If you've known us for very long, you'd be well aware of our love for Merino Kids Sleeping Bags. Both of our kids used them for many years and we absolutely swear by them. In fact, I wrote this article quite a while ago espousing their virtues.
It seems however that there may be an even better reason to wrap your kids in wool. So I borrowed this article from the Merino Kids Blog to explain.
Here at Merino Kids, we like to be different!
How? We hear you ask - we use the latest research when designing our products to make sure that not only do we offer a stylish and comfortable solution for your child, but also one in which you can rest easy, knowing that they are wearing the highest, premium quality product on the market, designed with health and well-being in mind.
Many of our competitors use merino wool in their products, however did you know that ALL our products include superfine merino wool, which is of the finest quality, and is classed as a ‘super-fibre’ in the wool industry. The difference is notable between standard wool and superfine merino wool, with superfine merino being of the highest standard due to its ultrafine threads, meaning it does not irritate the skin like traditional wool with its thicker, coarser fibres.
Merino Kids founder, Amie Nilsson, developed our fabulous designs with research she completed on this wonder fibre back in 2003! To this day there are still brands blending natural and synthetic fibres together. At Merino Kids we pride ourselves on making our products with superfine merino and offering our customers a natural choice.
Up to now, there has been little available clinical evidence about the adverse or beneficial effects of superfine merino wool on a child’s skin, with many experts believing that wool is to be avoided if you have sensitive skin. With eczema affecting around 30% of children, many have been led to believe that wool can be itchy and an irritant for those with eczema.
A recent study, conducted by Associate Professor John Su of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, posted in the Journal of British Dermatology, challenges this school of thought. The key points being:
- Superfine merino wool may actually REDUCE ECZEMA rather than worsen eczema symptoms
- Parents involved in the trial said their children enjoyed wearing the woolen garments, found them SOFT and also reported LESS ITCHING and skin clamminess
- Skin irritation from any fibre type partly relates to the diameter of fibres. While wool can have many fibre diameters, only low diameter (superfine) merino wool garments were used in this study
- Wearing superfine merino wool led to an overall GREATER IMPROVEMENT IN ECZEMA, when compared with wearing outfits made of cotton
Another study was also run regarding superfine merino wool and eczema in Brisbane by the Queensland Institute of Dermatology (QIDerm) who have also confirmed the beneficial findings of wearing superfine merino wool:
The trial participants showed substantially REDUCED SYMPTOMS with none of them displaying an allergic or irritant reaction
The results appear to relate partly to the UNIQUE MOISTURE MANAGEMENT properties of wool
The wool appears to be keeping the moisture content of the wearer’s delicate skin at the levels it should be, preventing it from becoming too dry and therefore REDUCING THE RISKS of bacterial infection and the desire to scratch the itch
The experts agree regarding the added benefits of using superfine merino wool in garments for people with sensitive skin.
“When comparing merino with cotton, there are also other inherent differences in fibre properties: merino’s greater ability to transfer moisture vapour and heat than the other major apparel fibres enable it to maintain a more stable microclimate between the skin and the garment.” - Associate Professor John Su, ‘Clinical trial of infants with eczema (MCRI, Melbourne)’.
“We have seen substantial reductions in skin dryness, redness and itchiness and in the measured area of inflammation - and for a number of the patients, this is the first time a real solution to their condition has been presented.” - Dr Lynda Spelman of QIDerm, ‘Clinical trial of adolescents and adults with eczema (QIDerm, Brisbane)’.
“…superfine merino is not able to pierce the epidermal layers, due to its small diameter, thus not initiating a localised, inflammatory response." - Dr Lynda Spelman of QIDerm, ‘Clinical trial of adolescents and adults with eczema (QIDerm, Brisbane)’.
“The studies demonstrate a strong role for superfine merino in fostering healthy skin and managing eczema… The traditional advice to indiscriminately avoid wool against the skin, based on early commentaries that failed to distinguish between wool fibre types, can now be modified to include superfine merino as a recommended next-to-skin clothing choice.” - Program Manager of Fibre Advocacy and Eco Credentials with The woolmark Company, Angus Ireland.
So there you go, it's okay to wrap your kids in wool!