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  1. #1

    Default Is merino itchy when new?

    I just bought some First Lite merino base layers. The Llano isn't as comfortable as I was expecting, feels a bit itchy. Wondering if the comfort will improve with wearing and a couple washes, or it this what I should expect? Trying to decide if I should throw it in the wash to soften it up or send it back.

  2. #2


    My first lite Llano was and still does have a slight itchiness to it after years of use. nothing that I notice while hunting in it, but I did think it would be a little softer when I bought it new as my first ever merino base layer . I have some heavier weight Kuiu ultra merino that isn't 100% wool like the first lite and its super soft and a lot more comfortable. its a 90/10 blend I believe.

  3. #3


    I am surprised to hear someone say it it is itchy, my impressions with first lite stuff has been that it was very comfortable and soft right out of the package, same with my smart wool, and darn tough socks. I wonder if different people may have more or less of a sensitivity to it. If it doesn't feel good out of the package it may worth calling first lite before washing it, all of that stuff is way too expensive to get something you aren't 110% satisfied with.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Arizona, Colorado


    I've found that some people are more sensitive to the itchiness, but that some brands also are itchier than others. I personally am fairly sensitive to the itchiness. I've tried first lite, kuiu and core4 merino tops. All but the Kuiu were itchy to me. Maybe others have different experiences but that has been mine.

  5. #5


    Merino wool is softer than other wools, but some people with sensitive skin do feel itchy. Its not an allergy, just a sensitivity. There's 6 different grades of merino wool ranging from strong to ultra fine. I'd suspect if you're itchy you have sensitive skin and/or they're on the stronger end of the spectrum.

    File that under things I learned today.
    Last edited by esracerx; 08-10-2017 at 11:49 AM.

  6. #6


    My Firstlite feels like cotton and no itch. KUIU is a bit rougher but still no itch.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2015


    Of all the brands I own the Kuiu is the only one that's itchy for me, it's a 1st gen article picked up on clearance, so my guess is that they upgraded the fabric. I wear my Chama all the time with zero itch. But as other have indicated FL stuff costs too much to not be 100% satisfied. If merino just doesn't end up working for you the patagonia capalene is a great alternative, just wash/rinse it every other day or so.
    Elitist Hunter

    "Never let schooling [work] get in the way of your education" - Mark Twain

  8. #8


    You might want to exchange the Llano for the FL Minaret. I have always thought the Llano was softer than Kuiu stuff, but tried their new Minaret and it beats out the Llano pretty significantly. I will say that a few wash cycles does seem to soften up all of the above. Just depends on whether you want to take that $70 or so gamble.

  9. #9


    I've not had any issue with itch, however, I'm not sure it can be considered true 'next to skin' with me...

    The real concern is not sparking a forest fire when removing any wool shirt!!


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  10. #10


    Too funny Festus.

    Being the sensitive kinda guy I am...I can wear a heavy wool shirt next to my skin. lol
    Love my Smartwool tho.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Frigid Ohio


    Don't really know, but it has to beat a Dept. of Navy issue wool blanket under any circumstances !
    "Talent, hits a target, no one else can hit... Genius, hits a target, no one else can see."

  12. #12


    I have the cabelas icebreakers merino base layer. Soft as cotton.Very impressed with the quality and cheap on sale!

  13. #13


    I felt like my merino was a bit itchy at first, but if I wore a jacket it went away. It was weird in that sense.

    Once I used/washed it, the itchiness went away completely.

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