Going Wool? share your knowledge
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Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Vlad and Wool on 11/30/2006 10:04:18 MST Print View

Vlad,

see what you have started here on BPL Forums with all your talk of wool.

You have many more sharing your point of view than you may have thought when you first posted on this topic. Even DrJ has a lot of good things to say about wool.

Thanks for stirring up some good discussion on an important subject.

Also, thanks for making your position on synths a bit clearer.

Hope you had a good holiday with your family.
-------------------------------------------

Hey man...

Yeah, looks like I maybe have started some sort of mini "UL revolt." Ive started a UL insurrection of the worst kind, but thats alright cause starting insurrections is OK with me.

hehehe...<evil grin>

Guilty of revolutionary activities, man.

Vlad

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Going Wool? share your knowledge on 11/30/2006 12:01:06 MST Print View

>Wool works well for maybe people, but there are other people that have found alternatives which work better for them than wool.


I have wool base layer shirts from Icebreaker and Smartwool, but I prefer to wear a synthetic base layer for performance reasons. I wear Athletic Works (WalMart), Microfiber Life by Jockey (WalMart), and NordicTrack (Sears) which are made of 81% polyester and 19% elastane/spandex and are like Under Armour but much cheaper. I find that this material wicks better and dries faster than wool and other synthetics (polypro, Capilene, MTS). I can literally soak it and wear it dry in 15 minutes. When I'm sweating it keeps me cool, and when it's dry it keeps me warm. Further, I've found that this material doesn't stink as bad as other synthetics. At least, it doesn't smell any worse than I do after a week on the trail, and a quick rinse in plain water removes most of the smell. YMMV, of course (that's the point).

As for socks, I'm a confirmed Merino wool user.

Edited by Otter on 12/01/2006 22:03:22 MST.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: re:Going Wool? share your knowledge on 11/30/2006 15:21:28 MST Print View

"And Eric is correct! We will be dropping this piece for F07 so like you said, get them while you can. Made in the US out of 100% NZ Merino using 18.5 yarn. "

Reid, say it ain't so! This is a bad trend. Everything I like gets discontinued. First the Tioga Hoody and now the hooded Shak. I live in these when it's cold. I wear the Breezer Briefs every day, all year long. Please, please, please bring them back. The Roasters can't be worn year round, besides chestnuts are for roasting not... Will there be a hoody with thumb cuff holes in the Ibex line? There are a number of people here who would like this. In another thread Bill showed how he made his own. A light weight version in a light color would be much appreciated as well as a dark mid weight. I can specify details if you would like. I hesitate to say this but...I really like the Ibex polo shirts. I wear them nearly every day throughout the spring, summer and fall. Please, don't kill them either. As you can tell I'm a very loyal customer (running out of things to buy). You can contact me by email, if you would like, by clicking on my picture to the left, or respond here.

On another topic, I've thought about adding some lanolin back to my garments. Would this improve or ruin the performance of my Ibex wool garments? I'm thinking it would improve the water resistance and decrease absorption.

Edited by ericnoble on 11/30/2006 23:42:15 MST.

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
The Stinky Factor on 11/30/2006 15:45:41 MST Print View

I gotta agree with the person with the all green arctic avatar (if yer really doin tradin cards, send me one of those please ... I'm thinkin of changing mine periodically just for the fun of it so don't waste time on mine) ...

... who cares about how you smell on the trail ... unless you are on a date or don't wanna date a bear or cougar -- although they would be preferrable to my ex (by the way Brett -- where did you get the picture of my ex and her twin sister when you started this thread?), but that's another story. They, the bear or cougar - not my ex - may think its a dieing animule or sumpin tasty. In any case, my native american side tells me bein clean and not smellin has an important place in tracking, hunting - and thereby eating - but half the fun of getting out there without buildings, bosses, and the buzz of the Modern American world is just being -- which means no showers or baths more often than not.

An old Asian friend of mine claims showering with soap too much weakens the skin and opens the pores to bacteria and infection ... how is that for a rationale.

I rely on my partner to tell me ... "you stink" ... then, if she says that, I know I'm really gonna need the insulating pads and heavier sleeping bag. Thus, I am ready for the Merino Wool and less Stink Factor.

Edited by bdavis on 11/30/2006 15:47:37 MST.

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re: The Stinky Factor on 11/30/2006 17:31:51 MST Print View

Anyone else notice that it's harder to tell others have B.O. when no one has showered for "N" days?

First day at Philmont, seemed like all the troops coming in off the mountain smelled pretty bad. Last day at Philmont coming off the mountain, didn't seem like anyone smelled.... :)

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Re: The Stinky Factor on 11/30/2006 18:08:20 MST Print View

I remember when I was fourteen years old...decades ago. And I did my very first BSA 50 miler that started two days after Christmas. I wore mostly wool stuff and had a down sleeping bag that I ferociously protected against the wetness, along with a wool blanket to supplement the bag.

It got very cold during that five days and we had freezing rain or sleet...I cant remember which it was now it was so long ago. We also had some wet snow. Most people dropped out, including my best friend at the time.

It was physically hard as hell, but SO MUCH FUN!

The most fun was when I finished and there was my Mom and my sister parked there in that old Buick, waiting for me to drive back home. I got in and felt like I could kick the world's ass.

Driving home, I took off my wool shirt and field coat I had on...just a T-shirt underneath. And BAM! all of a sudden it hit...my Mom and sister could smell me and complained YOU STINK! I'd gone six days without a bath and humped 50 miles in the winter.

I smelled like an animal or something. Wrank...disgusting. But I didnt care at the time cause everybody else in that trek was in the same boat and it wasnt a social situation. IT WAS BACKPACKING!

I just laughed at them...I had my 50 miler patch in my hand. But boy, did that hot bath and shower feel soooooooo good when I got home! LOL

Vlad

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: The Stinky Factor on 11/30/2006 18:21:00 MST Print View

I gotta agree with the person with the all green arctic avatar (if yer really doin tradin cards, send me one of those please ... I'm thinkin of changing mine periodically just for the fun of it so don't waste time on mine) ...

... who cares about how you smell on the trail ... unless you are on a date or don't wanna date a bear or cougar -- although they would be preferrable to my ex (by the way Brett -- where did you get the picture of my ex and her twin sister when you started this thread?), but that's another story. They, the bear or cougar - not my ex - may think its a dieing animule or sumpin tasty. In any case, my native american side tells me bein clean and not smellin has an important place in tracking, hunting - and thereby eating - but half the fun of getting out there without buildings, bosses, and the buzz of the Modern American world is just being -- which means no showers or baths more often than not.

An old Asian friend of mine claims showering with soap too much weakens the skin and opens the pores to bacteria and infection ... how is that for a rationale.

I rely on my partner to tell me ... "you stink" ... then, if she says that, I know I'm really gonna need the insulating pads and heavier sleeping bag. Thus, I am ready for the Merino Wool and less Stink Factor.

This post was edited by bdavis at 11/30/2006 15:47:37 MST.
-----------------------------------------

Yeah...this is about how I feel as my earlier post so graphically pointed out. You know, I have actually had a lot of people tell me that is one of the MAIN reasons why they dislike camping and especially, backpacking. "You cant take a shower at the end of the day? How do you deal with that? And the bugs?" I used to get asked that a lot.

I never even thought about it...didnt care even. Maybe it was cause I wore wool in the winter, I dont know.

Vlad

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Re: Stink on 11/30/2006 20:40:07 MST Print View

My Daddy used to say, "Clean mind, clean body, choose one!" I chose a clean mind.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Itchy...scratchy on 11/30/2006 22:11:26 MST Print View

If you still need your itchy and scratchy fix order up some Stanfield's lambswool black long underwear in heavy rib knit, top, bottom, or union suit at www.davidmorgan.com. Very popular with cloistered folks in certain monasteries for hair shirt substitutes.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:Going Wool? share your knowledge on 11/30/2006 23:33:53 MST Print View

bd,
A search for "ex" on the internet brings up many strange pictures, including maybe those two merino sheep. They may be overfed, but I like their wool.
I just got my first Icebreaker shirt yesterday and tried it out. It has a little bit of itch to it; whereas my Monbell LW 1/4 zips have none at all. Icebreaker must process the wool differently?
I want to try Ibex, but it is just too expensive compared to the competition which can be found at steep discount. If I can find Ibex at about 50% off Ill try it.
The Icebreakeer itch is barely noticeable, so I can use it as a base layer, or second layer(intended use).

Is anyone going to start the "Going Silk? Share your experience" thread?? I can't because I don't have any..

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: re: Wool only need one set of clothes on 12/01/2006 00:35:48 MST Print View

What with all the conversation here at this board regarding the heaviness of wool, I have forgotten to mention an extremely important wool fact. For whatever reason, I have found that I can easily get by with just one pair of wool pants and shirt per every five to six days on the trail in wintertime. Ditto with wool long underwear.

This DOES NOT apply to wool socks! Although Ive found that I can easily get by with two or three pairs of wool ragg socks per 5 to 6 days on the trail.

I would think this "only need one set of clothes per five or six days" would negate most UL arguments against wool for being heavy. And settle this debate.

I am guessing the reason why I can easily get by with only one set of wool clothes per weekly period because yes, wool doesnt retain odor like other fabrics.

Of course, I am talking from personal experience here which means I am talking about wool products which are composed mostly of wool and not wool with a sizable percentage of synthetics mixed in.

Just one more reason why wool kicks butt.

Vlad

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Re: Re: re: Wool only need one set of clothes on 12/01/2006 09:11:17 MST Print View

What I know about wool, to be wool it must come from sheep ...anything else, down from the brushtail possum, alpaca,cashmere,hamster down, or elephant ear tufts are animal fibers but not wool.
But what we really need is SUL pashmina garments from pashmina goats in India and Nepal. This really should the next big thing for Bozeman and Ryan to tackle, of course it will be brutally expensive and it will also not be wool...

Reid Greenberg
(Ibexreid) - F
Re: Re: Re: re:Going Wool? share your knowledge on 12/01/2006 11:27:06 MST Print View

**Disclaimer: I work for Ibex

Hey Eric,

Thank for the comments. Truth be told, and I want to be honest with you. Although the Tioga and Shak Hoody are great tops and we've developed a group of hard-core followers, its sell thru numbers are not as strong as we had hoped. The Shak Full Zip and Shak 1/2 Zip are our best sellers from the Shak collection. The Hooded just didn't perform as great as we had hoped. The same was true for the Tioga, unfortunately, although we are still making a woman's version.

In regard to your lanolin question, I need to ask you some in return:

1) Why!

2) What is your source of lanolin?

3) Do you have a lab?
But seriously, the only way to add lanolin and natural oils back into the the garment would be to microscopically inject it back into each fiber. Unless time is no issue and you have the lab set up, go for it! I think if you were to rub lanolin on the outside of the garment it would work short-term but certainly wash out during the next cycle in the machine. At Ibex, we use a cold water wash to process our Loden, Merino, and O-Wool which, unlike boiling, allows for "a lot" of the natural oils in the fiber to remain in place. It also helps maintain the natural softness and weather resistance of the fiber and eventually garment.

Hope this helps. But if you do try it please let me know what happens. Wonder if that would void our warranty ;-)


Best,
Reid

Edited by Ibexreid on 12/01/2006 11:31:18 MST.

Reid Greenberg
(Ibexreid) - F
Re: Re: re: Wool only need one set of clothes on 12/01/2006 11:54:16 MST Print View

Hey Vlad,

I would assume that your "wool socks" probably have some synthetics woven in such as, Spandex, Lycra, etc. Check out the label. That's what will more than likely retain the order you are experiencing.

It's difficult to make a 100% pure Merino sock due to the fact that the fiber will usually not stand up to that much abuse. Lycra, etc. is often used to give the sock a nice stretch and hug-factor, too.

Let me know what the label says. I could be 100% pure, New Zealand wrong!

Best,
Reid

Reid Greenberg
(Ibexreid) - F
RE: Adding Lanolin back in... on 12/01/2006 12:29:12 MST Print View

Another thing, Eric:

One of our product developers has a pair of Ibex woolies tops and bottoms that she's test-dried something like 15 times.

They are a little dried out so we thought putting some lanolin on them might be a good experiment. Mind you, the fiber will not fully absorb the oil but it will coat the outside enough where it might just work!

Great thinking, Eric!! I'll let you know on Monday how they feel. It would be good to wash-test them after as well.

Happy Friday,
Reid

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Re: Re: re: Wool only need one set of clothes on 12/01/2006 12:32:14 MST Print View

Reid,

Your assumption is wrong. My wool socks are mostly wool. I have several pairs that are 100% wool. They dont retain odor AT ALL. I wear those with thin synthetic liner socks. I used to wear them with a type of all cotton sock sold at the Trading post at Philmont Scout Ranch base camp. The cotton liner socks I dont wear anymore, although for hot weather use I would consider going back to them IF I COULD FIND THEM ANYMORE.

These wool ragg socks the new style Merino wool or Smartwool designs. These are old style wool ragg socks. The kind most people dont like to wear anymore.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with wool socks with synthetics mixed in as long as the synthetic component doesnt get too high. Ive noticed generally not more than 20% synthetic is still fine and the socks dont retain odor or lose that unique wool property.

Vlad

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Going Wool? share your knowledge on 12/01/2006 12:58:23 MST Print View

Hey Reid,

You stated that: "Truth be told, and I want to be honest with you. Although the Tioga and Shak Hoody are great tops and we've developed a group of hard-core followers, its sell thru numbers are not as strong as we had hoped. The Shak Full Zip and Shak 1/2 Zip are our best sellers from the Shak collection. The Hooded just didn't perform as great as we had hoped."

I looked at your web site yesterday and did not find the weight of the Shank Hoody ($140) listed. I called but it was after you had left. The CS person could not find a weight for the Hoody. The weight for the Shank 1/2 zip is listed at 20 ounces. I would guess the weight of the Hoody is 21.5 to 22 ounces.

I would consider that way to heavy to buy. That may have been the reason it did not sell as well as it might have if it only weighed 8 or 9 ounces.

My custom made Patagonia #2 Wool Hoody weighs 8 ounces.

Edited by bfornshell on 12/01/2006 13:30:21 MST.

Vlad Putin
(Primaloft37)

Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Re: Going Wool? share your knowledge on 12/01/2006 13:08:56 MST Print View

I did a search and found the exact name of the old wool issue pants and shirt that were phased out in the eighties. Found a couple on eBay and other places...I am not into eBay at all but I figured I would post a link to another website so you could see what they looked like.

The originals were issued during the Korean war and continued right up until sometime in the early to mid eighties. They were called "U.S. Army Wool Field Shirts (OD 106/108) and were also called the "M1951 wool field trousers and shirts."

BTW, I am not at all making any money off of this. I am just biased in favor of wool cold weather clothing and think these old clothes are still "da bomb" for cold weather backpacking. Combine them with wool long underwear and a wool hat and you are set, you can leave your softshell at home.

Scroll to the bottom of the site where you see wool pants and shirts for sale, Wool pant 02, Wool shirt 01, etc. Click on the pic to blow it up. These are the old, scratchy style wool clothes that will keep you alive in cold weather.

http://www.sprucemtsurplus.com/canvasgoods4.html

Vlad

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: re:Going Wool? share your knowledge on 12/01/2006 13:09:25 MST Print View

Reid,
Thanks for your response. I appreciate your honesty. So, I like everything that doesn't sell :). That's probably a hint that I should stay away from sales and marketing jobs. This implies that the Roaster briefs outsold the Breezer briefs, amazing. This seems to confirm the incorrect bias that wool is for cold weather only. Are the Roaster and the Breezer exactly the same except of the nylon panel? If so, I wonder how hard it would be to remove the panel.

What kept me from buying the Hooded Shak for the longest time was the pocket. It look 30% off to over come that feature. I wonder if others felt the same? The pocket on the Guide Sweater and the stripe down the back of the Long Trail has had a similar effect on me. Less is more, except where function is concerned. The latest Polo shirts are perfect. The older ones used a different collar and extra fabric around the buttons.

I can only imagine the difficulty in deciding which garments you keep because they are unique and fill a niche, and those you drop because sales were low. I would argue that a simple hoody with thumb holes is unique in the market and worth keeping. But...I like things that don't sell :).

On to the lanolin question. I have a theory that may be wrong, particularly based on your response. I've assumed that lanolin is worth more to the cosmetics industry and therefore more is being removed from the wool then should be. If you control the processing of the wool and therefor the lanolin content, and your focus is solely on the fabric, then in your case I am wrong. My source of lanolin would be the lanolin washes that are used for wool diapers. I assumed the lanolin would seep into the fibers if they were lacking in lanolin. Your response leads me to assume that the processing seals the cuticle of the fiber in some way. I could be totally wrong.

My other theory is, that repeated use of detergents would tend to remove lanolin. So, after a time it might be beneficial to add some back. This is all conjecture on my part.

It is great to hear a little about how you process the wool! Are you using chlorine? If so, is that the best way or are there other options. No judgement on my part.

By the way, I consider Ibex to be top tier when it comes to wool garments. Your care for your product shows.

Eric

p.s. I'm not a casual wool user. I've been wearing it every day, with few exceptions, for over 2 years now. Like Vlad, I've been a fan of wool since my teens. The shirt in my avatar picture is an Ibex Polo. The wool is for the cold bias needs to go. I've worn it in Costa Rica and in temps above 100.

Edited by ericnoble on 12/01/2006 13:54:42 MST.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Going Wool? share your knowledge on 12/01/2006 13:22:12 MST Print View

Hey Bill,
I think you meant to say "Hey Reid" rather than "Hey Eric".

My large Hooded Shak weighs 20.1 ounces. You are right about the weight. For 3 season use it is way too heavy. I bought if for winter trips and for skiing. A hoody is perfect for skiing. No snow down the neck when you fall. My heavy cotton hoodies might have been a thing of the past.

Edited by ericnoble on 12/02/2006 23:09:17 MST.