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Why does Armadillo Merino® keep me warm?

Posted by Hamish on 06-Nov-2017 09:58:45

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Why does Armadillo Merino® keep me warm?

As we head into the winter season, we get asked, how does Armadillo keep me warm. Here we try to answer that question, without going to deep into the science.  

Armadillo Merino® is a great natural insulator. It keeps you warm without you overheating, and keeps you cool when it is hot, but that is another story. How does it do it?

1. Natural Fibre structure

The secret, is the natural fibre structure that creates tiny pockets of air within each wool fibre. These provide both both insulation and breathability.

2. Natural Crimp

What also helps is the natural crimp of Armadillo Merino® as it helps to move moisture away from your skin. This natural crimp also traps more tiny pockets of air which once again act is an insulator. When we select wool for our garments we only select fleeces where the fibre is longer, and has a strong natural crimp, for this reason. This is also the reason why we only use Merino wool. The Merino sheep naturally has a strong natural crimp, and also long fibre.

3. Natural Science

There is also natural science at work here, and it is a little complicated. When wool gets wet, it generates a little heat, 100% naturally.

How does it do this? It is due to the chemical building blocks of the wool fibre, amino acids. These are hydrophilic (water-liking), meaning that they attract and absorb water molecules into the chemical structure of the fibre. Water binds within wool’s structure through the action of hydrogen bonds in a process known as absorption. When this happens, there is a small natural chemical reaction.  This reaction generates heat when water is bound (absorption) and takes up heat during moisture loss.

The same hydrogen bonds that bind the water molecules are reversible; water can be shed in a process known as desorption. In simple terms, wool likes to absorb, then get rid of water.

Warm when wet?

Yes, the same little air pockets at work again. Even when Armadillo Merino® is soaking wet, it will still be warm, as there are still air pockets inside the fibre, insulating and keeping you warm.

In summary

The combination of the fibre's tiny pockets of air, the natural crimp and the chemical and physical processes that take place when Armadillo Merino® meets moisture make it great to wear when it is cold and wet.

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To learn more,  download our detailed attribute whitepaper.

 Download Thermoregulation Technical Paper

Armadillo Merino® tested in extreme cold of Siberia

 

Topics: Merino Wool Knowledge, Search and Rescue

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