All you need to know about merino wool yarn. –

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merino wool for blankets

All you need to know about merino wool yarn.

merino wool

All you need to know about merino wool yarn.

Merino wool is a superior natural fibre.

Are you ready to learn all about merino wool and why we love it so much?

Today we’re focusing on merino wool yarn, and we're going to deep dive and learn everything we can about what makes it so spectacular.

This is what we’re going to cover:


  • What is merino wool yarn?
  • What a merino sheep is
  • Why merino wool is expensive.
  • Whether merino wool pills
  • Does merino wool itch?
  • Does merino wool shrink?
  • How to wash merino wool


What is merino wool yarn?

Merino wool yarn comes from merino sheep. Merino sheep are famous for their extremely soft wool.

The most popular merinos are Australian Merinos. They have played a big role in the yarn industry since 1800.

Merino wool is really soft because it’s micron is really low between 21 and 24.

Merino wool is such a wonderful choice for knitting yarn because it offers a long smooth fibre that is really warm and lightweight.

What is a merino sheep?

Merino sheep are prized for their wool and are also becoming utilised as a source of meat.

These sheep are very adaptable and great grazers, they are bred mostly for their wool but they are more commonly being bred for meat too now.

A Merino sheep produces 4.5 to 6 kilograms of wool per year.

Fine Merino wool and the quality we’re really interested in is less than 21.5 micron, extra fine is under 19.5 micron.

merino sheep

Why is merino wool expensive?

There are multiple reasons why Merino wool is more expensive than other yarns.


  • Merino sheep are shorn between August and November so they have a coat for the winter. Their coat also has to be the right length before shearing.
  • Each sheep is carefully assessed for quality before shearing to ensure it hits the right expectations.
  • Merino sheep welfare is taken very seriously. They are free range and need proper nutrition and water to grow the fleece we so love.
  • Merino yarn is such a quality grade wool so the demand is higher hence it being more expensive.

Worth the investment when you’re getting the comfort of a warm, soft hug every time you pop your Merino knitted item on!

Will Merino wool yarn pill?

Pilling or bobbling is when fuzzy balls pop up on wool garments. It is caused by rubbing during wear.

The most common areas are around the elbows, armpits, sleeves, belly and the sides of the garment because this is where the arms are always rubbing against the body.

Merino wool yarn doesn’t pill because of how long the fibre is. However if you purchase lightly spun yarn it can pill because of the spinning and not the fibre itself. Make sure to check this!

Does Merino wool yarn itch?

Merino wool yarn is finer so it’s softer.

It’s also low allergenic which definitely helps keep it soft against skin.

So no, Merino wool doesn’t itch. Be aware that whilst the label may state 100% merino there are many different grades of merino, spun thicker & thinner and knitted to different specifications.

Does Merino wool shrink?

Merino wool can shrink when it is agitated. This can happen with hot water or heat agitation, like from a dryer.

If the wool has felted, it can’t be unshrunk and should be repurposed but if it hasn’t felted there is a way to unshrink your merino wool garment.

Merino wool needs very gentle care so take note of the washing instructions and follow them to preserve your garment.

How to wash Merino wool yarn

We already know Merino wool garments need special care but what does this mean?

You can wash Merino wool items in a washing machine but make sure it’s on a cool gentle cycle to avoid any agitation!

Don’t ever put your Merino garments in a dryer because that is where this high-quality natural fibre goes to die. Lay it flat to dry and keep out of direct sunlight to protect the dye.

Hand washing is optimal. In a basin with cool water and a specific wool wash. Don’t wring it out, rather roll it out in a towel to get rid of any excess moisture.

Tags: blanket, merino