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April 18, 2018

Like many so-called 'empty-nesters', my husband and I now have more money and time to spend on the things we love, and fewer responsibilities than ever. We are finally free to travel where and when we want. But then there’s the eternal question – what to pack?

All seasoned travellers have experienced the dreaded empty luggage carousel with your suitcase nowhere in sight. The last thing you want to do on your holiday is go shopping for underwear and socks. Some of my friends have decided on travelling with carry-on only, while others pack spare clothes for a day or two in their carry on.

Either way, you want to travel light so that you don't end up with heavy luggage packed with clothes you don't really need. 

If shopping is on your list of planned activities, it's even more important that you have a light suitcase - no one wants to be caught paying for that extra weight

So what to pack?

The fabric of the clothes you decide to pack will make a big difference to the size and weight of your bag. Let's look at one of our favourites - the Merino wool.

Merino Wool - the ultimate travel companion

A lot has been written about this wonderful fibre. Unless you are allergic to it, it's a must on your packing list. 

Here are some of the wonderful properties of Merino:

* Unlike the heavy, stiff and itchy 'ordinary' wool, the Merino wool fibre is very soft. Manufacturers of Merino wool items use fine fibre that has elasticity, drape and softness giving the garment an almost silky feel - and our SILKTOP cardigans and sweaters are all exclusively made of super-fine Merino wool.

* It controls odour - wool has been known to have anti-bacterial properties. From personal experience, wool items don't get musty even after a few wears - so you won’t need to wash your woollen clothes as often.

* It's extra light, making it an excellent candidate for light packing. The SILKTOP Merino sweaters and cardigans weight just 160 grams and fold up easily, leaving plenty of space left.

  * It's breathable - and what we mean is, Merino will keep you warm (but not hot) when it's cold, and cool and dry in hot weather. This is attributed to the 'hollow fibre' properties of the wool - the air trapped in the fibre provides insulation for both hot and cold weather. 

* It repels water thanks to the waxy lanolin coating, while the fibre itself handles moisture well - it can absorb and keep a lot of moisture while still feeling dry.

* It's flexible and elastic, enabling the garment to retain shape and drape well.  

Surely there’s a catch? Well, here it is:

* Because Merino retains the water when it absorbs it, when washed, the clothes are slow to dry after washing.

* The price is much higher due to the cost of growing Merino sheep ethically. It is roughly twice the cost of regular wool and 3-4 times the price of synthetic fabrics.


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