HIGH TECH FROM NATURE
Born in the adverse northern weather conditions - which we like to call ‘Shit-weather’ - on the Island of Rügen, the Grey wool Pomeranian Sheep provides the perfect fibre for our water-repellent textiles.
To understand why virgin wool is a high-tech raw material, we have to start at the very origin which is the fibre, the mechanics of the fibre. Pure new wool was invented by nature to individually personally insulate mammals and maintain the same temperature. This can be explained best in comparison to other types of fibre.
Cotton grows in dry climatic conditions and has the task - when it rains or when there is morning dew - to soak up moisture and keep the seed - later the germ - cool and supplied with water for a long time. So cotton is meant precisely for complementary use than for clothing. Basically, this is a violation of the material.
Another important distinction is as follows:
Our wool is Nordic blended wool and differs from Merino wool in its fibre’s cross-section. That is, the raw material of which this fibre is made is actually the same but the structure is different.
Merino wool has 18 micrometre fine wool; this is the diameter of each fibre. All fibres have almost the same diameter as possible, this makes it very fine wool and it feels very comfortable on the skin. Unfortunately this renders the fibre not to have robust properties for insulation and protection from the weather.
"WOOL IS SO WELL SUITED FOR THIS BECAUSE IT IS SIMPLY MEANT FOR INSULATION. THAT IS ITS ORIGINAL INTENTION. THIS IS WHAT WE USE IT FOR."
When a fibre is very fine, like cotton for example, strong capillary forces form between the fibres and the wool becomes saturated and heavy. That is why the Merino wool sheep cannot be kept in our climatic conditions; we have far too much precipitation.
There have been experiments in the past where this has been tried, however they did not yield excellent results, moulds and algae were discovered within a short time simply because they don’t dry fast enough or they remain damp/wet. The animals also could no longer support their weight after rain as their wool gets soaked and heavy.
THE FIBRE OF POMERANIAN WOOL
The wool of the Pomeranian sheep has fibres that are 18 micrometres fine, but also up to 70 micrometres thick. And this variety of fibres forms the high performance we need for our outdoor textiles. The fine fibres make our textiles windproof by closing the pores in the fabric, and the thick fibres loosen the bond which prevents capillary action. Water droplets then form on the surface and drops off like on a roof drainage pipe.
Moreover, from 30 micrometres and thicker the fibre becomes hollow. The air pockets in the fibres ensure that the material is highly insulating and at the same time very light. This makes our jackets much thinner and lighter than the merino wool jackets, while maintaining the same level of insulation.
MODERN MANUFACTURING PROCESSES
We have put a lot of brain power into our manufacturing and processing techniques. An ancient raw material combined with highly advanced manufacturing processes; in our eyes, this is a form of high-tech technology producing the ultimate product.
Nowadays, industrial spinning is much better. Why?
When you spin the wool manually you run the fibres through your hand, there are fibres that twist into the yarn. The head of these fibres stick out this is what itches and stings the skin.
Machine spinning is a completely different process: The thread is rolled up and the heads of the fibres stay inside the yarn.
"THE MANUFACTURING PROCESSES HAVE IMPROVED GREATLY."
This also makes a difference whether you wash the wool with or without detergent before processing. When detergent is used the wool is completely degreased. This makes the fibre brittle and less elastic.In our production process we leave high lanolin content in the wool until the final product, this is why we do not dye or carbonise the wool. This keeps the fibre softer, more water-repellent and of course less prickly.
To prevent stinging and itching as much as possible our TAMBOR styles are lined where they touch the skin.
In our 3dX quilted collection, the wool padding is quilted into GOTS-certified fibre-dense cotton. In these styles there is no skin contact with the wool at all, we have incorporated permeable cotton lining that lets moisture through.
THOSE WHO ARE IN THE KNOW
It is also interesting to note how the people who really know about sheep wool, namely the Mongols handle it:
The Mongols breed the Cashmere goat in the Gobi desert. But the cashmere goat does not only have these fine, noble fibres, otherwise it could not survive in this place. It has a mixture of thick awn hairs and fine under fleece, the fine hair is combed out. The Mongolians then mix this expensive, fine cashmere with camel hair to produce a mixture that in the end is so similar to what the Pomeranian sheep offers us.
How nice that we don't have to mix anything at all.
Thanks to the Pomeranian sheep!
This is what we like to call ‘High-tech from Nature’.