ashmei confirm the Benefits of why they use Merino Wool in their Running Apparel.

Stuart Brooke explains why merino wool was the chosen performance fabric for the ashmei collection of performance running clothing.

Merino Wool is the choice of performance fibres for ashmei was created because I found the performance of current running clothing was pretty low-tech. The majority of the running kit was of poor visual quality and performing to the same mediocre standards. I knew there were much better performance fabrics out there as I have been involved in the development of high end sportswear for some of the leading sports brands for the last 20 years. So I thought it was about time runners were introduced to some of these, not to mention that I also wanted some better gear for myself! Without a second thought I knew merino wool would play a major role in the development of ashmei running apparel. I have used merino wool on several high end products before and also had quite a collection of cycle, outdoor and ski gear that all use merino because of its superior performance.

Sourcing the merino wool was also pretty easy as I knew the quality and performance must be the best possible, so New Zealand & Austrailian was the only option, but I also knew we had the chance to spin to our own specification with regard to the grade and weight and could also manage the handle and feel of the fabric with different finishes.

Merino isn’t new, it’s been around for decades and was commonly used on performance climbing gear before the invention of synthetics as it was found to keep mountaineers warm and was very easy to wash and dry. Merino was used for expeditions and still is for this reason with most of the high performance sportswear in cycle, ski and outdoor using merino on their top end products because of its performance.

So why is merino so special?  Most people think it’s going to be itchy or just get you too hot, but they are confusing merino with other wool’s such as lamb’s wool. It’s true, some merino is itchy but not if you select the finest merino from NZ which has been developed by nature (sheep) to be one of the finest and also the strongest type in the world.

It’s true, merino wool does warm you up when you or the conditions are cold but it is the only yarn to also cool you down when you become too warm or the sun is shining. Most people don’t realise this and think of merino as a winter only product but I have been running in merino 12 months of the year for the last 2 years and don’t think twice about a midday run on a scorching summer’s day.

The other advantage with merino is it’s naturally antimicrobial. This means it never begins to smell like synthetics do as it won’t attract and breed bacteria, and it’s this bacteria that caused that nasty whiff that never washes out and will always come back, even if you use special soaps to combat this. It means you can wear merino wool for a long run, take your garment off, fold it up and put it back in your sports gear drawer ready for the next run without having to wash it.  If you wanted to, you could so this several times and the garment still won’t smell, however we do always recommend you wash them from time to time as remember the sweat is still dirty with body salts (apart from ladies who simply glow)!

So these are the two key performance statistics why we chose merino over typical cheaper polyester, but there are also some other key benefits that also confirmed our choice:

– Sustainable
– Biodegradable
– Quick drying
– Moisture Wicking
– 100% Natural

There is one issue with merino and that’s price. It’s dramatically more expensive than the cheap petrochemical polyester fabrics, however when you work out that your merino jersey has lasted you for years and years because it still smells as nice as the day you purchased it and it’s your favourite piece of gear because of it’s performance it actually becomes great value for money and strengthens the sustainability of it’s existence. If you don’t believe me, ask any merino sheep, they swear by the stuff and you never see them in polyester!

Stuart Brooke (founder)


ashmei WINS ISPO 2013 Brand New award

We are over the moon. ashmei has just won the ISPO BRAND NEW SPORTWEAR 2013 and will present the brand at Europe’s largest sports trade show held in Munich in February 2013.

The competition was strong with entries from around the world, concluding in 93 finalists presenting their innovations to the public and industry experts to vote for their favourite.

I have been visiting Ispo for over 20 years and I am totally chuffed to bits to now be part of this show and exhibit in the hall that is the “buzz of the show” with massive press coverage, PR and exposure to the world’s premium sports buyers.


ISPO BRAND NEW is the world’s largest start-up competition in the sporting goods industry. The awards are focused on innovative products and the brands behind them. Each year the best applicants are selected by an international jury of experts.

Brands which are four years old or younger and never have exhibited at ISPO MUNICH before, can apply – backdated from the start of the current ISPO. There are several categories to which you can submit your product in order to win one of the coveted awards.

During the presentation of the products and their brands to the international jury the focus is on: product, degree of innovation, design, brand features, market potential, and marketing.

Our main goal is to provide young entrepreneurs with a presentation platform and the optimal support on their way to the international market.

A lot more than just an award

ISPO BRAND NEW is not just any contest in which the lucky winners are in the spotlight shortly. The key premise of the Awards is not only to filter out the best young entrepreneurs in sports, but to make them enter into the international market as easy as possible.

These include services which are absolutely unique and are described in more detail in the following points.