Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wool review

Who would of thought that some one, some day, would come up with a miracle super fabric called ‘wool’? Who would have thought that I, living in tropical North Queensland, would one day be wearing a so called ‘woollen’ cycling jersey and loving it more than any other jersey I have ever owned? Truly astonishing, a modern marvel.

My synthetic jersey collection is now hanging dormant in the closet like extravagant shower curtains.

I love my new Rapha woollen jerseys and find it quite humorous that a 25 000 year old form a fibre can out perform the synthetic fibres that make up all of the jerseys I have previously owned.

After a quick search I found the facts: ‘Wool fibre has evolved over 25,000 years to create a uniquely complex structure of interlocking protein molecules surrounded by electrically charge lysine side chains. Through a natural process called "hydrogen bonding," these side chains electrically attract water vapour molecules. The wool fibres actually pull the moisture vapour away from the skin. It's also naturally anti-bacterial and odour resistant. It has natural elasticity for comfort and natural UV protection.’ Those scientific sheep are amazing.

In an effort to prove that wool is the new super fabric I decided to experiment with the sweat handling and odour retarding capabilities of the jerseys, so I took them riding. (The temperature ranges were between 20 and 33 degrees Celsius for all test rides and the rides were of at least an hour in endurance).

My facts: Sweat wicking has been amazingly good. I have felt dry, comfortable and cool despite the thick weave of the fabric. But here’s the clincher! I have not washed one of the jerseys, have conducted 6 rides wearing it and it does not smell!!! (Take that as an indication of either the amazing properties of the fabric or proof that my body expels only pure glacial spring water).