IceBreaker is the world’s leading manufacturer of New Zealand merino clothing. In fact, they invented the category! And while others have jumped onto the merino bandwagon, IceBreaker continues to lead and innovate!
What is so great about IceBreaker Merino?
IceBreaker Merino is wool, so it is obvious it will be warm. But Merino is very different from regular wool. The individual fibres are much finer than regular wool, so the final IceBreaker Merino fabric has many more air pockets. More air pockets means more warmth! It turns out that IceBreaker Merino is warmer than regular wool or synthetics of equal weight!
The fine fibres of IceBreaker Merino have superior breathability too (vs, regular wool and synthetics), so any moisture you generate is drawn away from your skin. And that keeps you warmer still!
Icebreaker Merino garments are designed to be easy for you to care for. Simply wash your Icebreaker Merino garments on a normal warm or cool machine wash cycle with regular powder or liquid detergent. Don’t use fabric softener or bleach. Separate lights and darks as usual. Line dry or lie flat in the shade.
NOTE: Wear your IceBreaker Merino 2-3 before you wash it! Then, wash the garment separately to diminish the appearance of any short fibers from the fabric. Short fibres are the main cause of piling.
Ironically, you DO NOT want to use wool detergent. IceBreaker is different from regular wool, and is designed to be washed with regular detergents. Wool detergents often include softeners to try to minimize the coarseness of regular wool. IceBreaker is already very soft, and those softeners can actually damage the finer IceBreaker Merino fibres.
Do not use bleach or fabric softener under any circumstances (your Icebreaker couldn’t be any softer).
Complete instructions for best results – direct from IceBreaker:
- Wash like colours together (e.g separate lights and darks).
- Wash prints inside out.
- Close all zippers.
- Use warm or cool machine wash on a normal cycle (avoid a hot wash, this contributes to shrinkage).
- Use regular detergent, not wool detergent.
- Do not use bleach or fabric softener under any circumstances.
- Wash occasionally with denim (e.g. jeans with the zipper closed) or other coarse fabrics to remove any loose fibers.
- Do not iron prints or labels.
- Line dry garments – do not tumble dry (except socks).
- For Icebreaker Coastal & Pureplus Jackets: Dry clean only.
For Icebreaker Black Sheep: Dry clean only.
For Icebreaker Socks: Only socks! Tumble dry on a low heat, inside out.
IceBreaker Merino is naturally neutrally charged. While that makes it static-resistant, what’s really interesting is that it also makes IceBreaker stink-resistant! Most dirt and smells stick to synthetics and even cotton through magnetic attraction – the cling of a positive charge to a negative charge. Since IceBreaker Merino is neutrally charged, dirt and smells don’t cling to your IceBreaker. You can literally shake the stink off your clothes. Or hang it overnight and gravity will do the work for you.
It is easy to understand that IceBreaker Merino will keep you warm in the cold – it is wool after all. But it also keeps you cool in the heat? How does that work, you must wonder.
IceBreaker Merino fibres are highly breathable – yes, the fibres themselves. When we humans get hot, we create sweat to evaporate the heat away. The breathability of your IceBreaker Merino quickly draws the moisture away from your skin, leaving your skin sweat-free so it can keep cooling.
Merino sheep sweat too. If their wool didn’t breath, the merino would die of heat exhaustion during the hot summers in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
Testing shows that an IceBreaker Merino shirt is cooler than a cotton t-shirt in hot conditions. Hmmm.
IceBreaker Merino wool fibres are very different from regular wool fibres. If you look at them both under a microscope the regular wool fibres are short, wide and stiff, whereas IceBreaker Merino fibres are longer, thinner and springy. The long, thin, springy IceBreaker Merino fibres are soft when the fabric touches your skin. Wide, short, stiff fibres feel like tiny unyielding pins against your skin – that’s why regular wool is itchy.
Did you know that most people who think they are “allergic to wool” are not allergic at all, but are sensitive to the itchiness of regular wool? Most of them can wear IceBreaker Merino without issue. Huh!
Icebreaker uses only pure merino hand-picked from 120 high country stations (that’s Kiwi for ‘sheep ranches’) in New Zealand’s Southern Alps to create clothing that combines nature’s work with human technology and design. They have a multi-year contract with each wool station to provide IceBreaker with first quality wool for which they pay higher than market rates. The contract includes terms that ensure sustainability, ethical manufacturing, and animal welfare.
Everyone is a winner. The ranchers get a more-than-fair predictable income over the long term. Each sheep gets an average of 5 acres of land to graze and frolic, knowing their welfare is critical to the rancher. You get IceBreaker Merino garments of unbeatable quality. And the planet is impacted as little as possible.
In 2008 the company launched “Icebreaker Baacode,” pioneering supply chain transparency. Each Icebreaker includes a unique Baacode, which enables you to trace your garment online from rearing the sheep through each stage of the supply chain process. It is eye opening to learn of the lengths IceBreaker goes to protect the sheep and the planet.
IceBreaker Merino is annually renewable and has a lower environmental impact that synthetics or cotton. And, if you ever wear it out, it is biodegradable. IceBreaker Merino is the greener choice.
No one would blame you if your first thought for paddling wear were something other than wool. But actually, IceBreaker Merino has all the characteristics of the ideal paddling wear!
If you are out paddling on a warm summer day then a light IceBreaker Merino layer is perfect. In the heat it is cooler than a cotton T-shirt. But unlike cotton, if it gets wet (splash, rain or unscheduled swim) your IceBreaker Merino is warm when wet. It feels dry very quickly! And even wet, it has a high UPF which helps protect you from the sun! Perhaps best of all, you don’t look like a drowned rat when you get back to your car because your IceBreaker tends to retain its shape.
Those same qualities mean IceBreaker Merino is great for running or just about any activity that happens outside in the sun!
If you are paddling in colder conditions and wearing a drysuit, IceBreaker Merino is a great insulator, helping you stay warm when the conditions are cold. And because it is so breathable, any sweat you generate will be absorbed or drawn to its surface where it can evaporate through the drysuit, helping you stay comfortable and warm. When you add additional layers of IceBreaker Merino, you increase the insulation, but the breathability stays just as high.
The same holds true for skiing or any activity in the cold. IceBreaker Merino will help keep you warm and comfortable. And stylish!
Now get outside and play! (in your IceBreaker Merino)
IceBreaker started 1994 by making performance baselayers. They quickly grew from there to include lots of layers: t-shirts and collared shirts.
Come visit us at Undercurrents to try IceBreaker Merino for yourself. We guarantee you will love it. Actually, we triple guarantee it!
We have free parking right outside our door and knowledgeable staff ready to help you!