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Performance Wool

Wool is truly an amazing natural performance fabric. At Western Rise we make several staple pieces with Merino Wool because it’s sustainable, biodegradable, heat insulating, wicking, lightweight, wrinkle resistant, water repellent and cruelty-free. These natural performance features make it the perfect performance fabric for outdoor activities from hiking to skiing, travel, and every day.

We have learned a lot about this amazing fabric from our suppliers, Woolmark and first-hand. Check out this list of fun facts we’ve compiled:

  1. Merino Sheep have a 360-degree field of vision, and sheep do not have to turn their head to see behind them.

  2. Merino Sheep do not need shelter in the rain because the Lanolin, their natural oils, help shed water.

  3. A merino sheep can produce up to 227 lbs of wool in its lifetime.

  4. A Merino wool fiber can draw in up to 30% of its own weight in moisture while staying dry to the touch. This effect otherwise known as wicking pulls 10 times more moisture (and sweat) away from the skin than a synthetic fiber, while maintaining all of its performance qualities. 

  5. The internal structure of each woolen fiber - a three-dimensional corkscrew pattern, or helical ‘crimp’ – gives wool its elasticity. The coiled springs of these molecular chains, with their permanent built-in ‘memory’, make the woolen fibers themselves coil-shaped, accounting for their enduring resilience.

  6. Wool's porous structure is the reason it is such a good thermal insulator, not to mention the mesh of the fibers, which creates millions of air pockets, all of which further help to regulate temperature and humidity.

  7. 8% of male sheep are gay. 

  8. A good shearer can shear a full-grown sheep in 3-4 minutes without causing pain or nicking skin.

  9. Wool is a naturally strong fiber. It can bend back on itself 20,000 times without breaking; compare this to cotton at 3,200 times, silk at 1,800, and rayon at only 75 times.

  10. Lanolin has natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that protect the sheep’s skin from infection, and cause wool to repel bacteria, mildew, and dust mites.

  11. When absorbing moisture on a cold morning, wool releases the energy equivalent of an electric blanket plugged in for over 8 hours.

  12. In the 15th century, Spain's thriving wool trade financed the expeditions of its conquistadors, including the voyage Christopher Columbus made to the New World. Indeed, Columbus came from a family of wool traders.

  13. There are 34.2 million sheep in New Zealand or approximately seven sheep for every human.

  14. Wool is graded by the diameter of the fiber and separated into four categories Strong, Mediums, Fine and Ultra-Fine. Ultra-Fine wool is generally considered 17.5 microns and under (this is the softest and rarest category), Fine is usually 18.5-20 microns (this is level is commonly used for apparel), Medium and Strong wools are used for textiles like blankets and carpets.

  15. A Merino Sheep does not have teeth in their upper front jaw.




Men's StrongCore Merino Tee
Women's StrongCore Merino Tee
Men's DryWeight Merino Henley
Women's DryWeight Merino Henley
Women's DryWeight Merino Tank
Wool High Mask
Merino Liner Cap
Men's Elkton Stretch Flannel
Women's Bailey Stretch Flannel