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Swanndri Wool Shirt

Discussion in 'EDC Clothing' started by 50ft-trad, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. 50ft-trad

    50ft-trad Loaded Pockets

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    I bought a Swanndri shirt probably about 18 months to two years ago, and until this evening never managed to tolerate the itch for more than about 10 minutes. I was sat here this evening though, just perusing the forum and felt a bit chilly in just a long sleeved tee, and decided to give it another whirl.

    This time I lasted about an hour, but then had to take it off - not due to the itch, but because I was getting so WARM. It still itched but it was tolerable for some reason today. I plan on trying to desensitise myself against it, as I think it would be an excellent outdoor garment if only I could tame it. The Swanndri is quite a course wool, so the scratchy tickle factor is quite high

    Are there any fans of wool shirts (or other clothing for that matter) here, and anyone got any tips on how to tame the dreaded itch?
    Anyone else have specific experience with Swanndri?
     
  2. malraux72

    malraux72 Loaded Pockets

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    Great fan of old style wool shirts here. No experience with Swanndri but have been using them since I was a kid and got my grandads WWII one. Two tricks to ease the itch. 1) The easy-soak the collar and cuffs in vinegar and let it dry and air out. It works. Not sure why but it does. 2) line the collar and cuffs . Silk works best for me.
    m
     
  3. Dr Jekell
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    • In Omnia Paratus

    Dr Jekell I had fun once, It was awful.
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    I am guessing you are starting to break it in.

    I have a wool jersey that is part of my uniform & when I first got it, it felt like it was full of fiberglass insulation.

    After using it for a number of shifts it seemed to smooth out & have less fibers standing up.
     
  4. ironmonkey

    ironmonkey Loaded Pockets

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    im a big fan of merino wool clothing.the best wool in my opinion.im quite sensitive to wool as well but have no problem at all with merino wool.swandri is an icon over here in little old new zealand(especially those wool bushshirts). i wear silk body(80%merino wool/20% silk and icebreaker(100% merino wool) brand shirts both short sleeve and long sleeve.both new zealand companies:) survival brand lightweight merino hoodies(hard to get these days as survival brand went out of business.also a new zealand company) swandri smart wool merino jacket(100% merino wool)icebreaker 100% merino beanie. i even 100% merino wool socks:)excellent stuff...definitely my favourite clothing material:) and i wear it daily.merino wool has many great attributes: anti odour,breathable,heat regulating(i believe),warm when wet(keeps its insulating properties even when wet),less itchy due to smaller microscopic wool fibres.does have a few downsides: like gets heavy when wet(absorbs up to ten times its own weight i believe),cant be put in a dryer(will felt and shrink,low cycle at your own risk),takes longer to dry than other materials. still,i can't recommend this enough.absolutely love it.
     
  5. 50ft-trad

    50ft-trad Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks malraux. That one really suprised me, I knew vinegar could be a "wonder product" in many ways but never heard of this use before. I ran the suggestion through Google to see what associated wisdon that threw up, and it appears a dilute mix/rinse will soften ALL the fibres (I can currently still feel the fibres through a long sleeved tee).

    Any idea how long the smell lingers? Can't see switching itchiness for smelling like a pickle jar to be very beneficial over a prolongued period ;-P

    To be honest I wish I'd gone for the (now discontinued??) Ranger Extreme, rather than just the standard Ranger but IIRC the diference in price was too big a leap for me at the time. Unfortunately I don't trust myself in the needlecraft department to start attacking what is not a cheap item. Though I may adopt this as a last resort if other attempts don't get sufficient results.

    I never even considered this either! It's a natural material - so why shouldn't it soften with use. Leather does!

    Thanks Dr Jekell, fiberglass is a very good comparison to what I originally felt, and the tickle of doom is still there - but has wained some. It must have been torturous to be subjected to that for whole shifts! I'll defiantely perservere with this and hope it "beds in" soon - but may try a vinegar rinse to help it along its natural course. (Apparantly works with frizzy hair too!)

    Great post - thanks for all the info. Here in the UK (don't know what it's like for yourselves) merino is also very good for lightening the wallet ;-P I think if I can get over the initial hurdles of wool (including but not limited to itchiness - I think I'll definately explore the merino products. I especially like the idea of merino base layers for long periods outside to avoid bodily pong. I'd need to save some pennies first though - so don't think I'm discounting your suggestion if I don't rush back with positive feedback soon.
     
  6. malraux72

    malraux72 Loaded Pockets

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    50ft-trad,
    the smell will go out in about a week or two of drying outside . Cold helps. You can also wash it after you let the vineagar soak in and dry. Use cold water mild soap and do it by hand in the tub.
    The lined collar and cuffs are not my invention seen it on WWII GI wool shirts. Easy to do even for a clumsy guy like me. Buy a silk shirt in a thrift store. Cut strips for the collar and cuffs, hemmed them and hand stitch. Tiny stitches.
    Merino wool is a different animal then traditional wool. Much more comfortable and almost no itch !!
    You are lucky to be in the UK your wool rocks !!!!!!!!!!
     
  7. Stuart69

    Stuart69 Empty Pockets

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    I've got a few Swanndri and other wool things and I found washing with soap flakes really softens them up and stops the itching.
     
  8. JimDon

    JimDon Loaded Pockets

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    Try some Woolite. Use a cold water wash with a capful. THen do a cold water rinse. All by hand. No machine. hang it up and let it drip dry. May shrink a tiny bit with air dry, but it is very pliable and you can stretch it back to its correct shape.
    Hope that helps.

    Cheers,
    Jim Don
     
  9. TjPippa

    TjPippa Loaded Pockets

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    I've just ordered one of these for the winter. Should be here next week so looking forward to trying out these suggestions!
     
  10. nice65

    nice65 Loaded Pockets

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    I use one all the time worn over a t-shirt or long sleeve. I find it a bit coarse, but not uncomfortable. It's a favourite for camping, I wear it in my bag at night.
     
  11. TjPippa

    TjPippa Loaded Pockets

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    Well, the ranger shirt arrived today distraught out with it. Great cut, wouldbe preferred slightly longer arms but that's just being picky. Bit breezy today and it did just the trick. Very pleased...think I'm converted
     
  12. 50ft-trad

    50ft-trad Loaded Pockets

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    Glad you like it - how did you find the comfort/itch?

    Thanks Jim, I'll give that a whirl before the vinegar I think.
    Though if I do the vinegar, I'll probably use the woolite on it again after ;-)