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.
Whether you’re 2000m up, emerging from frigid waters or find yourself on a windswept clifftop, stay out there for longer in our updated base layers. Naturally soft and breathable, and produced sustainably with low environmental impact, our new blend gives Merino’s remarkable properties a helping hand with zero manmade fibres, enhancing fit and comfort yet remaining thermoregulating and breathable.
Keep cool whilst you’re exerting energy, and warm when you’re not; easy to pull on over salty skin with cold hands, light enough to fit under our jeans, knitwear and outerwear, substantial enough to wear on its own.
Our own blend
We’ve been developing our own Finisterre blend of Merino since 2009, starting with a pure 100% Merino wool and gradually evolving a Finisterre weight and blend. It was formed and customised over years of relationships, talking to our knitters about what is best for our Merino base layers, 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.
Over the last decade we have continually sought to improve our base layers. Merino on its own has many remarkable properties but we found it can sometimes twist and ladder when washed – and to combat this, our recent blends gave nature a helping hand with the addition of polyamide to improve the strength and durability of the garment without affecting its softness.
That blend worked well, but we wanted to give you the same benefits using only naturally occurring technical fibres. Blending Merino with Tencel®, a fibre made from regenerated eucalyptus wood pulp, we created a performance fabric with all the benefits of Merino as well as extra upsides all whilst using zero manmade fibres. Created from a fully sustainable and traceable supply line, the blend is 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable, and all without adding to marine pollution. Our base layers retain their shape, are sustainable, odour resistant and last longer between washes, which is both handy for trips with few facilities, benefits you and the planet, not to mention the space saved when packing.
Sustainability: Our new blend is 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable - Wool is a natural protein fibre that is similar to human hair which grows naturally on sheep. Tencel® is a cellulosic fibre, created from wood pulp from sustainable eucalyptus farms.
Natural Fibres and Marine pollution: Wool and Tencel® have been shown to be biodegradable in marine environments.
Animal Welfare: The Merino fibre is sourced from New Zealand certified non-mulesed farms, each lot is traceable back to the farm. All farms must comply to ensure their animals the “five freedoms”:
Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition
Access to adequate comfort and shelter from adverse weather conditions
The ability to display normal patterns of behaviour
To be handled in a manner which minimises pain or distress to the animal
Protection from or rapid diagnosis of, any significant injury or disease.
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.
What is Tencel®?
Tencel® is cellulosic fibre of botanic origin, made using a closed-loop process from regenerated wood pulp from farm grown eucalyptus trees, sustainably grown and FSC certified. TENCEL® fibres are more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen. Naturally hygienic, as the growth of bacteria can be prevented without the use of chemicals, TENCEL® is soft against the skin as the fibres have a smooth fibre surface. It is an environmentally friendly regenerated fabric with a transparent supply chain; there are no old growth forests, genetic manipulation, irrigation, or pesticides use. The European Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification has also endorsed TENCEL®'s farming practices as sustainable.
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 Thailand 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.
COMMON MERINO MYTHS
Some common Merino myths
“Wool is delicate” – Our Merino/Tencel® blend is machine washable, designed to be put through its paces and to last. It is a robust and resilient fabric if it is treated right. See below for our tips for optimal washing; follow the washcare instructions and avoid high spinning, tumble drying or fabric conditioner.
“Wool is itchy” – Our Superfine Merino has a low micron count, between 17.6-18.5 microns. Micron count measures the fineness of the wool fibre, the higher the micron, the thicker the fibre and the more you feel the prickle. Our blend is mixed with TENCEL® fibres which are smooth and silk like creating a soft comforting skin friendly blend.
“Organic wool is better” – Organic is not necessarily better for the animal, which may not be provided with medication and treatment which is against the Soil Association regulations, but which may be vital to ensure the animal does not suffer. When sourcing wool for Finisterre products, we put animal welfare first.
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 400.
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.