Woolpro – Really wool?

Really? This is wool?

Juno Woolpro shirt
Juno Woolpro shirt

Woolpro is a new company that makes short-sleeve and long sleeve hiking tops out of Merino wool. When they offered to send me a couple of samples, I  eagerly accepted.

If you want to know the bottom line on the product, here’s what my husband, Lenny, said.

When I first pulled my Woolpro shirt out of the box, I couldn’t believe it was wool. It was too light, too soft, and too supple to be wool.

It must be some new synthetic. But the care instructions assured me that it was wool. The shirt is a comfortable first layer for cold weather. I look forward to giving it a full test this coming winter.

What an unusual company! First, the president of the company contacted me, not an intern from a marketing firm. Second, the company is in Falls River, MA, the traditional textile area of the country. Way before there were textile mills in the South, they were spinning in New England.

Sure enough, the parent company, Merrow Sewing Machines is a very old business which still makes specialty sewing machines. They’ve now diversified into active wear with Merrino wool from Australia and sewn with Merrow ActiveSeam technology. According to their website, the product is made inhouse but the label in the shirt says that it’s made in Turkey. I’m confused but I’m sure that they will comment on this blog.

The shirts feel comfortable and looks great. You don’t have to be hiking to wear this shirt. It will fit in well in a restaurant or casual get-together. It’s meant to be a base layer, so I asked for a small size. It turned out to be a little snug for my sensibilities, so that’s why the picture on the hanger, not on  me.

But the review isn’t complete until I put it in the washing machine a couple of times. This is where I may differ from other reviewers.

I read the instructions: Cold wash. Line dry.

Cold wash on gentle cycle was easy. But line dry? That’s gave me pause. I interpreted this as meaning: Don’t put it in the dryer.

I didn’t pull out a clean towel, and shape it, the way you were supposed to wash bulky wool sweaters way back when. That wouldn’t be realistic on the trail or worse, in a European hostel.

Instead I just hung it up on a plastic hanger. The shirt came out fine, if a little wrinkled, but that’s OK. It washes well. It’s still wool, not polyester. So the picture above is of the shirt after a couple of washes, not a professional shot.

The real test might be what does it look like next year. But I got to review it this year, and I like it. I don’t think you can buy it in an outdoor store at this point, just on the web. Give it a try!

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