Summer-weight wool is not for the uninformed.
********** ORIGINALLY POSTED JUNE 26, 2013 **********
It’s been said that wool is a gateway to the heavier stuff. Start out wearing wool in the summer and before you know it, you’ll be sporting balaclavas at afternoon barbeques and parkas long before Labor Day.
Yeah, it’s true. Wool can lead you to a life of warmth, which sad to say, can be overdone.
It’s a treacherous line we walk when we start playing fast and loose with traditional fabric designations. Man, you’ve got to keep your head on straight. Just like the best things in life, wool in summer is a game of education and moderation.
Summer-weight wool is not for the weak. Your average oily…err… synthetic short sleeve women’s technical top weighs in around 4-oz. An Ibex women’s, short sleeve Seventeen.5 Merino wool shirt packs on an additional 0.64-oz. That’s the equivalent of carrying an extra 2-3 grapes on your back (grapes, as in wine, snacks, yumminess).
Summer-weight wool is not for the adamant anti-fashionista. If you want your clothes to scream, “I’m an outdoor athlete, as you can see by my technical seaming and boxy silhouette,” Ibex summer-weight wool is not for you. The texture and drape of Merino wool, together with Ibex styling, mean people won’t know if you just came from the coffee shop or from flashing a 5.13. Sorry, we do things more like this.
Summer-weight wool is not for those who don’t sweat. Since wool has natural anti-bacterial qualities, wool gear fights off odor like Wonder Woman fighting off death rays with her bracelets. If you always smell like sweet honeysuckle pinched from the vine – even after a 10-mile trail run – you don’t need us.
Summer-weight wool is not for the uninformed. Technically, this isn’t really true. But before you open the door to summer-weight Merino wool, it’s helpful to know that not all wool is created equally. To maximize comfort and understand the moderation curve of which wool to where and when (…wow!), here’s what you need to know:
· Micron: This is the diameter measurement of the individual wool strands. Summer-weight wool will clock in around 18.5-microns and under. 17.5 is crazy low and is as soft as your well-worn cotton t-shirt.
· Quality: Here’s where it gets tricky. Not every strand of fiber in 17.5-micron wool will be 17.5-microns –some will be larger (more coarse) and some will be small (booyah!). Bottom line: there’s a sliding scale of quality even among similarly named wools. Find a manufacturer you like and trust.
If you want the wool (as most sane people do), you’ve gotta make sure you can handle the wool. Start by visiting this page: http://shop.ibex.com/Why-Merino-Wool-In-The-Summer