Many of us have experienced that one time when our old wool baselayer ended up in the dryer and came out looking like a 5 year olds tee shirt. It's a big bummer.
This Spring, Point6 came out with their 100% merino tees. I couldn't have been more excited to have a super soft, breathable, and versatile tee that I could run, bike, and sleep in. It truly is the softest wool I've ever had next to my sensitive skin. Since I too am skeptical about the dryer and meticulously separate my clothing when I launder to avoid color bleeding, and shrinkage, I immediately took my new merino tee out of the washer and immediately hung it up to dry.
Well, to my surprise, at a recent staff meeting, Peter and Patty (owners of Point6) shared their knowledge on why it's OK to wash AND DRY our garments. And why other brands recommend to hang dry.
Patty Duke on the old fashioned way of reshaping wool: "Before our new method for cut and sew, if someone wasn't satisfied and they wanted it bigger, the could go back to the old way of getting it wet and blocking it. Put it on a towel and stretch it to any size you want and let it dry. That's the beauty of wool, you can stretch it to any size you want."
Peter Duke on tension blocking cut & sew technique: "So when they knit the fabric, the fabric we use is on a circular machine, so the fabric comes out in a circle, and then for them to treat it, in other words, wash it, clean it and dry it, they have to open up that circle. So once it becomes open, it then gets on this machine which is like a conveyor belt. And there are these prongs that come up and grab it at the ends. When you see fabric in bulk, you’d see these holes at the end. Thats what grabs the fabric. So it goes through this conveyor belt and they can adjust the prongs in the machine- they can expand the width and let it dry and set. The fabric would then get cut and sewn, but you’re putting a lot of tension on it. That’s what (competitor) does. That’s why they tell you to hang dry. Because if you were to wash and dry the (competitor) product, it would be scary small.
So, what the manufacturer has finally been able to do, is they’ve adjusted the prongs to give it just enough tension so that it can be cut and sewn after it dries, but with minimal shrinkage. Our fabric will shrink less than 5% which is within its tolerance for our fabric standards. Once you wash and dry our garments for the first time, our fabric becomes stable. This also means that we use more fabric than our competitors. The reason (competitor) hasn't switched to this new method is that they can get more fabric yield and make more products out of less fabric."
Fascinating! I also learned that when we create our sizing for our garments, the less than 5% tolerance is accounted for in our measurements. So go ahead and order according to our size chart and know that after you wash AND dry your Point6 garment, your size will match the measurements on your garment.
So there you have it. Confidently we all can wear, wash, DRY... and repeat!
Here is a link to our size chart.
Additional Care Instructions for long lasting garments and socks:
- Always wash wool in cool or cold water
- Use mild detergent
- Dry on low heat
- Iron on low heat if necessary