- This is something of our holy grail; a traveler's dream shirt made out of ultrafine merino and organic cotton. We've spent a healthy amount of the last four years looking for a woven shirting fabric that translates the mystical performance of our ultrafine merino t-shirts into the world of button up shirts. A shirt that you can wear for days on the road without it stinking up. A shirt that you can stuff into a bag and still pull out looking sharp. A shirt that is comfortable in wide temperature ranges and still looks clean even as you sweat. It's a shirt you can travel the world in and it just might be the last shirt you ever need.
The Merino/Co Cloth fabric is the result of a long quest and development. Ultrafine, 17.5 micron merino is from our perspective nature's finest performance fiber. In hot temperatures it pulls moisture to the core of the fiber, so the fiber stays dry to the touch and pulls excess heat away from your body. As the temperature cools though it becomes an excellent insulator, and as a result stays comfortable in a far wider range of temperatures than most fabrics. On top of that it has a remarkable ability to resist both wrinkling and odors, it stays cleaner and better looking for longer than just about anything, making it the ideal travelers fabric.
We faced two real challenges trying to make woven shirts out of ultrafine merino. One, the fabric didn't exist yet - no one was making it and once it did exist it lacked the crisp structure we want in a button up shirt. Sometimes making a new fabric requires starting a new fabric company and that's just what our friend Jose Fernandez did with Global Merino. Not only did he weave up some ultrafine shirting fabrics, he also solved the structure problem by creating a highly calibrated ultrafine merino / organic cotton blend.
We named the fabric Merino/Co Cloth and set about trying to design garments worthy of the material. We started with a pivot sleeve because freedom of movement is paramount in any Outlier garment. We opted for a clean and discrete storm welt pocket and hidden button down collar. For the buttons we utilized custom engraved Italian Mombasa poly, sewed it all up in Portugal and brought them home to New York to complete the global journey.
If Outlier has ever had a holy grail, it's been to bring the performance of knit merino into the world of woven shirting. To create a shirt you can wear for days while still looking, smelling and feeling great. At first it seemed so obvious, we've been making incredible t-shirts out of a knit ultrafine merino, why not just weave a shirting fabric out of the same fibers? The ultrafine 17.5 micron merino we use in our tees is the same grade as what goes into Super 120 suits, so the weaving expertise was there, we just needed to find a mill...
"We just need to find a mill" became our mantra as we traced trade fairs around the globe. It's never as easy as it sounds but this quest quickly became a motherfucker. The suiting mills wouldn't touch our project, why would they ever stoop to making lowly shirt fabrics? The few mills still doing wool shirts passed too, they all specialized in coarse woolens, working with a fine worsted wools wasn't in their wheelhouse. At one point in Paris we had a global array of Woolmark experts stumped. We were drawing nothing but blanks, no one wanted to make our dream cloth except for us...
Finally an ally emerged in the form of an old friend. Jose Fernandez is a bit of an American merino legend, he's the man who first brought the amazing 17 and 18 micron merino knits to the US, and now he was starting his own fabric house in Thailand. He was one of the few people in the merino world who understood our woven merino shirting dreams. Once his operation was set up the good stuff flowed quickly and after years of searching we suddenly had prototypes of amazing merino shirting fabrics.
There was only one problem. Structure. Pure merino weaves up soft and drapey. It felt amazing but it lacked the crispness and snap most folks want in a dress shirt. We didn't want to admit it, but it needed some cotton. After some experimentation we dialed in on a 59% merino and 41% cotton blend. We lost a little bit of that merino ultra softness but none of its amazing performance. We gained an amazing hand, a stiff yet supple fabric that shrugs off wrinkles and odors and can be worn for days at a time.
We named the fabric Merino/Co Cloth and set about designing a garment worthy of the material.
- Merino/Co Pivot Shirt
- Outlier Merino Co/Cloth 59% merino, 41% cotton
- Pivot Sleeve construction for freedom of movement
- Merino performance in a woven shirt
- Storm welt chest pocket
- Hidden button down collar
- Custom Italian Mombasa buttons
- Stiff yet supple handfeel
- Wears for days on end while resisting odors and wrinkles
- Fits true to size, if in between sizes we recommend sizing down.
- Pre-washed, may shrink slightly with first washes (~1/4 size or less). Different colors may vary slightly.
- Hand or machine wash cold, lay flat or hang dry
- Sewn in Portugal
- Merino/Co Pivot Shirt
- Fits true to size, if in between sizes we recommend sizing down. Pre-washed, may shrink slightly with first washes (~1/4 size or less). Different colors may vary slightly. This version fits slightly smaller than the April 2015 version.
Please refer to the table below for exact garment measurements.
Garment measurements in inches
Size XS S M L XL Shoulder 16.5 17 17.5 18 18.5 Length high shoulder to bottom 28.25 28.875 29.5 30.125 30.75 Sleeve length Center Back to Sleeve Opening 33.5 34 34.5 35 35.5Body measurements in inches Size XS S M L XL Neck 14.5 15 15.5 16 16.5 Chest 34 36 38 40 42