I have known about merino wool since I studied for my textile degree back in ….. well, let’s just say quite some time ago!!
But what did I know? I knew it existed and that it came from Merino sheep. I knew it was an extremely fine luxury fibre and that the best men’s suits were made from it. I knew it was crease resistant. Later in my career I found that it was being marketed as ‘cool wool’, generally in fine fabrics bound for suiting.
It was only when I moved to New Zealand (where we get the best merino wool from) and joined the fashion buying team at Kirkcaldie & Stains department store (now sadly no longer there) in Wellington that I really discovered all its amazing properties. I can never thank them enough for reintroducing me to it; it appeared that no Kiwi left the house without at least one piece of merino on!!
I had never seen anything like it. Merino is so entrenched in their psyche that I even had to correct some suppliers’ fibre content labels – they only stated “merino” believing that everyone would know what it was. In fact, the label has to state at least the generic term – which is “wool”. It was as if merino was something completely different from wool!
The merino I am talking about was not in suiting fabrics, it was finely knitted and made into all sorts of clothing items, many of them next-to-skin layers. We sold merino underwear, merino jumpers, cardigans, nightwear, dresses, trousers…. The list was endless and merino was just everywhere!!
I decided it had to be tried – and once I tried it, I was a complete convert and never looked back. I have worn it most days ever since. It is the most comfortable thing I have ever worn.
Why was this – well I looked into the properties (I didn’t have to look too hard of course- as everyone over there knows what they are.) Here are some of them -
- The fibres are much, much finer than human hair so you don’t get that itch you do with coarser wools. You hardly know you’re wearing it.
- It gives you lightweight warmth (I have never worn such a light layer in winter and still been warm).
- Here’s the clever bit – it also keeps you cool in the heat!
- It can absorb up to 35% of its own weight in moisture!! No dripping sweat down my back!
- It doesn’t have to be washed very often – it doesn’t smell!
- It doesn’t crease – great for those who have a fear of ironing!
- It’s sustainable, renewable, bio-degradabe – put it in the compost when you are done with it (which won’t be for quite some time)
So that's Merino and Me, but what has this all got to do with Menopause?
Well – when I came back to England to care for my Mum with dementia, I decided I was going to introduce the working women of the UK to this wonderful fibre for the office. (I had discovered that, although merino base layers do exist in the UK they are generally for active wear.) I know how comfortable it is for wearing in the office, especially when you are trying to keep your cool in a meeting full of men and all that hot air!
I still want to do that but, meanwhile – Menopause hit!! Hot flushes galore!! In fact - a real “FlushFest!!”
This is when merino really came into its own. It couldn’t stop the hot flushes – well what can? I have searched high and low for that and not found anything that works for me. So…. the next best thing is to wear the right clothing, keep a pretty fan in every handbag and let nature take its course.
What is that right clothing? You guessed it – Amazing Merino. With all its wonderful temperature regulating properties, its moisture uptake ability and its general comfort I am as comfortable as I can be during a Power Surge.
My favourite item is the merino camisole. It can be worn just on its own or, as it is so fine, it can be layered underneath suits, blouses, other jumpers and can be worn in all seasons. I find the close fit of the camisole is more comfortable than a loose fitting garment as it soaks up any excess moisture. I even sleep in merino, having tried all sorts of different nighties etc. It’s better than sleeping with nothing on as it soaks up the moisture and I don’t wake up dripping. (I will be developing a range of nightwear in Amazing Merino.)
So, there you have it ladies – Merino, menopause and me – I started off wanting to convert all ladies in the UK to merino for many reasons but at the time didn’t realise how great the need is for the right clothing during menopause. (The things your mother doesn’t tell you huh?)
It’s also worth considering that when the world is beset by the problems of plastics generated by man-made fibres there is a completely sustainable and bio-degradable solution provided by nature – Merino wool!
Head to www.amazingmerino.co.uk to experience the wonder that is wool.
If you would like to learn more about merino wool and wool in general here are some useful links:-