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Tried and tested wool clothing

 
master gardener
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Hello everyone

I am wanting this thread to list off places and people who are a trusted brand/person whom people whether it be in Canada,USA,NZ,Aus,Europe can seek and purchase quality natural fibre products.

I am skeptical of some wool clothing and I appreciated seeing on Norsewear socks website that they have a pair of socks which they have been making for 50 years!
So my hopes is this thread will have lists and website links to places where people have bought quality natural fibre produces.
My other hope is this thread will prevent people from spending hours searching online only to find the pair of socks they want comes from all the way around the world. I would love to find a good supplier in Canada for instance.

So far in Canada i have found:
Great Sox in Toronto
And
Egli Farm In Minnitaki Ontario

What are some of the places you have bought Natural Fibre products?

Thank you and welcome Phil Grant of NZ Natural Clothing
 
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Great idea for a thread!

I have been searching for a really good quality, machine washable, hang to dry, wool hoodie (for hopefully under $200 - a girl can dream) for a few years now.  

 
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r ranson wrote:Great idea for a thread!

I have been searching for a really good quality, machine washable, hang to dry, wool hoodie (for hopefully under $200 - a girl can dream) for a few years now.  


This sounds great! I'd love one, myself. Wool skirts would be nice, too.
 
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Our cousins across 'The Ditch' (New Zealand) make some really good wool products. One of the famous ones used here for almost 100 years is Swanndri - their Bushshirt was the go-too for outdoor activity until the synthetic fleeces became popular. I have two Swanndri's and used the synthetic counterparts - no contest on longevity and warmth - wool hands down, the synth versions always feel like sweating in a 'plastic bag'.

Their Women's range include several hooded versions.

They are NOT CHEAP, nothing that good is - these are the bees-knees of outdoor shirts/jackets for dry cold or humid cold weather. (The last time I purchased one was in the 1980's - still going, but sheez, the price has changed!)

They're typically hand washable = eucalyptus oil wool wash.

SWANNDRI WOOL CLOTHING
 
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I've two natural fiber recommendations; one a gift and one I've twice purchased myself.

The gift I received twenty years ago is a Lothlorian (New Zealand) scarf: http://www.lothlorian.co.nz/
It's thick, soft, and warm. I can't tell whether the scarf is possum (as appears to be Lothlorian's main schtick) or wool. I assume they're still just as good as they were then

The purchase is a button-down shirt from Wool & Prince: https://woolandprince.com/
The care tag on the shirt is both humorous and accurate: "Sit back and let the wool do the work." I liked the shirt so much, I got another.
 
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Many years ago I received as a gift a 3 pack of Norskwear wool socks.  
They were the best wool socks I have ever worn!!
I remember I had to get new boots and they wore holes in my socks!  I was devastated, but the new boots were comfortable.  
The name has always stuck with me, kind of different, and have kept it in mind when shopping.
The past few years it has been Costco socks.  They work, as long as I put toe warmers on in the winter.
 
Carla Burke
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This thread is great! It can be incredibly difficult to find truly good quality, well-made anything, these days - much less at fair (to everyone) prices, and in classic styles. Are there any in the western hemisphere?  
 
pollinator
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I just found a pair of serious alpaca gloves for just $20.  I've already misplaced the tag with the manufacturer's info, though.  Will look for it.
 
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I'm from Canada but my favourite wool clothing is from Duckworth based out of Bozeman Montana!

Duckworth Co



An amazing company and I've tested out a number of their pieces. Their powder high sweater is my favourite I wear it almost every day in the winter. Mucking out the chicken coops, coaching ski racing, white water  kayaking, and out to dinner! It washes well and hang dry super fast.

Super bonus, they are one a very few companies that do not use chlorine in the process of washing their wool to make it softer. It's already super soft because the sheep are raised in Montana so their wool has a very high crimp factor (the sheep are expose to extreme cold and heat). The wool is processed and manufactured in the USA; so 100% American made. I've even had the opportunity to meet their design team and they were a wonderful group of women. They are always experimenting with new ways of processing and weaving material to improve their clothing.

No I'm not sponsored I just love their product!
 
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I second that Duckworth recommendation.
But I also like Ibex.  I believe they went out of business for awhile?  I have two wool skirts from years ago from them but then I couldn't find them for awhile.
They don't sell skirts anymore but their prices are reasonable.
https://ibex.com/pages/supply-chain
 
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Kootenaiclothing.com  out of Nelson bc has merino clothing.  Haven't bought any but checked it out and it looks like very good quality.  
 
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Lee Jenkins wrote:

The purchase is a button-down shirt from Wool & Prince: https://woolandprince.com/
The care tag on the shirt is both humorous and accurate: "Sit back and let the wool do the work." I liked the shirt so much, I got another.



Hey those look great. I wonder how they hold up to working conditions outside. Sometimes I find that I don't buy "nice things" because I primarily want stuff I don't have to worry about if I'm out in the woods.
 
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Two that I have used for work and play are C.C. Filson, www.filson.com. and Asbell wool, www.asbellwool.com. Both of these have provided long lasting functional clothing.
 
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I bought two sweaters, both wool from Patagonia 20+ years ago, and they are among my favorite winter go-to’s; albeit a little bit moth eaten, but going strong!
 
jordan barton
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So here is a company which i somewhat dream of wearing, i however wear an outdoor "work sweater" 95% of the time. These seem way to nice to wear chainsawing, and for firewood.

I managed to find one at our local free store and wore it for a few months and i ended up misplacing it out and about. It was a great hardy sweater and it was thick and tightly woven.

Here is the blurb from their website
Top 10 Reasons To Buy A Pollen Sweater

   -No pop bottles were hurt making Pollen sweaters.
   -You'll be helping sheep stay cool in the summer.
   -The pure wool stays warm even when wet.
   -Non-itchy, and soft enough to wear next to sensitive skin.
   -Machine washable and dryable at moderate temperatures.
   -We put the label on the inside, where it belongs.
   -Designed to layer smoothly under or over other garments.
   -No offshore sweatshops. Ours is here at home.
   -If it ever wears out, compost it.
   -Makes you 50% to 90% more handsome. (results may vary)

Kind of cheeky however i like what they are saying in it.

Pollen Sweater Co In Lund BC


Here is another company which maybe is iconic to the coasts of canada. I did not see them when i lived in central canada growing up. These are common with forestry people, carpenters, wood workers, fishers, etc.

I have two of these sweaters and wear them almost everyday. They are warm and comfortable.

Stanfields
 
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I can't recommend a specific source at this point, but I bought a navy pea coat at a military surplus store in Dublin in 2003 or 04, and I still wear it working around the farm every day, from autumn till late spring. I've worn it doing field archaeology(not on the farm 😊), fencing,  logging,  building, and all of the jobs you'd expect on a smallholding, and it's still in completely functional condition. I wouldn't wear it out for a night on the town at this point, but I do wear it in to the shop occasionally. Iv'e had to repair a fair few seams over the years, the lining is in quite rough shape, and I've had to rebuild the pockets a few times (I tend to overfill them with gloves,hats,tools,etc), but it's still as warm, windproof, and water resistant as when I got it. I moved the buttons a bit, so that when it gets down below -20 or so, I can put on a jumper, but for the most part I don't need to. I like the fact that the thick wool acts as a bit of padding, so when pine branches I'm limbing before felling fall on me, it softens the impact, and the fact that it's fabric is so heavily fulled that needles won't get through it.
 
pollinator
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What about Pendleton Mills in Oregon?  Wikipedia tells me they've been around for 100 years, and they were known for high quality blankets.  I used to be able to find great quality skirts from them in PNW thrift stores, as that conservative pleated style went out for everyone but me...
 
Ruth Meyers
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I found the alpaca labels I mentioned above:

Here's the web link:
https://alpaca-109150.square.site/
llama-label.jpg
[Thumbnail for llama-label.jpg]
 
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Yay! Love to see all these Canadian options!

I second the recommendation for Stanfields - love their long underwear, it's smoother, denser, and feels more durable than a lot of other brands I've tried. I've heard great things about Egli's sheep skin hard hat liners. If I ever end up working up north in the winter again, with a month of lead time (hah!) I intend to buy one.

J. B. Field's Icelandic wool socks are awesome. Thick, cozy, and not restrictive at the top. I wear summer Blundstones all winter with those socks in them. My oldest are 3 years old, and just developed holes - but the holes are in the top, where a certain puppy chewed them, not from wear in the toes/heels.

Mountain Warehouse has inexpensive wool long johns that are decent quality for the price in their frequent 50% or more discount sales. They are I think 70% wool ? Good for the price if you need a bunch in a hurry, not as good quality as other options.

Smartwool is good, but very pricey. MEC's wool stuff is generally good, but watch the reviews. Not wool, but I am currently in love with their organic cotton tshirts. On clearance, they are the same price as normal tshirts ($12), but they seem to last well.
 
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Erica Colmenares wrote:

Lee Jenkins wrote:

The purchase is a button-down shirt from Wool & Prince: https://woolandprince.com/
The care tag on the shirt is both humorous and accurate: "Sit back and let the wool do the work." I liked the shirt so much, I got another.



Hey those look great. I wonder how they hold up to working conditions outside. Sometimes I find that I don't buy "nice things" because I primarily want stuff I don't have to worry about if I'm out in the woods.



When I went to the PEP Jamboree at Wheaton Labs, I brought some of my clothes to test them out; including one of my Wool and Prince shirts.

The Wool and Prince (the only all-wool garment of the bunch) held up extremely well, in terms of temperature/comfort/smell, and continues to go through the wash just fine.
 
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Circle R Lamb
https://circlerlamb.square.site/

Skeins of yarn, cones of yarn, raw wool, roving, pillows, dryer balls, batting for blankets and bed covers. Items at the bottom. Wooligan, open shawl style vest. Scarf, shawl, socks, insoles. Sheep/lamb skins.
 
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I have a few of brands I like, mostly Australian.

Kookai is a flashy upmarket fashion brand that also happens to do solid good quality merino tops and dresses - mostly of the cropped/skintight/low scoop neck sort, but there are exceptions worth looking for. My favourites have all been found on ebay for between $12 and $30 with postage, so they end up pretty affordable. The best ones are long sleeved crew neck dresses or tops that are a double layer of fabric. I've been living in mine since moving back south to Victoria. Dresses for out in town, tunic and roll neck tops for weeding in. I'm looking at the sleeveless dresses for wearing to bed.

Ktena knitting mills does Merino Skins thermal underwear - my original pair is still warm and soft, a few holes and I replaced the waist elastic, but they're 6ish years old and were worn most days for most of the year for 4 of those. They're around $50.
https://ktena.com.au/

Smitten (Australian, in Tasmania) does high end merino, dresses, tops, thermals, lots of lovely stuff, $100 and up retail, occasionally comes up secondhand. So far good quality, though I think the Kookai fabric is softer.
https://www.smittenmerino.com/

Also worth checking on ebay, Country Road does nice long merino cardigans that make a fantastic dressing gown. Light and warm, mine was a bargain at $25 posted. Also lovely with a dress in town on chilly days.
Other fashion brands I've tried - Witchery does lightweight merino, more delicate. Metalicus is thin, wouldn't buy again. My Scope brand top is thick, a little prickly but warm and comfy. David Lawrence was ok but wouldn't bother again.  

I machine wash all of my clothes with wool detergent and sometimes on the wool wash - I do have a front loader though, not sure I'd do that in a top loader.

Hubby is fond of his Icebreaker (New Zealand) top, he's had it 15+ years and it's still very warm, with only a few small holes. I don't mind the brand but it's not warm enough for the price for me, even secondhand. Okay as a light weight mid season layer.
 
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