Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: the following recommendations apply to Morehouse Merino Wool. For Merino yarns from other yarn companies, please refer to the manufacturers’ own care labels.

About Shopping at Morehouse Farm

How quickly do you ship once I give you my order?

We usually ship orders the following day. Sometimes there is a short delay after featuring Special Sales in our eNewsletter — when we are the busiest.

How much do you charge for shipping my order?

The shipping charge is based on your order total.  See our Shipping Rates.

Will my credit card number be safe?

Yes. Our Web Site utilizes state of the art Secure Socket Layer encryption technology to encrypt and safeguard the private information that you submit to us when ordering. In addition, while basic information for delivery purposes is retained in the ordering process, we do not store your credit card data.

Can I return unused skeins of yarn from my knitting project for a refund or for credit?

Yes, you can, as long as you did not wind the skein into a ball.

Merino Wool Care Information

Can I wash Morehouse Merino wool?

Yes, of course you can wash it. We recommend hand washing. Fill a washbasin, large enough to accommodate garment to be washed comfortably, with warm water and add mild soap (If you are using a cold water wool washing liquid, wash and rinse in cold water). Submerge garment and let it soak for 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse clean in water that’s the same temperature as wash water.

Squeeze out as much water as possible, but do not wring or twist garment. Then roll garment in absorbent towel and lightly wring or squeeze towel to remove more water. Unwrap garment from towel and lay it flat to dry on a bed or table covered with a fresh dry towel. Shape garment to proper size and dimension. You can also use the spin cycle on your washing machine to remove excess water. Be careful: NO rinsing, just use the spin cycle to remove as much water as possible. Then lay garment flat to dry. Do not dry garment in dryer.

Use warm water and a mild soap. Then rinse in same temperature water. Squeeze out as much water as possible and lay flat to dry.

Won’t the wool shrink if I use warm water?

No. Shrinking only occurs if you agitate the garment and use warm or hot water to wash, then cold water to rinse. Agitation and a switch in water temperatures can cause shrinking.

What’s considered a ‘mild’ soap?

Any soap with a neutral pH. If you are using a soap specifically made for washing woolens, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Strong alkaline solutions, such as laundry detergents, will damage wool. Never use chlorine bleach on wool. At Morehouse Farm, we use Palmolive® dishwashing liquid.

Can I wash the wool in the washing machine?

Scarves, hats and mittens can be washed on ‘Knit’ or ‘Gentle’ cycle in warm water wash and warm water rinse using a mild soap (not laundry detergent). If you cannot control washing and rinsing temperatures, wash garments by hand. Do not use warm water for wash and cold water for rinse. The switch in temperatures causes woolens to felt. Sweaters and other large garments are better washed by hand. They might become stretched out in the washing machine.

Do you recommend wrapping woolens in towels to dry them?

No. You wrap the wool garment in a towel only to remove excess water, not to dry it in the towel. You should never wring out woolens. By wrapping them in a towel, then squeezing the towel, you’ll be able to remove excess water from the garment. Then lay garment flat to dry, tucking it into its proper shape. Or, you can remove excess water from garment by putting it through the spin cycle on your washing machine. Be careful: NO rinsing, just use the spin cycle to remove as much water as possible. Then lay it flat to dry. Never put woolens in dryer, unless recommended by manufacturer.

Can I dry clean things made with your wool?

Yes, you can. But we do not recommend it, because the chemical process involved in dry cleaning will ultimately harshen the soft Merino wool.

Do you recommend ironing woolens, such as scarves, after washing?

You can. Use steam when pressing wool. Set the iron on “wool” setting. Use a dampened dishtowel, spread over the woolen garment, then iron— with steam— on top of the towel. Don’t slide the iron back and forth. Lower iron, then lift and reposition iron over the damp towel.

Do I have to worry about moths?

Morehouse Merino wool contains no chemical mothproofing. It is therefore important to store woolens properly. Never store woolens for long periods of time without cleaning or washing them first. Wool-eating insects prefer dirty wool to freshly washed woolens. Also clean the storage area, such as the closet, drawers or trunks. Use airtight containers (plastic bins with lids work well) for storage. Use cedar or herbal moth repellants. A word of caution however: herbal moth repellents and cedar repel moths, they do not eliminate the pest like mothballs do. So if you have a heavy infestation of moths in your house, consider using mothballs first to rid storage areas of the pests. Then switch to a natural form of control. Pack mothballs in small plastic bags or cloth bags (don’t put them directly on woolens), then put in storage containers together with the woolens.

About Morehouse Farm & Merino Sheep

What is a Merino?

Merino is one of the oldest breeds of sheep.

Where do Merino sheep come from?

Merino sheep originally lived in Spain and, during the Middle Ages, Spain’s wealth was based on the fine wool Merino sheep. They were protected by a powerful council of shepherds and it was a capital offense to export a Merino sheep. In 1809, Napoleon’s invasion of Spain gave the world access to the prized Merino sheep. Today, most Merino wool is grown in Australia, where the head of a magnificent horned Merino ram adorns the official government seal.

Do you have natural colored Merino sheep?

Yes, we do. Black Merino sheep are quite rare and it took us many years to build up our flock to a sizable number. We use the wool from black Merino sheep to blend with white wool for our Merino yarn in natural colors.
> Blending black and white wool

Why is Merino wool more expensive?

Because of its superior quality. It is the most luxurious wool in the world.

What’s so special about Merino Wool?

Merino wool is the finest and softest wool grown by sheep.

How does Merino wool compare to cashmere?

Super fine and ultra fine Merino wool is as fine or finer than cashmere. And sheep grow wool, while cashmere comes from a goat and is, technically speaking, down or hair – but not wool.

What’s the difference between superfine and ultrafine Merino wool?

Superfine Merino wool is 16 or 17 micron, and ultrafine is 13 to 15 micron.

What’s a micron?

A measurement for fiber diameter. One micron measures one millionth of one meter.

How often do you shear your sheep?

Once a year, usually in Spring.

What is a fleece?

The coat of wool shorn from one sheep.

How much wool do you get from one Merino sheep?

Between 10 and 18 lbs. More from rams, because of their larger size.

How many sweaters will that make?

About 4 or 5, after washing and processing the wool.

How old do sheep get?

10 to 15 years old.

When do sheep have their lambs?

Sheep normally lamb once a year, in Spring or in Fall.

How many lambs do sheep have?

That depends on the breed. Merino sheep usually have one or two lambs.

What’s a ewe and what’s a ram?

A ewe is a female adult sheep, and a ram is a male adult sheep. And a lamb is a young sheep, male or female, under one year of age.

What’s mutton?

Meat from sheep one year old or older.

Do all sheep have horns?

On the Merino breed, only the males have horns. On some other breeds, both males and females have horns. However, most breeds of sheep have no horns at all. They are called polled sheep.

Accordion Panel

Worldwide, over 450.

What do sheep eat?

In the Summer, sheep graze on pasture. And in Winter, they are fed hay and grain.

Are your Merino sheep happy sheep?

Our sheep are well cared for and we treat them with kindness.

About Morehouse Merino Yarn

Why does your wool not itch?

Our Merino wool is very fine and therefore will not itch or irritate skin.

Are your dyes natural?

No, they are synthetic dyes. But remember, the “natural” in natural dyes refers to the source of the dye and not the process. All dyeing involves the use of chemicals to make dyes penetrate and adhere to the wool fibers, and to make the colors lightfast and washable.

Do you dye your own wool?

No. Our wool is dyed at a professional dye facility.

Does your wool contain lanolin?

No. Lanolin is removed in the washing process. However, there may be a trace of it left after washing the wool.

What is lanolin anyway?

Lanolin is the purified form of a greasy substance secreted by glands of the sheep to protect the wool and to keep the sheep’s skin smooth and supple. Lanolin is used as base in cosmetic creams and lotions.

Is your wool mothproof?

No. Mothproofing is a chemical additive to make wool distasteful to wool-eating critters. We want to keep Morehouse Merino wool as natural and pure as possible. Many people experience an uncomfortable feeling when wearing wool that contains chemical mothproofing. Mothproofing can add to the itchiness of wool.

So what can I do to keep Morehouse Merino wool safe from moths?

Keep your woolens clean. Wash them before storing them over the Summer months. Use cedar or herbal moth repellants. (A word of caution: herbal moth repellents and cedar repel moths, they do not eliminate the pest like mothballs do. So if you have a heavy infestation of moths in your house, consider first using mothballs to rid your house of the pests. Then switch to natural forms of control.) Check our   > Lavender Moth Repellent Sachets

Can I use your wool to felt with?

Yes, Merino wool felts very easily and makes wonderfully soft felt.
> Morehouse Merino Roving

Is your yarn spun by hand?

No, our yarn is spun at a mill.

 

What does 2- and 3- Strand yarn really mean?

 

3-Strand is a worsted weight yarn, and 2-Ply and 2-Strand are sport weight. Morehouse Gator Yarn is a sport weight yarn with heavy twist.

 

What’s the difference between 2-Strand and 2-Ply yarn?

 

The difference lies in the amount of twist: very little twist for the 2-Strand makes a soft, fuzzy yarn, and more twist in the 2-Ply yarn results in a smoother yarn that’s perfect for showing off stitch patterns.

 

Does your wool pill?

 

Most knits will pill to some degree, whether made from wool, cashmere or synthetics. Finer wools pill more because of their shorter fiber length than coarser, longer stapled wool. And loosely spun yarns tend to pill more than plied or tightly twisted, smoother yarns. Our 3-Strand yarn will pill more than our 2-Ply or our Lace yarn.

 

Is it true that wool does not burn?

Wool is naturally flame resistant and is slow to ignite; unlike synthetics, which burn or melt in a flash. Airplane seats for example are now made with more wool to make them safer.

I can understand wearing wool in Winter keeps me warm. But wool for Summer?

Wool feels comfortable in hot and cold weather. Wool’s ability to absorb moisture helps keep you warm and dry in Winter; and wool’s unique structure insulates from the sun’s heat in Summer.

I’m allergic to wool. Will I be allergic to your soft Merino?

 

That depends on the cause of your allergy. If it is lanolin that you are allergic to, you might experience a reaction, despite the fact that scoured wool contains very little lanolin. But a trace might be enough to trigger a reaction. Or you might be allergic to dyes, or a softener that’s added after scouring the wool, or mothproofing or any one of the dozens of other chemical additives in commercial wools.

Morehouse Merino yarn contains no chemicals, other than the dyes we use to color the yarns. And our natural colors are 100% pure and chemical free.