Merino Wool Alternatives

Merino is regarded by many as one of the finest and softest wool. And rightly so. They are very versatile material.

Merino clothing is much better than natural fibers like Cotton. They have many advantages like

  • Odor Resistant
  • Quick drying
  • It is a 4 season fiber (both heats and cools)
  • Moisture Wicking even in the vapor state.
  • Strong and Durable
  • Very Elastic
  • No itching due to its delicate fabric
  • Protection against sun’s harmful rays
  • Static Resistant (Prevents sparking/static electricity)

Ultimate Guide to Merino Wool

Alternatives to Merino Wool

This is by no means an exhaustive list but the more common ones.

Linen

Linen FiberLinen is very lightweight and thin. This fiber is very absorbent, and clothes made from linen feel very cool and fresh. It is also one of the best fabric for warm climates and coastal areas. It can absorb a fair amount of moisture without feeling damp, unlike cotton.

You can find various products like aprons, covers, men’s and women’s wear. In fact, linen towel is one of the best travel towels.

Its disadvantage is that due to its poor elasticity, it wrinkles easily.

Linen Clothes Guide 

Seersucker

Seersucker WoolSeersucker is another cotton weave that is best suited for warm climates. You can easily find suits, shorts, robes and shirts that are made from it.

Seersucker is weaved in a manner that gives a wrinkled appearance. But this feature also causes it to be held away from the skin which helps in heat dissipation and air circulation.

Seersucker Clothes for Travel

Hemp

Hemp FiberHemp is very durable (8 times the strength of cotton) material and very eco-friendly. It also blocks harmful UV rays.

One of disadvantage is that it lacks anti-microbial benefits of wool, but it is hypoallergenic and non-irritating.

Hemp Clothing Guide

Ramie

Ramie WoolThe textile made from Ramie is known for its strength and durability. It can hold shape and reduce wrinkle. Its luster is beautiful and silky.

But it is very expensive due to fiber’s complicated extraction and cleaning process.

Choosing Ramie Clothes

Modal

Modal WoolModal is a type of rayon made from beech trees. It is soft, smooth and offers bleaching capacity. The fiber feels very fresh and is very absorbent.

They keep their shape, even when wet and has a lovely drape due to its weight.

Modal Guide

Silver

Silver YarnA polyester or nylon with silver is another alternative to merino wool. It acts as an anti-microbial agent and keeps odor-free longer than other synthetics.

These are mostly used in party and evening wear, cold weather and survival clothing.

Tencel

Tencel FiberTencel (formerly Lyocell) is a form of rayon made from bleached wood pulp. The fiber is smaller than merino, so it resists bacteria more which in turn helps reduce odor. Tencel are soft, absorbent and wrinkle-free. They also drape well.

Tencel is not quite as breathable as merino, but Tencel is more durable. Another great thing about Tencel is that is very environmentally friendly fiber to manufacture albeit more expensive.

Tencel Clothes for Travel

4 COMMENTS

  1. I would recommend bamboo as perfect ecofriendly alternativve.
    While bamboo tells an interesting story about sustainability vs. petroleum-based fibers, structurally their fibers and yarns are almost identical when viewed under a microscope. This is because the bamboo must undergo a chemical liquidation process before it can be turned into a yarn. This process is not terribly different than the process of turning petroleum into synthetic yarns.
    Part of what makes wool so great is its ability to wick moisture in the vapor state. It’s able to do this thanks to a complex, porous structure at the molecular level of the fiber. Humans haven’t figured out a way to match this complexity with a man-made fiber, so the closest we can get is some form of extruded plastic tubes like nylon, polyester, or even bamboo fibers.
    Source: I work in the apparel industry and have taken hosiery courses that touch on the difference between fibers.

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