Apr 25, 2013 at 6:07 am #1302167
Over the last 6 months I've been working on a wool button down. During my research, I stumbled on this thread:
My goal was to use wool's technical properties to make a better button down. Over the last 10 years, wool has made a strong return in the outdoorsy community and that got me thinking about why we don't see many wool button down shirts. Anyways, would love for you guys to check the project out and let me know your thoughts
Your woolguy MacApr 25, 2013 at 6:18 am #1980360
Price. Plenty of good wool out there if you can afford it.Apr 25, 2013 at 7:19 am #1980372
Do you think the performance justifies the price? Do you wear wool for non-outdoorsy activities?Apr 25, 2013 at 7:47 am #1980376
Seems like he stayed away from dirt or heavy sweating…
It does sound like a good project. I wear wool shirts or undershirts about 90% of the time so I'm already convinced about the raw material.
I'm going to place a bet for two shirts.Apr 25, 2013 at 8:02 am #1980378
Thanks for backing Jim!
I actually got pretty grimey in the 100 day shirt, but was consistently impressed with the shirt's ability to air out…
This is an example day in the shirt:
http://woolandprince.com/post/45699207498/day-in-the-life-of-100-day-prototype-shirtApr 25, 2013 at 9:39 am #1980404
@attaboybradLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
It doesn't matter what a shirt's made from if it doesn't fit well. Looks like you've got the shape down pretty well, but at my dimensions I pretty much have to go custom to get sleeves long enough. Partnering as a fabric supplier with one of the several good custom tailoring startups out there might be a good way to expand once your core competencies are established since you appear to be building your brand around the quality of your material.Apr 25, 2013 at 10:05 am #1980411
Thats a really good idea. you have any favorite custom tailored startups?Apr 25, 2013 at 10:41 am #1980427
What would be the typical lifespan for one of these shirts? Assuming I wear it normally and not every day of course. The price point isn't bad for a shirt that will last.
RyanApr 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm #1980540
just Justin WhitsonMember
I bought a lightweight, thin, wool button down shirt on Sierra Trading Post a couple of years back. It's RTK brand, and it's a "dress shirt" with collar. The material has started to rip and fray at a couple of areas and that's without heavy or backpacking use.
What i am interested in though is blends of wool and silk (and/or linen also). Somewhere from 30% to 40% silk added to increase strength and extra softness.
Edit to add p.s. Wool does have great elasticity, but that's not the only thing that determines durability for fabric. Tensile strength is also really important. Wool has low tensile strength. Here are two natural and non smelly fibers that blow wool out of the water in that area. Linen and silk.
Neither Linen or silk have good elasticity, but they have very high tensile strength for natural fibers (heck, the original parachutes were made out of silk!).
My thin, button down linen shirts will last much longer than any thin wool shirt, and the moisture and odor handling properties are similar. The difference is, is that wool will be more insulating than linen.
However, wool is NOT more insulating than silk everything else being equal–silk is definitely warmer per similar thickness and weight. So, blend your wool shirts with either some silk and/or linen, and i would buy some.Apr 25, 2013 at 4:45 pm #1980547
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
I don't understand what urban fashion has to do with ultralight backpacking.
The best thing about wool is you can walk into a thrift shop or search ebay and find high quality wool for super cheap.Apr 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm #1980548
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Justin, how fast do your linen shirts dry? Do they get freezing cold when wet (like cotton does)?Apr 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm #1980554
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
If I was in the market for another wool shirt, button-down or otherwise, I'd get a Pendleton. Top quality and a rich history in the PNW and they have the "outdoorsy" people well covered. (No pun intended.)Apr 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm #1980557
Not to mention the savvy shopper here in the Los Angeles area can get a good one (not the cheaper, thin Pendleton Cabela's carries) in a thrift store for $40 or less. Plenty of resale/vintage stores out here (like Wasteland) regularly stock them.
I've purchased 2 100% merino sweaters out of thrift stores in the last few weeks for a combined total of $15. One still had tags on it. The other was used but flawless.
$100 shirts? I'm definitely not the target market.Apr 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm #1980562
just Justin WhitsonMember
They dry quite fast for a natural, absorbent material, though obviously not as fast as a synthetic. They also feel drier much faster than cotton because the fiber structure is literally hollow tubes. So it sucks in the moisture and disperses it fairly rapidly, keeping the fabric dry, but cool to the touch. Cotton fiber structure for example is solid, flattish and ribbon like.
But since it has a high cellulose content (though lower than cotton), the Linen is not as insulative as say wool, silk, poly, or polypro. But due to the hollow, but also fine fibers, it's considerably more insulative than cotton.
Personally, i don't use it much for cold weather/winter backpacking. I switch over to wool, and wool synthetic blends for that for baselayers. I've wondered about trying a waxed Linen shirt for more outerwear for colder temps…Apr 25, 2013 at 5:54 pm #1980573
"Do you wear wool for non-outdoorsy activities?"
"Do you think the performance justifies the price?"
Can't say. Wool is not cheap, I get that.Apr 26, 2013 at 7:28 am #1980703
With proper care, we're roughly estimating 10 to 15 years of life. Time will tell. A few buttons may have to be replaced over the years, but the fabric will maintain color and true shape.Apr 26, 2013 at 7:30 am #1980704
Love this thought. We actually experimented with some wool cotton blends when researching for the better button down. The increase softness was marginal, but the wrinkle resistance and odor fighting properties were greatly reduced.
We're actually going to be hiring some fabric scientists to do some serious lab testing on our next line.Apr 26, 2013 at 7:32 am #1980706
Justin, you bring up a good point. Most of these are flannels tho. Our shirt is a superfine worsted (meaning the fibers were aligned when the yarn is spun). It doesn't have a furry, lumberjack feel.
Love me some goodwill flannels, thoApr 27, 2013 at 4:33 am #1980981
@stingray4540Locale: South Bay
I have to say these look awesome! I love me a good button down.
I will, however have to wait until after the kickstarter project to check these out, assuming you start selling them regularly. If I can't try it on before I buy, I can't afford to spend $98 on a shirt that ends up not fitting, and no way of returning it.
I would LOVE to see you do a wool/linen blend in your next line. I love my linen shirts, I love my wool shirts, I would love to have the best of both worlds!
Also, as your company grows, I would suggest adding "tall" and "long arm" sizes. I have a consistantly hard time finding button down shirts that are slim fitting yet long enough. At 6' 155, a medium is too baggy and smalls tend to show skin if I'm not standing perfectly up and down. And, as someone else mentioned, it seems a lot of people have a hard time finding sleeves long enough. Just a thought anyway.Apr 27, 2013 at 10:36 am #1981039
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
I like wool shirts and the cost is reasonable compared to what new quality wool shirts cost.
My problem is that kickstarter projects are risky for those who pledge money. I would rather purchase from a known and reputable business, not give money a start-up company that might not make it.Apr 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm #1981075
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
It's funny… when I started backpacking in the 1970s a wool (or wool / nylon mix?) button-down was the standard shirt that everyone wore. I don't know that they were tailored, and I am sure it was a more course wool. Might lasted around 25 years until the elbow wore down enough that pulling on new patches just wasn't going to work.Apr 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm #1981416
Thanks for the recs Nick. We're looking to add some size variations as stretch goals. Will keep you posted.
Gizmodo just picked us up!http://gizmodo.com/wish-you-were-here/Apr 29, 2013 at 7:49 am #1981537
Personally, I love it, although definitely none of the patterns/colors are outdoor friendly (or appeal to me particularly).
Would really love to see a charcoal or similar darker option. I understand your current choices, although I think they're all deeply in the same "vein", and will all appeal to the same demographic, while not branching out much.
I plan to pledge, and if you guys get off the ground and are interested in a collaboration project, I'd love to do a small run of co-branded TSS x W&P shirt, in a Safari style with a dark color. ;)
Definitely look into some blends, it's a very neglected segment of this particular market. I dislike synthetics in clothing, especially now that I'm so heavily involved in hot metal work, as they are a serious safety hazard, but it's difficult to avoid for warmer months in outdoor apparel.Apr 29, 2013 at 8:52 am #1981561
Hi Javan, we are working on some more color options!
What's the link to TSS?Apr 29, 2013 at 9:00 am #1981566
No link bro, other than the outdated FB page. It's just me, slaving away in the shop. ;)
I used to make lots of custom sleep gear, now I'm mostly into hard goods.
checkout "The Stateless Society" on FB for some pics of stuff I made a year or two ago. Been too busy with knife making and machining to work on many backpacking projects but I'm ramping back up with some new goods this year.
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