Outlier has launched their 100% Merino Tee this morning and it’s $75. The tee is an ultrafine grade 188 gram, 17.5 micron Merino fiber from the high alps of New Zealand and constructed right here in NYC.
A few words from Outlier regarding Merino Wool:
If you’re not already familiar with Merino it may be counter intuitive to think about wearing wool next to your skin in the summer heat and still feel cool and dry. But here is why we love Merino wool and you will too.
Our Merino wool is grown in the high alps of New Zealand. These Merino sheep flourish in extreme environments where the land is rugged and free from low lying brush. This allows the Merino’s fleece to be super clean and soft, creating the purest and highest quality Merino wool fibers in the world.
Cyclists have known about merino for ages. The classic wool cycling jerseys were all made with merino and the best still are. Long before the era of synthetic fabric, wool was one of the top performance fabrics used in the world of outdoor sports. Even Edmund Hillary wore wool garments on his preeminent climb of Mount Everest. Today, wool is top among performance fabrics for it’s refined and improved features.
Wicking, odor resistant, breathable, temperature regulating, quick drying, lightweight, flame retardant (just incase!), washable, soft and super comfortable, Merino wool is completely natural and one of the best performance fabric available.
Here’s how it works: Merino fibers have a complex structure with a hydrophobic exterior (water repelling) and a hydrophilic interior (water holding). This makes the fabric dry to the touch yet wicking moisture away from the body at the same time. Combined with your body’s ability to create heat, the fabric dries much faster creating a cycle of moisture evaporation. Not only that but it’s also odorless and stays that way by being naturally anti-microbial. This means odor doesn’t bond to the material because bacteria can’t find a solid environment to grow on.
It’s temperature regulating because it wicks and stays dry when hot yet generates a very small amount of heat when completely wet through a natural chemical reaction. So when it’s hot, you feel dry and comfortable, but when it’s cold outside, it holds in your heat creating more.
Merino wool, like anything else, comes in different grades or classes known as Ultafine all the way up to Strong grade. We only work with Ultrafine, Superfine and Fine Merino Wool, so no worries about itching or being uncomfortable. The grades we work with are based on micron measurements (how fine the fibers are in diameter). For example our Empire Merino Tee is a 17.5 grade (the finest available on the market), whereas our hoodies are 19.5 grade (for more structure).
If that’s not enough, you can wash and dry it without the extreme shrinkage factor. It’ll shrink, but similar to the same amount a cotton tee would and then relax out with wear.
All of this tells you that we’re not just creating another garment the same as everyone else. We’re selecting and refining our material for the way we think is best for cycling. Our first Merino product is simply a Tee. But as you’ve just read, it’s not quite that simple.