One of the really unique materials you’ll find at Nordic Outdoor is the Aclima WoolNet. Taking an innovative approach, using merino wool, this creates garments that are ideal for varying levels of activity. The main body of the fabric is a merino mesh material, which in high wear areas is reinforced with stronger and more durable merino wool for increased longevity and comfort.

Outdoor clothing don’t actually keep you warm. What they do is retain the warmth your body create. Because of this it is really important that you think about what you are wearing and that you adapt your layers according to the activity. Insulation in outdoor clothing basically comes down to trapping pockets of air heated by your body, which provides a protective layer against the cold outside. The mesh construction of the WoolNet might not look like it would be very warm, but it actually traps large pockets of air still, making it a warm baselayer when worn underneath other layers. Should you on the other hand get too hot, simply remove the layer you are wearing over the WoolNet and the breeze will do away with the warm layer of air you have created, cooling you down quickly.

The body’s natural way to cool you down is through the evaporation of moisture through the skin. In other words, sweating. This is perfect in warm conditions, in cold conditions the effect when the moisture cools can be anything from uncomfortable to dangerous. To combat this, you will have to trust to both the breathability of your clothing and your own ability to vary your layers according to what you are doing. The open construction of WoolNet means that there are few contact points between the clothing and your body, allowing the sweat to evaporate easily and ensuring that you are not trapping in moisture which can become chilled.

Of course, the challenges posed by our environment are nothing new. They have existed long before humans decided to put clothing on to try to tackle them. Solutions have, on the bright side, also existed for a long time.

Merino wool is an all-natural material, perfected by evolution, ideally suited to deal with whatever the elements can throw at it. Merino sheep are known to live in some of the most extreme climates there is. Their wool has had to adapt for them cope with these conditions. The natural qualities of the merino fibre is like a coil, making it very crimpy. This creates a lot of pockets, where air heated by the sheep can be trapped, insulating against the cold.

 

If you are familiar with wool as a material in clothing, you might also know that it keeps you warm even when it is damp. The explanation as to how this works is that when moisture is absorbed by the wool, water molecules and polar molecular groups of the wool fibres collide. This collision is actually powerful enough to generate heat. This process then continues until the fibre is completely saturated with water molecules. In a perfect world we would always be able to keep our clothes bone dry, nothing beats the comfort of that, but the reality is that if you are active that would be some feat to accomplish. In those cases when you can’t, the ability of wool to warm even when damp comes in handy.

Another useful quality of wool, whether you are a cross country skier or a sheep, is that merino wool is naturally odour resistant. The wool actually absorb the odour from the sweat and contains it, until it is released when you wash the garment. In the same way merino wool can hold up to 30% of its own weight in moisture. This means that the fibres closest to your skin will tend to feel quite dry in a merino wool garment, even if there is a substantial amount of moisture in the fabric.

 

The adaptability offered by its construction, in combination with being made from wool and all that comes with that, makes WoolNet an excellent choice for activities when you are likely to be exerting yourself, and then stop and rest. This makes it ideal for cross-country skiing, hiking, and summit hikes alike, while it is appreciated by kayakers and bikers as well.

While it is unlikely that that any WoolNet garment will be worn as a fashion piece, the functionality of this innovative merino wool material cannot be disputed. 

Explore our range of WoolNet products here!