Merino Wool - a natural fiber with functional properties
Virgin wool is one of the most ideal raw materials for making performance apparel. It has a variety of properties that make it highly valuable and functional. This is especially true of the wool of merino sheep – its fibers are extremely fine which makes it feel soft and luxuriously gentle next to your skin. The individual fibers of this wool are crimped, creating tiny air pockets that trap body heat and provide excellent insulation. At the same time, wool absorbs moisture and moves it outward where it can evaporate. This is a major benefit for your body’s microclimate during outdoor adventures and it makes natural wool an optimal fiber to use for winter clothing. Wool has a high natural fat content (lanolin). The less the wool is treated, the higher the natural water repellency of the clothing.
VAUDE is committed to the Responsible Wool Standard
The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) is a voluntary worldwide standard for producers of virgin wool. A total of 15 brands have committed themselves to it thus far, including VAUDE. Currently, our entire supply chain is in the process of implementing the RWS. The process starts with the farmers who raise the merino sheep, but also includes the companies that process the wool, yarn manufacturers, fabric suppliers, and the textile companies that sew clothes out of this valuable raw material.
Of course, converting to the Responsible Wool Standard isn’t something that can happen overnight. But as a responsible company, we are working diligently to ensure that VAUDE will soon be one of the first outdoor brands to offer products that are RWS certified. And this not only benefits the animals whose virgin wool we use, but also the land they graze on.
For greater animal welfare
As for all of our raw materials sourced from animals, VAUDE also places a high priority on animal welfare when it comes to the production of merino wool. Unfortunately, however, there are also black sheep to be found among producers of wool. In Australia, for example, breeding sheep with highly wrinkled skin is a common practice to increase the animals’ fur yield. This practice, however, can have extremely painful consequences for the animals. Moisture and feces can accumulate in skin folds and attract flies that lay their eggs there. The fly larvae then drill into the skin of their victims after hatching, which often leads to dangerous infections. A widely used "treatment method" by farmers involves mulesing. This is the removal of strips of skin from around the buttocks of the animals without anaesthesia — an extremely painful procedure that often triggers severe inflammation. Animal welfare organizations have therefore long condemned this practice. The Responsible Wool Standard has the potential to make a significant, long term contribution to animal welfare. With our commitment to the standard, we exclusively use mulesing-free wool.
VAUDE Merino Wool Merino Wool - a natural fiber with functional properties Virgin wool is one of the most ideal raw materials for making performance apparel. It has a variety of... read more »