Merino Wool Care Editor's Pick

Does Merino Wool Shrink? Here’s What You Need to Know

Does this top-rated fabric shrink? Let's find out.

Merino wool is a natural fiber grown by Merino sheep. It is mostly preferred for its thinness and softness. Also, some benefits like it’s hypoallergenic, it regulates body temperature, it’s dry and sweat-free, and some others make it worth buying every time. However, the question; does merino wool shrink? It is still to be answered. 

Many people are concerned over this question, whether merino wool shrinks with time or after washing. Considering the quality features of the wool, everyone is attracted to buy merino wool garments, but its shrinkage is their only concern

If you’re also here for this reason, here are some things that you need to know about merino wool. 

Why Use Merino Wool? 

Merino wool is one of the best wools in the market with multiple health benefits. Firstly, it’s all-natural and synthetic; it comes from merino sheep. Thus there’s nothing to worry about its chemical composition and harmful effects on the skin. 

Then, the wool is extremely soft and smooth to wear; you feel perfectly comfortable while wearing any merino wool garment. Also, the fiber being sweat-free and dry keeps you fresh and active all the time. Next, it is hypoallergenic and is best for people with allergies as it lowers the symptoms and provides relief. 

Several other features of this wool make it worth buying. All these features combine to cancel out people’s concern over its shrinkage. Thus, the decision to buy merino wool garments is never wrong unless they are brought from a reputed brand.

In addition, merino wool has the following worth admiring properties: 

Merino Wool Is Naturally Stretchy:

Because the merino wool is made of a spring-like structure, it is thus naturally stretchy, and the fibers are impressively resilient. Due to this springiness, you can extend the garment up to 30% of its length without ever breaking the fiber. 

This natural springiness lets the wool fiber stretch back to its original shape. Compared with nylon, the merino wool is a stretcher, as the nylon fibers would start to break just after a 10% extension, which is 30% in the case of the merino wool. Also, Polyester fibers are stretched to a lesser extent. 

So, if you were thinking “how much shrink should I expect from merino wool,” then hopefully we have answered that. 

Thus, while wearing merino wool garments, you never have to worry about the deformation of their shape, as they always stay in their wear and tear shape. 

It is Naturally Durable:

The merino wool is extracted from one of the toughest known breeds of sheep on earth; the merino sheep. It can thrive in the extreme environments in the rugged mountains only because of the natural composition of its fleece. 

The conditions and the harsh environments in the mountains require the sheep’s wool fibers to be strong and durable for maximum protection. If this does not happen, the sheep wouldn’t be able to survive. 

Thus, the wool extracted from the sheep is best for extreme weather and can surely impress you with its performance.

Related Article: Why is Merino Wool So Expensive?

It is Naturally Sustainable:

It is Naturally Sustainable

Another best thing about this wool is that it is made in natural mountains rather than in the petrochemical laboratory. Thus, it is naturally renewable and biodegradable. The merino fibers do not contribute to the plastic microfiber pollution in the ocean as the other synthetic microfibers do. 

So, wearing garments made of merino wool contribute to keeping the environment healthy and free of pollution. 

The Washing Things | Will Merino Wool Shrink

Well! The most obvious answer to this question is NO. Merino wool doesn’t shrink due to its natural composition. It is made of fiber that can stretch and bounce back into its original shape. That is why even when it feels like it has shrunken, it will fit into your body shape like ever before. 

But does merino wool shrink after washing? No, merino wool also doesn’t shrink after washing. The reason is that the fibers have an internal spring coil that holds the fiber’s shape. So, the fiber will always be in place whether you wash the merino wool garments in the washing machine or with your hands. 

Why Doesn’t Merino Wool Shrink?

Does Merino Wool Shrink

The most obvious reason why this merino wool doesn’t shrink is that it is composed of natural fibers with springiness. This springiness lets the garment stretch a lot out of shape but brings it back to its original within no time. Thus, we can say that merino wool is stretchable but not shrinkable. 

However, it is not always the case that merino wool doesn’t shrink. If the garments are mismanaged, then these are likely to get shrink. So, along with the natural composition of the fiber, it is your care and management that prevents the garments from shrinking. 

How to Prevent Merino Wool Garments From Shrinking?

You should follow the following care tips and the icebreaker washing instructions to ensure that the fiber is intact, in its shape, and prevented from shrinking. 

Use a Normal Machine Wash:

Use a Normal Machine Wash

The best way to avoid your merino wool garment’s shrinkage is to wash them in a normal cool or warm wash cycle. However, you can use a regular powder or liquid that you use for other garments. This will prevent the fibers from shrinking. 

The reason for normal wash is that merino wool can withstand only a gentle wash at lower temperatures, and thus the fibers are not destroyed. 

However, if the garments are washed too often, there might be some shrinkage due to their exposure to excess water, but the springiness of the material will cause it to stretch back into its shape. 

Don’t Use Bleach/Softeners:

Another thing that you must keep in mind is that using bleach or softeners can affect the natural performance of the fibers. It coats the fibers and reduces their natural ability to regulate moisture and temperature. 

Thus, the best thing is to avoid using them for merino wool garments. Because, once the performance of the fibers is affected, you’ll have to bear a lot of consequences, and the least of them is the permanent shrinkage of the garments. 

Hang to Dry:

Merino Wool Clothes Hanging for Drying

After washing, ensure to hang your merino wool garments on a line. It will keep the garments in their original shape forever.

Limit Ironing:

Ironing might also affect the fiber to a great extent. Merino wool has the great capability to stretch back into its shape after washing, so it doesn’t require ironing. The creases are fallen out naturally simply by hanging them on the line or lying on a flat surface. 

Nevertheless, if you feel the urge to iron your merino wool garments under any circumstance, ensure to do it with a cool or specific wool setting by turning your garment inside out. 

Treat the Garment According to the Instructions:

Treat the garment according to the instructions.

Ensure to read the usage instructions written on the garment. If the label says “dry clean only,” make sure you follow the instruction every time you want your garments to be cleaned.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When is the best time to wear merino wool fabric? 

The best thing about merino wool fabric is that it is best to wear any time in the year, whether it’s hot or cold. This is because it has the power to regulate your body temperature. 

Is merino wool good for sleeping?

The merino wool fabric can regulate body temperature and is sweat-free and dry; it is best for sleeping. The merino wool pajamas help you sleep deeper and longer by regulating your body temperature and keeping your body moisture at the right degree. 

Does merino wool shrink in the dryer? 

Yes, merino wool is more likely to get shrink in the dryer. This is because the fabric loses its performance when exposed to heat and agitation. Thus, if you want to prevent your merino wool garment from shrinking, avoid drying them in the dryer.


Considering the qualities and nature of the fiber, it is obvious that merino wool is worth wearing. The fiber is less likely to shrink and has much more to offer regarding its qualities and features.

Its qualities are worth appreciating and impressively overpower the question of them getting shrunk. Compared to many other fibers in the market, it is one of the best and top-rated for what it is. 

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