hand-wash your socks. This is the safest method of laundering, and it may extend the life of your garments. To hand-wash, put the socks in a washbasin with cold water and detergent. Move the socks around to make sure that the detergent is distributed evenly, then let the garments soak in the mixture for up to half an hour. Rinse with cool water, but do not wring out the socks. Instead, press the excess water out with gentle pressure. 

Once you have washed your socks, you should lay them out on a clean towel to dry or hang dry. Do not tumble dry since that may lead to shrinking or stretching.

If your socks have stains, you may also pretreat them with a spot treatment. The formula for the spot treatment will vary, depending on the spill. For brown dirt or mud stains, you can use liquid laundry detergent. Red dirt stains come off with the help of liquid dish soap.

Our World Famous Allies—Only Better

Our customers have loved our ankle socks for years because they offer the medical benefits of compression therapy with a low profile that's ideal for pairing with sneakers. Unlike some other ankle socks on the market, they don't slip and get lost in your shoe. That's because we've engineered some amazing features—slide-free cuffs, extra toe and heel padding, and 360-degree support. 

Now, we've added the timeless durability of Merino wool to our original design. As a result, these socks naturally wick liquid away. The long fibers capture sweat in the airy loft, where it's transformed into vapor. It may sound like magic, but these qualities actually come from hundreds of years of selective breeding by shepherds. 

When you combine the unique history of Merino sheep's wool with the emerging scientific research on compression technology, the resulting socks are unstoppable. 

Give our newest compression socks a try—but be sure you don't wash them too often. They're designed to be worn again and again (and again) in all kinds of weather. 

Sources:

Merino | Breed of Sheep | Britannica

Wash Merino Wool Sweaters and More In 7 Easy Steps | The Laundress

How to remove mud from clothing | Today

Types of detergent | Which is the suitable detergent for you? | Good House Keeping

Effects of compression stockings on ankle muscle H‐reflexes during standing | Wiley Library

Compression Stockings Reduce Occupational Leg Swelling | Wiley Library

Inflammation and compression: state of the art | DOAJ

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