High-gauge knit made from 100%-natural wool is smooth and elegant, but to keep that condition requires quite a bit of care such as dry cleaning and hand washing. If only it were easily machine-washable...
Extra Fine Merino, which remains almost unchanged even after 15 washes, is the result of UNIQLO's pursuit of such ideals.
*Wash test is performed 15 times at KAKEN TEST CENTER General Incorporated Foundation ("KAKEN")
*The product is placed in a washing net and washed in a washing machine under gentle cycle using neutral detergent for wool.
*When washing at home, reshape and dry flat.
EXTRA FINE MERINO
Can it really
The standard way to wash a 100%-wool item at home is to soak it in lukewarm water with neutral detergent. Machine-washing was not recommended for fear of deformation and pilling. So, let's thoroughly compare a brand-new Extra Fine Merino sweater with one that's been machine-washed 15 times.
Wash test was performed at KAKEN TEST CENTER General Incorporated Foundation ("KAKEN"), Japan's leading third-party inspection organization.
Washing instructions on care label reads "put product inside-out in washing net, use neutral detergent for wool, wash separately," but can it really be washed at home?
ratio of expansion
In the above photo, the sweater on the left is brand-new while the one on the right has been machine-washed 15 times. While there were slight changes to the washed sweater—an 8mm shrinkage around the neck and a 1cm stretch in the length of the sleeves—the width of the sleeves and the body remained nearly unchanged so that if seen from a distance, they would not be discernable.
How about pilling
on the surface?
The swath on the left is brand-new and the right has been washed. If you look closely, a slightly brushed-like texture can be seen on the washed item; however, it's not as severe as pilling or distress. One wouldn't be able to tell this slight change in the surface texture was caused by machine-washing.
the cuffs change?
The sleeve on the top is brand-new while the one on the below has been washed. It appears as though the ribbed cuff has slightly shrunken, but not to the extent where it feels tight when worn. The small wrinkles between the ribbed cuff and the arm caused by the slight shrinkage could be flattened by steam ironing.
The secret behind
Merino wool is obtained from the top breed of sheep, the Merino breed. Its feature is the extra fine fiber that's barely visible to eye. UNIQLO further selects out ultra fine fiber of less than 19.5 micron (1000 micron=1mm). That is the quality of our Extra Fine Merino products. The photo shows a comparison to a 0.5mm lead of a mechanical pencil and a single strand of hair. Its distinctive appeal is its lightweight quality.
The current manufacturing process is the result of many twists and turns in pursuit of a smooth-yet-durable knit with polished sheen that can be made from such fine yarn. Furthermore, by applying a special shrink-proofing to the wool, UNIQLO created the Extra Fine Merino products that remain almost unchanged even after 15 washes.
widely supported by
hikers and mountaineers
The high functionality of Merino wool has attracted renewed attention these past few years. Natural wool has high insulating properties, and its moisture-absorbing characteristic will keep you cool during the summer and warm in the winter. Its deodorizing characteristic is said to suppress odor even after hours of wearing. This material will come in handy year-round, but will prove to be especially effective during the peak season for mountain climbing and hiking.
Wide range of usage
UNIQLO pays special attention to the ribbed cuffs on Men's Extra Fine Merino sweaters. The three-tiered ribbing gets tighter towards the cuff opening, preventing the cuffs from loosening. You will appreciate more over time that your cuffs are always intact.