Merino Wool

Posted by Pearl on 2/20/2014
We do a lot of talking about the fact that our yarns from Knitca™ are 100% British or Merino wools. Wool yarn is one of the warmest and sturdiest knitwear products available, but do you know what makes Merino wool, in particular, so special?

Merino wool is from the finely crimped, wooly coat of the Merino sheep, which originally hailed from Spain and Turkey. It has been one of the most sought after yarn supplies since the Middle Ages, and is still considered by many the crème de la crème of wools. Historically, until the 18th century, export of a Merino sheep from Spain was a crime, punishable by death! The Spanish take their Merino wool production very seriously. They should, since they once held a complete yarn monopoly based entirely on their fine yarn spinning and production. Merino is incredibly strong and soft and also abundant because Merino sheep have to be shorn once a year—their coats never stop growing! A fiber of wool from a Merino sheep is usually less than 24 microns in diameter. The ultra-fine spun variety of this wool can be blended with silk or cashmere.

However, it’s important to be sure the wool yarn you’re purchasing comes from the ancient strain of Merinos that have been bred specifically for creating the ultra-soft yarn that is suitable for clothing. Clothing-grade Merino sheep can trace their ancestry to one of three flocks (cabanas): Negretti, Paula, and Royal Escurial. The term Merino has come be used interchangeably in the clothing and textile industries, so it’s important to buy your yarn from retailers who can certify their suppliers (like Knitca™) offer only the finest 100% Merino wool.

Merino sheep now live in many parts of the world, including the United States, and we are proud to offer it to you.