From the start while working on this project... I have spent almost every day wearing one of the NuYarn sample shirts which were sewn while going through my design process and options for manufacturing here in New Zealand. All of these shirts are made from the same 3/4 sleeve style shirt pattern using the same orange NuYarn knit fabric... the only difference between my samples and the shop items being that the samples have plain ivory material for the body of the garment. This has been ideal to learn about the fabric. Any soiling or staining has shown the true nature of the fabric's ability to withstand use and at time aggressive cleaning when needed.
Not everyone has experienced the subtle difference of wearing ribbed merino. Some have suggested the novelty that it brings back to the true retro feel of garments they thrashed through their younger days. Using ribbed material was not the fore front in planning this garment. The material had a nice look and feel, so I took the risk to have a set of shirts made using ribbed merino knowing how much I seriously love the knit version, and I really like the retro look.
So to keep things transparent, I am writing to tell you my experience of wearing the Ribbed NuYarn Merino Yank shirts...
This is a slightly heavier weight merino hitting in at 170gsm.The first day I went mountain biking in my yellow and white ribbed top, I was really pleased with just how well the garment breathed. Really ideal for getting out and active with the cooler weather setting in. I was really impressed with how dry the shirt stayed while crushing the climbs. The fine ribbing of the material makes the loft feel really efficient at maintaining body temperature while also breathing in the surrounding air. This making it an incredibly dry wearing experience considering it is a heavier weigh merino. The added loft of the rib also reduced the amount of cling that can be associated with wearing a knit fabric while perspiring.
When out managing the daily domestic duties on our cargo bike I have also found a pleasant wearing experience. The shirt furls quiet nicely around when making the big down hill descents. On the cooler morning starts I have worn a sleeveless vest over top for our mostly down hill journey to school drop off, but happily take that off for the ride back up all of the hills heading home.
Last month we managed to spend 3 weeks away camping down south, I spent most of the trip wearing one of two ribbed shirts. This was an ideal time to put them to the test having very minimal washing facilities... and knowing the further south you head this time of year, the cooler the weather becomes.
I did go for a (much muddier than expected) mountain bike ride. As anyone might advise - white is the worst colour for such silly antics. Unsure if the dark lines of mud spray would come out I commenced in giving it a relatively aggressive clean when I got back to our caravan. To my surprise I did manage to salvage what could have been disaster. It was not as easy to clean as the knit material due to there being more texture to the fabric. ( ...and to be honest, I will not be wearing a white ribbed shirt riding in the mud again any time soon.) The dry fast time did make up for the lengthy wash process. I will definitely use these shirts for cooler weather camping and riding (that does not involve mud). The thermal comfort was stepped up just enough over the lighter weight knit shirts, that I kept going back to my ribbed 3/4 sleeve.
Are there any negatives? ....well ...yes.
All of the Yank Merino shirts available for purchase are made from the same cut/sew pattern. But the ribbed shirts do as ribbed shirts do. The fit is very relaxed. All of the ribbed shirts that have moved on to their new homes have reported back the same or similar as I have written above. The fit is relaxed, and after a couple days of wear they do relax a little bit more. When washed they return back to the original relaxed fit.
So if you like your merino to sit right next to the skin, I would suggest you select a size smaller than what you would normally wear. If you measure one of your own shirts and compare it to the sizing chart on the shopping page of this website, you can note the smaller size will most likely fit close to the skin, and will relax with wearing. If you are a smaller sized small to begin with, I am sorry to say there is not an xtra small option available to offer you the closer fit.
I have designed these shirts with a slightly relaxed fit in mind.