These are valid questions and to answer them we have to start with the company’s roots. Mons Royale is absolutely a product of its environment, New Zealand’s Deep South. A land of raging coastline, jagged mountains and vast turquoise lakes, which prove whoever created this part of the world was listening to Metallica when they did it.
It is as raw and powerful as nature gets and the weather that shapes this landscape is just as impressive. In winter huge storms rampage out of the Southern Ocean like decapitated dinosaurs, thundering indiscriminately over everything in their path. In summer temperatures on the plains can soar into the hundreds cooking people like cockroaches at a Shandong market.
Spring and Autumn are less extreme but are still gifted in their own right with scouring winds, torrential rain and crisp mornings that will royally f@#k with your thermostat by magically melting the mercury in the afternoons.
It’s against this backdrop of dramatic landscapes and bipolar weather that the humble sheep takes centre stage. A mountain breed of sheep to be specific, called the Merino, that has a wool so effective at coping with this incredible climate that it seems utterly ridiculous that it has taken us this long to work out that it would be a great fabric for clothes. But if you were comparing the ingenuity of Mother Nature to Humans it would be like comparing Steven Hawking’s to Lloyd Christmas, no matter how hard we try we just cannot get close to replicating the incredible effectiveness and also the beauty of nature. But I’m not going to waste this blog rubbing humanities nose in its own stupidity, we have finally worked out how good Merino is so let’s celebrate what we can do with it!
This is the science so pay attention, the fibers of the wool are hollow so they hold warm air, it also means they can absorb and transport moisture quickly so the fabric breaths and will stay warm even when wet. The crimped nature of the wool combined with how fine it is, prevents bacteria from being able to stick to the fibers so it refuses to smell and is wonderfully soft to the touch. It’s difficult to believe that a fabric can actually do all these things, but like I said if mother nature wants a sheep to live at the top of a mountain she’s got to be pretty inventive.
In 2009 Hamish Acland a globetrotting freeride skier and son of a South Island Merino farmer decided he’d had enough of wearing awful polypropylene thermals and having the solution on his doorstep, decided to do something about it. A decade later Mons Royale is the corner stone of merino base layers in the world of skiing and snowboarding and has carved out a unique reputation for making merino base and mid layers that are intelligently technical yet remain casual enough to go undetected in even the whackest wine bar.
A couple of years ago, while experimenting with fabric blends and structures it became clear that Merino was a four-season fabric and like that we here at Mons decided to follow the migration of our core customers from skis and snowboards to bikes.
As kiwi’s it’s not in our nature to boast, so let’s just say that we’re quite proud of what we’ve made.
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