Merino wool makes a comeback in the firefighting industry
Published: 19 January, 2012
For centuries wool had been the fibre of choice for clothing worn by soldiers, police, firemen and search and rescue teams because of wools natural protective properties and its versatility over a wide range of extreme environments but over recent years these benefits have been forgotten, that is until now.
Armadillo Merino has taken to resolving the issues of synthetic baselayer garments melting into the skin from extreme heat and an increase in the incidence of skin infections. Textile and knitting technology have been combined with superfine merino wool (using wool’s natural FR properties) to create a new generation of performance baselayers for first responders that help protect the skin from fire and reduce the incidence of skin infections in addition to wools traditional insulative properties.
The Elite range of specialist lightweight garments are to be worn next to skin in extreme environments. To maximise comfort against the skin the internal care labels have been removed and the garments have been constructed so there are no seams under the armpit or on the shoulders reducing the risks of skin abrasion. Armadillo Merino provides a lightweight clothing solution for fire and search & rescue teams delivering superior protection, performance and comfort.
But why merino wool?
Merino wool is nature’s performance fibre. Merino is a superfine breed of wool that is used in all the Armadillo Merino garments because of its strength and next to skin softness.
Armadillo Merino garments protect wearers because they:
Have natural flame retardancy up to 600 Centigrade
Don’t melt, shrink or stick to skin when exposed to high temperatures
Don’t produce toxic odours when burning
Have the highest natural UVP factor against other fibres, giving added protection from the sun
Provide a high resistance to acids
Offer greater resistance to chemical residues and aerosols than synthetics
Thermoregulate the skin, reducing overheating or chilling
Moisture manage the skin - reducing the rate of moisture lost in exercise and incidence of skin infections
Are naturally antibacterial - wont infect wounds
Don’t generate offensive odour even after prolonged use
Are soft yet incredibly strong and durable
Are annually renewable and are biodegradable
Is very Easy Care – being machine washable and quick drying
The Armadillo Merino brand is managed by Ministry of Wool Ltd, a Derbyshire based company that specialises in the development of performance-based apparel utilising the properties of merino wool fibre for specialist market niches.
The merino fibre is sourced under the Zque accreditation program that provides traceability and transparency back to merino sheep stations in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.