Not Just Made For Mountains:
We've spent years developing, refining and tweaking our own blend of Merino since 2009 so we can be proud of the signature base layers and hardy knitwear we are known for.
We can’t shout enough about how beneficial Merino is, from its moisture-wicking and antibacterial properties to its breathability, durability, softness and warmth.
It’s important to know more about the benefits of Merino wool, where it comes from and how to care for your Merino products so you make the most of them and can keep hold of them for years to come.
Bridging the gap between warmth and comfort, our own Merino blend gives you softness and breathability, all packaged in a timeless style. Not just made for climbing mountains, it’s a wool you can wear every day.
What Is Merino?
Merino wool comes from an ancient breed of the toughest sheep. Excellent foragers and able to survive in the harshest of conditions, their wool has adapted to extreme weather and is revered for its durability, warmth and breathability. This high quality, superfine wool yarn, makes the perfect layer for active wear as well as for winter warmth or cooling down in summer.
The Merino sheep originally hails from Spain and the first flocks date back as early as the 12th century. Today you’ll find the majority of Merino flocks in Australia and New Zealand - although Finisterre has helped build a 100% British Merino supply chain with Lesley Prior - read more about our Bowmont Merino here.
Before the 18th century, the export of Merino sheep from Spain was punishable by death. - it’s a flock which has long been protected and closely guarded for its incredible wool. It wasn’t until 1986 that Australia allowed the export of all Merino sheep.
Why Wear Merino?
One of the best things about our Merino clothing is how thin it is, lending itself to layering up or stripping down. Breathable, soft, and sure to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter, there will always come a time when you’ll need to reach for Merino; whether you’re on the face of a mountain or heading out for a walk.
As surfers, Merino is our go-to because it is moisture-wicking and incredibly soft and warm, perfect for when you emerge from water after a long session in the depths of winter. It goes without saying that Merino is ideal for activewear: climbers, runners, cyclists, hikers alike use our base layers thanks to its antibacterial and temperature regulating properties.
Soft On Your Skin
Naturally soft, you don't get the itch in our Merino. Smooth on your skin, it's why we use it for our underwear and long johns.
The best thing? It's totally natural, and comes from non-mulesed sheep. That's important to us; if you're going to be wearing something next to your skin day in, day out, you want to know that it comes from an animal friendly and sustainable source.
Why Use Our Merino?
Non-Mulesed and Fully Traceable
Our Merino wool is sourced from fully traceable, non-mulesed sheep farms in New Zealand, and is processed and knitted in Europe by eco-label certified spinners.
Mulesing is a painful process carried out on sheep to prevent flystrike. It involves stripping the skin from a sheep’s backside to stop flies from laying eggs in the sheep’s wool. It’s a horrible and extremely cruel process - and in some cases the sheep that have been mulesed still end up suffering a long and painful death from flystrike. It’s the reason we have always used non-mulesed wool for all of our Merino base layers and knits.
Our Own Blend
We’ve been using our own Finisterre blend of Merino since 2009. Over the years, we’ve spent a lot of time out in Portugal, visiting our factories, forming relationships and talking to our knitters about what is best for our Merino base layers. We have developed exactly what we wanted in terms of weight and blend. This is thanks to the time spent talking with the knitters directly, trying things out, product testing, washing samples and wearing them ourselves.
It was a new process for us and them: to customise our Merino in order to make the softest, most comfortable and breathable base layer yet. In previous experience when buying off the shelf, we found ourselves questioning every aspect of the product: finding that it felt too heavy, it didn’t wash particularly well, and it twisted a little. Sometimes nature needs a helping hand, which is why the Merino in our base layers is blended with 20% polyamide. This improves the strength and durability of the garment without affecting its softness.
Whilst we once used 100% Merino to begin with, we began to see problems with twisting and ladders forming in boxers which were washed and worn the most. So we made a change. We went back to the knitters over several trips, visiting Portugal every three months and asked them: how can we improve this? Their advice was to blend it with polyamide. Now our Merino blend is 80/20 and never compromises on quality.
How To Care For Your Merino Wool
Whilst Merino is antibacterial - very helpful when you’re out on a surf trip with no access to a washing machine - it still needs to be washed with care. We have a few tips and tricks for cleaning and caring for your Merino wool products, so you can ensure that they remain a constant part of your quiver:
Wash at 30°C on a gentle wool cycle with similar colours, keep it on a low spin - max 600.
Turn your Merino wool garment inside out when washing as this will help prevent it from piling.
Do not dry clean or tumble dry.
Do not bleach or use fabric softener.
Line dry only away from direct heat.
You can flat dry Merino jumpers, as this will help to keep their shape.
Use a cool iron only if you feel you need to.
Avoid wringing any Merino wool garment as it will stretch and twist the fabric.
Do not hang Merino wool - keep it folded to help maintain its shape.