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Merino fibres are finer than traditional wool, so they feel luxuriously soft next to the skin. And they work in total harmony with the wearer's body due to their excellent natural elasticity. So Merino in next-to-skin garments is ideal for stretch-related activities such as gym workouts and yoga.
The scientific term for "breathability" is moisture buffering. Moisture buffering refers to the fabric's capacity to absorb moisture vapour from the micro-climate above the skin and release it again if the humidity drops.
When someone says a garment "breathes" they are referring to its ability to dissipate perspiration so that the wearer doesn't feel clammy or uncomfortable.
The weight of vapour absorbed by a fibre as a percentage of its dry weight is known as its regain. Merino has a high regain which means that it is better suited to absorbing the moisture vapour produced by the wearer and releasing it into the atmosphere. This results in lowering the humidity in the micro-climate between the skin and the garments resulting in minimised sweating.
This ability to release moisture and minimise sweating will reduce the clamminess felt by the wearer, providing increased comfort during exercise.
Sweating is nature's temperature regulator - the evaporation of liquid from the skin's surface producing a very efficient cooling effect. Potentially, clothing can obstruct this process causing overheating. However, compared to clothing made from other fibres, Merino's process of vapour transfer results in cooler muscles that are able to work at higher intensity levels.
Merino fibre has a natural crimp which provides Merino garments with superior insulation and breathability. Merino garments protect the wearer from extremes of temperature, keeping the wearer warm when the outside temperature is cold, yet cool when the temperature is hot.
The ability to dissipate static electricity means that Merino garments have a reduced attraction to lint and fluff. They will also not cling uncomfortably to the wearer, which synthetics often do during exercise, resulting in a more comfortable workout.
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