Learn more about Merino wool and Merino woollen underwear.

In House Manufacturing

You may have noticed there are a large number of companies and brands selling Merino products online and in stores at the moment, what they don’t tell you is that they don’t actually make the products themselves. Most of these suppliers don’t actually produce their own products, they have their garments made by other factories either locally or overseas, and therefore have absolutely no control over the quality or what exactly goes into these garments. They rely on third-party factories which may cut corners or use unethical practices to achieve price points and sadly no one, not even the sellers would know.

Unlike many other suppliers of Merino products, we at Ktena Knitting Mills produce our garments from scratch – all in-house in our own factory. We manufacture our own fabric on our own knitting machines, in our own factory, with our own staff. We cut and sew our own garments, ensuring quality is adhered to every step of the way through the manufacturing process. The buck stops with us. This is the ONLY way to have full control over every process and ensure our garments are being made correctly to exact standards every time.

Tom Roberts’s Shearing the Rams

Shearing the Rams is an iconic 1890 painting by Australian artist Tom Roberts. It depicts sheep shearers plying their trade in a timber shearing shed. Distinctly Australian in character, the painting is a celebration of pastoral life and work, recognising the role that the wool industry played in the development of the country.

One of the best-known and most-loved paintings in Australia, Shearing the Rams has been described as a “masterpiece of Australian impressionism” and “the great icon of Australian popular art history”. It forms part of the National Gallery of Victoria’s Australian art collection, held at the Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square, Melbourne.

This iconic painting inspires us to continue in the footsteps of our forefathers and hangs proudly in our offices which we acknowledge daily.

Australia’s superfine merino wools represent over 100 years of expert breeding and refinement resulting in only the softest, finest and whitest merino wools in the world.

Tom Roberts - shearing the rams painting
Tom Roberts – Shearing the Rams

Australian Merino wool is:

Durable and Long Lasting

It’s well known that woollen garments are durable and hold their shape for longer than many other fabrics, but what is it about wool that resists wear and tear so well?

Merino wool fibers are primarily made of an interlocking structure of Keratin molecules that allow the wool to bend and stretch in multiple directions tens of thousands of times without causing damage. By comparison, silk and cotton can only withstand fewer than 5,000 bends without breaking, and nylon only 75. The natural curl of wool fibers also adds to the elasticity of wool garments. They can be worn and washed many times without losing their shape.

Keeps you Warm When it’s Cold, and Cool When it’s Hot

Merino wool is the ultimate insulator. Providing exceptional warmth in extreme cold conditions, wool kept many early explorers warm and safe long before beastly synthetic fabrics were invented. Merino wool can also keep you cool on a hot day. How?

Merino wool is naturally able to absorb and release moisture. As wool absorbs moisture from the atmosphere a chemical process in the wool known as heat of sorption, releases heat, warming the wearer. In cold weather the crimp in wool fibers creates tiny pockets of trapped warm air that act as insulators, holding in heat next to the body. Unlike other fabrics wool retains much of its insulating properties when wet, a lifesaving feature in some scenarios. This same process has a cooling effect in warm weather, as wool releases moisture it absorbs heat from the wearer and traps cool air next to the skin. As wool pulls moisture away from your skin to evaporate you feel cool and dry even in hot weather.

Helps keep you Dry and Fresh

Nothing will keep you dry and comfortable in moist or sweaty conditions like Merino wool.

How does wool wick moisture away from the wearer without relying on the chemicals used in synthetic fabrics?

Merino wool fibers are naturally hydrophilic. As wool absorbs water molecules it pulls moisture away from the skin to the surface of the fabric where it evaporates. Not only can wool wick sweat away from the wearer, but wool can also transfer water vapor before it even turns to sweat. Merino wool’s ability to absorb and release moisture from the air makes it one of the most breathable materials available. Merino wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in water and still feel dry.

Wool is the best fabric to keep you smelling good after a long hike or a hot day out in the sun, you can even wear a wool garment day after day without developing a serious stench. What is it about wool that deters odor so well?

The lanolin present in all sheep’s wool has antimicrobial properties that kill the bacteria in sweat that creates odors. As wool manages moisture so well, any surviving bacteria don’t have the damp environment they need to thrive. Without the buildup of odor causing bacteria wool garments not only smell better at the end of the day, they don’t develop a permanent stink that can’t be washed away like so many man-made synthetic fabrics. Wearing Merino wool you won’t end up with clammy, damp fabric clinging to your skin.

Provides Natural Sun Protection

Merino wool is the ultimate performance fabric all year round. Merino wool even provides natural protection from the sun. How?

Natural wool absorbs radiation even when completely untreated by any chemical processes.

Super Comfortable

Merino Wool is one of the softest, most comfortable and luxurious materials available. How can wool, a fabric which was once known for being itchy, be so soft and comfortable against the skin?

The smaller and smoother the fiber, the softer the fabric. Old-time wool came from sheep with coarse coats whose wool fibers were thick and rigid, causing itching and irritation. The smooth fibers in wool from Merino sheep are now very different. Superfine Merino wool fibers which we use to make Merino Skins and Thermo Fleece do not poke or scratch. These incredibly fine and smooth fibers also bend easily at the lightest touch and will not poke the skin, creating a fabric that is soft, smooth, and comfortable enough to wear right next to the skin.

The inherent properties of Merino Wool create an all-natural material that outperforms all technical synthetic man-made fabrics or wool blends. Merino Skins and Thermo Fleece provide flawless comfort, performance, and design.

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