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Merino Wool ~ YES, it is worth the high price + its "stink free"

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
#1
I've only been wearing 100% Merino Wool shirts & fleeces for the past couple of years. Back in the late 70's/early 80's I had lots of itchy/heavy wool that I wore out in the field and I think tha past experience with heavy wool is why I favored the modern synthetics for many years.

But synthetics stink when you perspire. Even the anti-microbial treated synthetics get really funky smelling after a while because the treatments wear out ... and pilgrims have a reputation for being stinky.

You can fight that odor problem with 100% Merino Wool. Its also nice and cool in the summer when worn as a sun-shirt, yet it insulates well in the winter. And, unlike synthetics it insulates when wet. Over the past couple of years I find that Merino shirts tend to regulate my body temperature better than synthetics.

If you are unfamiliar with 100% Merino Wool clothing they are often advertised by weight. 150 weight fabric is lightweight, about as thick as a typical men's undershirt. As the fabric weight goes up, 200, 260, 400 so does the insulation properties. As a baselayer shirt in cooler weather or as a summer shirt look for 150 weight. In cold weather step it up to 200 or 260 weight, etc.

Icebreaker is one of the better known brands, but also consider the following brands STOIC, IBEX, Mountain Khaki, Smartwool. A new brand called Voormi looks very interesting for water proof fleeces and base layers made out of Merino wool with a woven outerlayer that incorporates nylon fibers twisted around wool fibers, but I've never tried one. I own various types of clothing from each of the other brands and all are good. I've worn some for multiple days when hiking and doing laundry could not be done and they resist odor amazingly well. They also sink wash and hang dry just about as quickly as any similar weight synthetic.

So do yourself a favor and try some 100% Merino Wool. The people walking with you may be the ones who thank you for not being stinky and you may find ~like I did~ that modern Merino Wool is NOT like the wool that was available a few decades ago.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) SJPDP-SDC
Camino Norte 2018
Pilgrims Office Volunteer 2018
#2
I've only been wearing 100% Merino Wool shirts & fleeces for the past couple of years. Back in the late 70's/early 80's I had lots of itchy/heavy wool that I wore out in the field and I think that is why I favored the modern synthetics.

But synthetics stink when you perspire. Even the anti-microbial treated synthetics get really funky smelling after a while because the treatments wear out. Pilgrims have a reputation for being stinky.

You can fight that odor problem with 100% Merino Wool. Its also nice and cool in the summer when worn as a sun-shirt, yet it insulates well in the winter. And, unlike synthetics it insulates when wet. Over the past couple of years I find that Merino shirts tend to regulate my body temperature better than synthetics.

If you are unfamiliar with 100% Merino Wool clothing they are often advertised by weight. 150 weight fabric is lightweight, about as thick as a typical men's undershirt. As the fabric weight goes up, 200, 260, 400 so does the insulation properties. As a baselayer shirt in cooler weather or as a summer shirt look for 150 weight. In cold weather step it up to 200 or 260 weight.

Icebreaker is one of the better known brands, but also consider the following brands STOIC, IBEX, Mountain Khaki, Smartwool. A new brand called Voormi looks very interesting for water proof fleeces, but I've never tried one. I own various types of clothing from each of the other brands and all are good. I've worn some for multiple days when hiking and doing laundry could not be done and they resist order amazingly well. They also sink wash and hang dry just about as quickly as any similar weight synthetic.

So do yourself a favor and try some Merino Wool. The people walking with you may be the ones who thank you for not being stinky and you may find ~like I did~ that modern Merino Wool is NOT like the wool that was available a few decades ago.
Thanks for the info. I plan to get a t-shirt and try it. Never tried it before as all my shirts are the synthetic. Appreciate the recommendation. Ed
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
#3
Thanks for the info. I plan to get a t-shirt and try it. Never tried it before as all my shirts are the synthetic. Appreciate the recommendation. Ed
Shop around, you can find some long-sleeve options on sale from 'last season' on several webstores. Check the "outlet" links on the websites of Moosejaw, Backcountry, REI, etc.

Also look at SteepAndCheap. But you have to check frequently becuase they change their offerings every few days, they are an outlet type website, hard to shop, because what was there today is gone a couple days from now, they also have an "App".
 
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
#4
Totally agree with this, especially the"no stink" aspect! I've been wearing merino t-shirts throughout my Camino (almost finished!) and there is no odor at all even in hot and sweaty weather. I only have two, plus a merino fleece for the colder mornings. Ditto for the socks which I've also been wearing - my shoes don't pong a bit, even after being worn every day for the past 8 weeks! Love my merino! Of course I'm lucky because I live in NZ with an Icebreaker outlet store just down the road - I agree it is normally expensive, but very worth it. And no I'm not on commission! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#5
And... to add to this (because I also love wool!) if you live in the United States near or in a large city, you can go to Goodwill, or better yet, the Goodwill BINS, and find a man's large wool sweater. If there is no Goodwill, try a yard sale. Or any second hand shop.

You buy a large or extra large because it is going to shrink dramatically!

I put the sweater in the washing machine on hot, then depending on how much that shrinks it, into the dryer on hot.

Watch it carefully and take it out as soon as it fits. You can air dry it if you need to.

I look for a lightweight merino wool or (I prefer) cashmere wool.
And it does not HAVE to be merino - merino is just softer to the touch.

This is called FELTING the sweater and it results in an extremely tightly knit, nearly waterproof and certainly water resistant sweater.
It will not unravel once it has been felted, and so you can shorten the arms or make a vest or cut it if you need to without worry.

I do this each year and it's my favorite piece of gear.
It never needs washing. I just air it out when I can - wool has a weird self-cleaning quality.
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
#6
Annie, for those of us who already are size LARGE your trick doesn't work very well. And while "boiled wool" is warm & stick free it can also be itchy.

The Merino Wool baselayers are, at least for most people, itch free when worn directly against the skin as an undershirt/baselayer or as a casual shirt. I do agree that Cashmere is even softer but I have not seen many Cashmere garments that are suitable for hikers/walkers, except in cooler weather.

A modern 150 weight Merino shirt is just as comfortable on a summer day as a casual shirt as it is as a baselayer/undershirt layered under a fleece.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#7
I brought 2 Marino shirts for my Camino. Both were too hot for walking so I only used them at night. (Icebreaker.....very light)

My 'walking' shirt was a tech nylon.....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#8
Melensdad, I love love love the idea of merino wool!

I wear a large size (14-16 these days) and I have an extra large felted merino sweater that works great!
It's not that difficult (in Portland Oregon anyway) to find X-large and XX Large sweaters.
My last year's sweater was felted cashmere and it was awesome.
Smaller people will have an easier time finding something, of course.

I did not use mine as a base layer, but as a top layer.
I do have a merino wool tee shirt I use in summer or winter next to my skin.
I'm a fan of merino wool.

I was just suggesting this as an option for people who may not be able to afford to purchase merino wool, which can be quite expensive.

My last short sleeve merino wool teeshirt ran around $70.
My felted wool sweater cost me $2.50
Worth shopping around, in my opinion.:p

I also bought a bamboo long sleeved shirt last year in Astorga when my merino long johns wore through, and I love it!
Much warmer and softer than the merino was.
 
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MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
#9
Annie/Melensdad

I love merino wool as well but I will have to find some light weight t shirts to try in a couple weeks when I go in the back country. They work very well when skiing or hunting but I will have to try them when it is hot. I am sure it is a mindset, but I have to test the idea. To be honest it goes against my common cense. I have spent many years in deserts, never saw any person in any cultures wear wool. But I will try it & report back. When I wore body armor I always wore a tech t shirt underneath I will try it with & without but the stench factor will be there so it will defeat the idea of not being stinky. I like the idea of cashmere, but once again, it is so tightly woven I wonder.
Keith
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#10
Yeah, cashmere probably would NOT be good in the heat. Neither would the felted wool.
Those are more for colder days.
 

Oztrekker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I started in st jean and am currently in leon. My foot is blistered after my boots wore out.

Have completed many long distance treks longest is 1000 km, bibulmun track.
#11
Merino is the best stink free.

However the testicles where a hole in mens boxers after 200 km. I have tried 2 brands same result.

Different for women.

I prefer merino anytime. I love this fibre.

Oz
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#12
I am wearing a new merino wool base layer for the first time today. It is hot out, the hottest day so far this year and the first day that I did not wear or bring a sweater or jacket. I wanted to see how well it does, although I already have one merino wool base layer (150 weight) from Mountain Equipment Co-op. I just wanted to see if it would be itchy in the heat or as comfortable as my Icebreaker 260 weight jacket. So far, it is not itchy. I don't think I'm smelly (Hard to tell, as I am used to my smell). I bought both my MEC merino wool shirts on sale at MEC - prices in the $40 range. They are made quite long, which is very good for tucking in for extra warmth for the hips in chilly weather. I am taking them with me on my camino in the fall.
My only caution about merino wool is that I have found it fragile. After every trip, something needs mending, including on the Icebreaker jacket, where the fabric of the wrists frays badly. A tear can happen under a waistbelt, for example. To improve their usefulness and extend their wear, I am taking a needle or two and thread in the bright colours of my merino garments, for on the trail repairs. Without this, I could end up looking like quite a clown, or tears that spread might shorten the lifespan of the garments. If you live in Canada, check the MEC website for sales, as merino garments are occasionally available.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
#13
I always bring two merino t- shirts and one with long sleeves on my caminos. Yes, the waistbelt migh make some holes in them. It is the best you can use, took me some years to really believe in that, but after some weeks trying it out in 35C in the mountains of Mallorca, I was convinced and always
wear them. They do not look wet like synthetic, even wet still not cold. Dries quicker too.
 

Evel

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting April 30 2015
#14
I wore a short sleeve 150 weight and a long sleeved 200 weight on my camino and they worked great
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
#15
I went & picked up a 150 weight Long sleeve smart wool today changed out of my cotton T & I was cooler 86deg. The true test will be the trail but so far I am amazed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
'03CF, '08VdlP, '12Porto, '14VdlP via Port '15CPI ‘17Levante to Toledo
#16
Anther merino fan here. I’ve done the hot sections of the VdlP twice wearing merino singlets and laying these as I head further North (merino t-shirts, long-sleeve and base layer) in to the cooler North. Also a merino buff. Perfect camino gear.
 

frasert

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April/May 2013 SJPDP to Burgos
April/May 2015 Burgos to SDC or Leon to Finesterre (undecided)
#17
Merino is the best stink free.

However the testicles where a hole in mens boxers after 200 km. I have tried 2 brands same result.

Different for women.

I prefer merino anytime. I love this fibre.

Oz
i
Ok that's a different problem to the usual!
 

Angelo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014)
Portugues (2015)
Madrid (2017)
Inglés (2017)
Invierno (Apr. 2019)
#18
Yes I prefer wearing Merino for its many attributes - already mentioned on this thread. But it needs looking after as it tears easily. Imagine my horror when I washed one of my merino Boxer shorts midway on the CF (I washed it after every day of use, of course). The big tear was embarrassing... so it went to the bin instead of the clothesline in Sahagun. If only I had needle and thread- but I gave them to a Pilgrim with bad blisters early on. The t-shirts (150 weight) lasted until the finish line.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013) Frances (2014) St. Oswald's Way (2015) Le Puy (2016) Portugues (2018)
#19
Quick question: Has anyone backpacked in an Icebreaker (or similar brand) merino wool jacket? I've always hiked in North Face fleece but thought I would take a merino wool jacket on my next trip (leaving in 10 days). Now I'm worried -- based on other people's comments about fabric tears -- that it won't hold up as well as synthetic fleece against friction from the hip belt of the backpack. Never occurred to me to worry about this, until now...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#20
I have been inspired by this thread, and by my new merino t-shirt, which dried in 3 hours after hand washing and hanging in a cool place, to go to MEC and buy two pairs of boy short underwear. It is so very light. I hope that they will be comfortable and will last my two months in Spain. As I am walking in October/November, they should provide comfortable warmth and dry quickly. I am not telling anyone in Calgary that, on a 32C day I just made a special trip downtown to buy wool underwear.
I would take a merino wool jacket on my next trip (leaving in 10 days). Now I'm worried -- based on other people's comments about fabric tears
I have just seen your post. I have a 260 weight merino wool hooded Icebreaker jacket. I have hiked with it in the mountains of western Canada for a couple of years. I would not want to be without it. If it is very cold at night, I wear it inside my down bag with the hood up and am cozy. At that weight, the fabric is unlikely to run or tear. However, it does fray around the wrists and needs a certain amount of mending on my return. I am taking it with me on my camino as my major source of warmth in cool weather. The fraying is a nuisance, but not a deal breaker for me.
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
#22
Quick question: Has anyone backpacked in an Icebreaker (or similar brand) merino wool jacket? I've always hiked in North Face fleece but thought I would take a merino wool jacket on my next trip (leaving in 10 days). Now I'm worried -- based on other people's comments about fabric tears -- that it won't hold up as well as synthetic fleece against friction from the hip belt of the backpack. Never occurred to me to worry about this, until now...
Just finished hiking across England along the Hadrian's Wall National Trail and wore an Icebreaker Merino fleece jacket every day ... it was between 40F and 55F every day, strong winds & rain. My baselayer shirt was a 150 weight Stoic, topped by the Icebreaker Fleece Jacket, and, in rain/wind topped that with a Marmot Artemis rain jacket.

No damage or visible wear to the Icebreaker fleece and I don't think it was off my body at any point while hiking. I think mine is a 260 weight Icebreaker, it is the "Sierra" jacket, in has 10% nylon in the shell for a bit of added strength.
 
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robertt

Active Member
#23
I hope to be off soon for the Way of Saint-Gilles (can't believe it's happening, but my caminos are never possible till they happen). Already gearing up with merino: one Smartwool shortsleeve T, one longsleeve Icebreaker, 2 Patagonia polo shirts which are merino/rayon, merino liner socks, merino socks. The rest can be synthetic, but I want merino on the skin and for second layer.

Yes, I'm a cold weather walker, but I found that I couldn't take off my ragged old Icebreaker during our last hot spell here on the mid-coast of NSW. The only downside is that the moths here love thin wool, so some maintenance and special storage required. Can't leave these clothes fermenting on the floor like I do with the rest.

Special thanks to Elizabeth Macarthur - for merino!

Bon chemin a tous

Rob
 

Oztrekker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I started in st jean and am currently in leon. My foot is blistered after my boots wore out.

Have completed many long distance treks longest is 1000 km, bibulmun track.
#24
I was in winter at annapurna, i had a macpac merino baselayer, primaloft mid and down jacket outer, gortex pants and a poncho, down -3 comfort sleeping bag and I was happy at -17.5c. My gloves needed over mittens. Macpac merino is great, i smelled like roses after 21 days on the annapurna circuit. I did not break any sweat at those temps.

Pashmina, fiber fron the underbelly and neck of a certain type of altitude mountain goat is great but not durable.

Yak wool is great but as itchy as a tent full if bed bugs.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013) Frances (2014) St. Oswald's Way (2015) Le Puy (2016) Portugues (2018)
#25
Thanks, everyone, for the reassurance that the Icebreaker Merino wool jackets hold up well enough to take backpacking. I agree that Merino wool's properties are amazing. And I'll add one more attribute to the list: it never feels clammy -- so different from most synthetics -- because its wicking ability is fantastic. Gotta love those Merino sheep!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#26
I am wearing a new merino wool base layer for the first time today. It is hot out, the hottest day so far this year and the first day that I did not wear or bring a sweater or jacket.
hot out? No need for sweater or a jacket? I suppose we all have different ideas of what hot is...:)

I was wearing my Marino 120 weight on the flight back from my Camino today. Staying in Bangkok for a few days. It's 36 degrees C here. Like a couple of days on the CF. Is the shirt hot? You bet ya!

But maybe I just sweat a lot....:)
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#27
hot out? No need for sweater or a jacket? I suppose we all have different ideas of what hot is...:)

I was wearing my Marino 120 weight on the flight back from my Camino today. Staying in Bangkok for a few days. It's 36 degrees C here. Like a couple of days on the CF. Is the shirt hot? You bet ya!

But maybe I just sweat a lot....:)
I used to love flying into Bangkok! When I lived in Cambodia, Bangkok was the "big city" and we went there for a lot of hospital stuff (I had some serious medical issues while living in P. Penh) and even just for some night life, which was rather wild in those days :0 Or perhaps that was us. We'd go out to the night markets, and hit the party end of town, usually ending up at some bar with Thai kick boxing, or a live snake show, with some Western girl being called up to get a snake draped around her neck (and then it would go under her shirt, lifting it up...did they train those snakes?). Yep. Bangkok. Tuk Tuks and massage and Khao San Road, oh my.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#28
LOL. sadly Bangkok is often first thought of as a party town, but it has a lot more to offer! It does have a certain 'vibe' though doesn't it? :)

We live here part time as my wife is from Bangkok. She was 'waiting' (shopping) here whilst I was walking my Camino.

We head back home to Australia shortly...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances ('14)
Norte ('15)
#29
I love merino as casual wear and in winter but even 140g wool I find too warm in the summer and prefer synthetic tops. I just finished the Del Norte a few days ago and wore synthetic T's during the day and a Merino T in the evening as it looked smarter :)
 

Dan the Man

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances August 23,2015
#30
I was at the Ice Breaker outlet in Toronto today. i got last year's stock for 50% off. i picked up underwear, t shirts, and an amazing pair of Merino wool shorts. Thy even had long pants
 

Sue M 23

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Leon to Santiago di Compestela
#32
I wore merino underpants, leggings, tee shirts-100g or 150g as well as a 200g long sleeve top.I had a merino beanie and a merino scarf.I'm a New Zealander and we swear by merino.In winter our mantra is merino and we can buy it everywhere,it's great, and it doesn't smell.Incidentally the merino sheep originates from Spain.I walked my camino in May and the merino garments were perfect for all weathers.
 

Dan the Man

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances August 23,2015
#33
I LOVE New Zealand... and I will trust any of you when it come to expertise with wool.

May I ask an unrelated question? I have heard from several people who alked the Camino that in New Zealand you can buy actual wool to apply to hot spys on skin to stop them from blistering? What is that producr called? Is it sold outside New Zealand?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
#34
I LOVE New Zealand... and I will trust any of you when it come to expertise with wool.

May I ask an unrelated question? I have heard from several people who alked the Camino that in New Zealand you can buy actual wool to apply to hot spys on skin to stop them from blistering? What is that producr called? Is it sold outside New Zealand?
Yes, there's a product called Hikers Wool - you can order online through their website hikerswool.co.nz. Some swear by it, I took some on my Camino but didn't need to use it so can't speak for its effectiveness. As far as I can tell it's just finely carded (and clean!) lambswool, so you could probably buy the equivalent in Canada.

Buen Camino!
 

Sue M 23

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Leon to Santiago di Compestela
#35
I took hikers wool on my camino and used it twice- not much is needed-you put it around the hot spot under your s0ck,it's light and it really helps.If you know someone who spins their own yarn you can probably get some of their carded wool .
 

smj6

Siempre hay que ver el positivo
Camino(s) past & future
Oct/Nov 2016 (Via Podensis/ Frances)
Oct 2018 (Via Francigena stage)
#36
Yes, there's a product called Hikers Wool - you can order online through their website hikerswool.co.nz. ...Buen Camino!
Or you can just remove it from the fences as you walk over the Pyrenees - at least, that is what I've read several times in this forum.
Suzanne :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
#37
Or you can just remove it from the fences as you walk over the Pyrenees - at least, that is what I've read several times in this forum.
Suzanne :)
Well ye-es, you can - but do be careful not to use it near any broken skin. Wool straight off whatever part of the sheep rubbed against that fence can be pretty filthy if it isn't cleaned first!
 

Draganban

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2015)
#38
There is a reasonably priced version of merino in decathlon - it's called Techwool & some tshirts cost 15 - 50 euros. I haven't tried it myself yet but I read some comments on climbing & trekking sites which were positive. I will be wearing them on my camino in September & will let you know how they perform. Here is a link to the french site : http://www.decathlon.fr/Acheter/techwool
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#39
For any Aussies reading this thread I see that next Saturday Aldi has cheap merino mid-weight motorcycle jumpers - like an ordinary jumper but with a zip up collar. They are in men's sizes but who cares, in a jumper? I bought one last year, I presume the same, and it was fantastic for the Camino.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
#40
For any Aussies reading this thread I see that next Saturday Aldi has cheap merino mid-weight motorcycle jumpers - like an ordinary jumper but with a zip up collar. They are in men's sizes but who cares, in a jumper? I bought one last year, I presume the same, and it was fantastic for the Camino.
Hi Kanga
I bought one that looks the same during their Ski sale a month or so back. So far it has been fine used as a winter jumper. Haven't washed it yet.
Can't say the same for the two light T-shirts I bought at the same time.
Soaked the grey one for an hour in my usual pre wash soaker then hand washed. Two large holds appeared.
Soaked the second (blue) overnight. Before hand washing I noticed the colour had gone and there were probly 20 holes on front the front and same on the back.
Aldi refunded immediately, questioned the soaker. A common one, no problem with any other fabric.
Have now lost confidence in Aldi's wool clothing tho maybe it's just a problem with that particular soaker.
Regds
Gerard
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#41
Eek @gerardcarey - never soak merino (or silk) in anything other than Softly or Wool Wash! The pre-wash soaker would likely have contained enzymes and they eat the wool. If the label did not have a warning then it should have!

Specifically an enzymatic cleaner (which includes pre-wash soakers and many common washing powders) typically contains amylase, lipase and protease which digest fats, proteins and starches. They are safe for cellulose (cotton and linen) but not animal fibres - not wool, cashmere, angora, leather, and not silk either.

Don't blame Aldi - you would have put holes in any woollen clothing. Your motorbike jumper will do the same thing, maybe not immediately if it is a bit thicker, but after a few washes in any enzymatic washing detergent.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#42
I should add, when on Camino I wash mine in shampoo. But a good simple soap is also fine.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
#43
[QUOTE="Don't blame Aldi - you would have put holes in any woollen clothing. Your motorbike jumper will do the same thing, maybe not immediately if it is a bit thicker, but after a few washes in any enzymatic washing detergent.[/QUOTE]
I am blaming Aldi. I have other woolen garments that I have soaked in this product. Icebreaker included. Never had a problem.
Regds
Gerard
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
#45
What does the label say? On the soaker?
My housemate, who bought it in bulk (from Aldi she thinks) and transferred it to another container, doesn't remember.
Doesn't matter, not that important. Just saying that it doesn't harm Icebreaker, Snowgum, or either of my two woolen kiwi shearers singlets, but did eat the Aldi ones.
Not a big deal as Aldi, with their usual outstanding customer service, refunded without question.
Regds
Gerard
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#46
Just that all my soakers say not to use with wool. Also I had some expensive Hedrena t-shirts a couple of years ago that went into holes, and I was disappointed. In retrospect I suspect it was because I washed them using ordinary washing powder.
 
Camino(s) past & future
July 2015
#47
I was reluctant to buy smart wool products, but the icebreaker shirts and socks I bought for the journey were the best performing items I had in my pack.
 

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