Merino Wool Care Guide

Merino wool is luxuriously soft, naturally breathable and, with the right care, durable too. Here is a guide to looking after your merino garments so that they stay in the best condition and last you for years to come.


The Merino sheep has been prized for its wool for centuries; today’s famously fine and soft merino wool is the result of over 700 years of careful breeding. As well as feeling good against the skin, Merino wool is naturally breathable: its fibres wick moisture away from the body and help to regulate temperature, so that the wearer feels comfortable in cool or warm weather.

Sunspel’s luxuriously soft yarn is sourced from an Italian supplier founded in 1817 that only uses wool from ethically-farmed, non-mulesed sheep. The yarn is then knitted by a specialist manufacturer in Portugal using traditional British Bentley frame machines for an exceptionally compact and clean knit that minimises wastage.

Merino is an environmentally-friendly material: the wool’s natural fibres will quickly biodegrade in soil or landfill, releasing their nutrients back into the earth. But good quality merino clothes are also very durable – and taking care of your garments will ensure they last, keeping their shape and feel for years to come.




The following tips apply to most Sunspel merino clothes, but remember to always check the care label before washing, as instructions can vary between styles.

  • Wash inside out – whether machine or hand-washing, turn the garment inside out. This will help the outer side keep its colour for longer and avoid visible fading.

  • Wash at 30°C – or use a wool wash/delicates option if available.

  • Use a mild, Non-Bio detergent – preferably one that is Woolmark-recommended (look for the Woolmark symbol on the bottle). Avoid Bio detergents as these can be harsh on wool.

  • Use a minimal amount of softener – it is not necessary to use softener on Sunspel merino garments, but if you prefer to then use only a minimal amount as it can cause pilling (‘bobbles’ appearing on the wool)

  • Lay the garment out flat to dry – immediately after washing, lay the merino garment flat on a light-coloured towel and reshape it, removing as many folds and creases as possible, then leave to dry. Avoid tumble drying, and avoid drying on a line or hanger as the weight of a damp merino garment can cause it to lose shape. Avoid drying in direct sunlight or near heat as this can cause it to shrink.



Sunspel’s merino wool is naturally wrinkle-resistant, and as long as you reshape clothes after washing they should not need ironing.

However, if you do need to remove stubborn crumples, use the iron’s wool setting and lightly spray or gently steam the garment before pressing. Iron lightly as applying too much pressure can cause the wool to become shiny.



Pilling is the ‘bobbly’ effect that can occur when the shorter fibres in merino wool work their way to the surface. Sunspel’s merino wool is naturally resistant to pilling, but if it does occur then gently remove the bobbles by hand or use a sweater comb (available from any good haberdashery).



Merino wool has natural antibacterial and wicking properties, and so long you keep garments clean and aired between wears there should be no build-up of unpleasant odours. The main consideration when storing merino knitwear is retaining the shape and appearance:

  • Always store knitwear folded – avoid hanging in a wardrobe as this can cause stretching and the formation of hanger ‘humps’ at the shoulders.

  • Use an airtight plastic bag or container for long-term storage – but avoid vacuum packing as this can force the garment out shape.

  • Use natural moth-repellents – such as lavender, rosemary or cedar (these have a nicer odour than mothballs).



A selection of some of Sunspel's most popular garments in merino wool:

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