Here at Thread we love natural fibres, particularly Merino wool, so it’s brilliant to see it being used by Patagonia to line their frigid water wetsuit. The fibres of Merino wool are much smaller and smoother than most other wools so it can be worn next to the skin without being itchy. The image above shows standard wool on the left, Merino wool in the middle and a synthetic fibre on the right. The merino is as fine as the synthetic but has all the marvellous properties of wool; such as not smelling after you sweat in it and being warm when it’s wet (due to water getting trapped inside the fibre itself and providing extra insulation) unlike synthetics.
Patagonia have blended it with polyester to improve its durability (and probably reduce cost and make a more predictable fabric). The Merino lining means that thinner Neoprene can be used for the same level of insulation. Here’s to happy warm surfing in the winter!
Website link: Patagonia R4 wetsuit