Here, against 30-degree daily temperature swings, intense sun, and notoriously unpredictable alpine weather is where we find the unique breeds of domestic merino especially adapted over centuries to thrive in the high elevation terrain of our country’s most iconic mountain range. Exhibiting a higher degree of crimp compared to wool grown in other regions of the world, and processed at every step in the supply chain to ensure only the longest/strongest fibers make it through, Rocky Mountain Highcountry Merino™ is as resilient and unforgiving as the environment in which it’s born and raised.
Unlike man-made fibers where texture is often artificially added to yarns, wool fiber itself comes straight from the source with a high degree of natural texture. Referred to as crimp, this “spring-like” property is what gives ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHCOUNTRY MERINO™ it’s basic foundation of strength and resilience.
The more crimp, the less tight the fibers can pack. Under a windproof shell, it means more insulation. As a stand-alone layer, it means more ability for much needed air to flush through the fabric. Simply put, textured fibers like those found in ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHCOUNTRY MERINO™ mean better thermal regulation!
SHEARING is only the beginning of the journey. From here, every step of the process is designed to ensure that only the best and toughest wool carries the ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHCOUNTRY MERINO™ name.
1. GRADING AND SORTING: After shearing, wool is sorted according to its diameter and fiber length. During this process, we purchase only the finest and longest fibers in the lot to ensure ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHCOUNTRY MERINO™ remains soft, strong, and long lasting.
2. SCOURING AND SUPERWASHING: The scouring and superwashing processes rid the fleece of imbedded plants, grease, and other natural materials. Additionally, the processes polish the fiber itself making it smoother, more comfortable, and easy to care for down the road. All of our wool products are machine washable.
3. CARDING AND COMBING: Carding and Combing aligns the wool and removes residual short fibers before spinning. While most wool is combed before spinning, ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHCOUNTRY MERINO™ is required to undergo additional combing steps to ensure only the longest fibers make it to spinning. The result: A smoother, non-scratchy yarn down the road.