A New York City startup is saying it can produce a men’s button-down shirt from wool that’s super-soft, doesn’t need ironing and won’t smell even after being worn for 100 days straight without washing. And the company’s founder apparently did just that.
The clothing company, called Wool&Prince, was started several months ago by Portland, Oregon native Mac Bishop two of his friends. Their button-down shirt prototype was made from wool put through a special process to make it soft, wrinkle-resistant and odor-free. While they don’t reveal what techniques are used to achieve this, Bishop documented wearing one of the shirts for 100 days in a row here. (Hat tip to Gizmodo.)
Bishop extolls the benefits of sheep wool, and talked with Margaret Frey, an associate professor of fiber science and apparel design at Cornell University about it in a Skype video. Australian sheep have been bred to have fine, soft fibers for an even flat fabric, Frey said. “It doesn’t have that itchiness that we might have associated with wool.”
Still, I’m highly skeptical about the shirt’s odor-free properties after seeing a GIF of Bishop next to a smoker, but will have to take his word for it since nobody I know has tried the shirt out yet. The company recently created a Kickstarter campaign to sell the shirts at $98 apiece so they can raise enough to place an order with the factory.
Living in Colorado, I’ve accumulated a few really nice albeit expensive wool items for outdoor use, including base layers and socks. Washing seems to reduce their smell-resistance, though. The pieces have a vaguely sheep-like smell after they’re gently cleaned and hung up to dry. Plus the socks could walk home by themselves after several days of heavy, sweaty use.
If this NYC startup can branch out into socks and underwear that truly don’t smell after lengthy wear, then we’ll really talk. Summer and its putrid sweat is just around the corner.
Photo: A prototype of Wool&Prince’s button-down shirt for men. Credit: Wool&Prince