merino wool fibres layer across hands

Merino Wool Cycling Jerseys – Good for the skin

I’ve been contacted by a number of Breathe Vélo customers who are concerned about how our superfine merino cycling jerseys will interact with their eczema and related skins conditions. There is a historical perception that merino wool will be itchy and scratchy and irritate the skin.

Recent research has demonstrated that wearing superfine Merino wool against the skin is beneficial to eczema sufferers. This adds further weight to growing research indicating that you will experience increased wellbeing in your gravel cycling, bike packing or cycle touring adventures by wearing superfine Merino wool.

Skin conditions explained.

I’m sure you’ve experienced the pain of chaffing along the inner thighs after multiple long days in the saddle. Having some quality anti-bacterial chamois in your merino knicks and bibs will help with this as will some chamois cream like the famous Aussie Butt Cream

This chaffing experience in small part mirrors the experience of Eczema, also known as Atopic Dermatitis (AD), which now affects up to 28% of children. Eczema sufferers have skin that dries out, which can lead to cracked skin, bacterial infection, redness, scratching and itching.

Merino or less steroids?

Dermatological trials have shown that adult and infant eczema sufferers who wear superfine Merino wool garments next to the skin have significantly reduced symptoms. This means they need less application of steroid based creams and medications to help ease their symptoms.

How does a merino wool cycling jersey help eczema patients?

No matter what the climatic conditions you are riding in a 100 percent Merino wool cycling jersey is the most breathable of the common apparel types because of wool’s ability to absorb and release twice as much moisture vapour as cotton, and 30 times as much as polyester. When worn next to the skin, our super fine Merino wool bike jersey works as a dynamic buffer, helping to stabilise the humidity levels and temperature of the micro-climate between the fabric and the skin. It appears that a super fine Merino wool cycle jersey acts like a second skin for people whose ‘first’ skin is too dry.

Eczema sufferers have especially sensitive skin and an Australian study at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute has shown that wool garments made from soft superfine were well tolerated by participants in the study and reduced their eczema symptoms.

Graph showing merino wool cycle jersey fabric outperforming other materials


The evidence: studies show a reduction in eczema symptoms with wool

Four recent dermatology trials have shown that infant, adolescent and adult eczema sufferers have reported reduced symptoms when wearing superfine Merino wool garments next to the skin. This is especially the case when the garments are being worn for over 6 hours in duration. Perfect for that multi-day bike packing adventure.

Patients in the study reported significant reductions in symptoms of itchy, scratchy and painful skin and that bleeding, weeping/oozing, flaking and dry or rough skin decreased.

These benefits on symptoms translated into significant improvements in quality of life in both children and adults.

Wool cycle jersey benefits eczema versus cotton.

Wool is not an allergen

A highly esteemed group of medical professionals from across the world has reviewed research papers published during the past 100 years to critically assess scientific studies claiming wool causes allergy. The group has now published a paper Debunking the Myth of Wool Allergy with the primary conclusion there is no credible evidence wool is an allergen. It found that if a fabric does cause sensations of itch and prickle on the skin then it is because of the large diameter of the fibres and not due to the fibre type being wool.


Superfine and ultrafine Merino fibres bend easily, causing minimal or no skin irritation. In comparison, coarse fibres like acrylic and nylon have less tendency to bend, causing skin irritation.

superfine merino wool cycle jersey fibres versus course wool bike jersey fibres

If you want to wear an Australian Made wool cycling jersey that is a 100% merino product without any blends of synthetic fibres and feel fantastic on the bike across a range of weather conditions look no further than our Classic R, Super Domestique or long sleeve merino wool Sidling Jerseys.



Determining Effects of Superfine Sheep wool in Infantile Eczema (DESSINE): a randomized paediatric crossover study. J.C. Su, DR. Dailey, M. Zallmann, E. Leins, L. Taresch, S. Donath, S.S. Heah and A.J. Lowe. British Journal of Dermatology (2017) 177, pp125–133.

Efficacy of Superfine Merino Wool Base Layer Garments (SMWBG) in Children with Atopic Dermatitis (AD) Measuring SCORAD1, EASI2, POEM3 and DSA4 Scores. Biomed J Sci&Tech Res 7(1)- 2018. BJSTR. MS.ID.001450. DOI: 10.26717/ BJSTR.2018.07.001450.

Woolmark Corporation, Wool is good for the skin. Accessed 28 September 2021, <>.