Itchy Merino Wool Shirts

GunsAreFun

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Apr 18, 2019
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I know there are threads on itchy merino, but has anyone has issues with just shirts?

I have several merino wool socks and Smartwool base pants that are all comfortable. However, I have tried on Smartwool, Kathmandu, and IceBreaker shirts. They all are very rough and itchy. I basically have to take them off immediately.

Anyone have an idea what the heck is going on? I’m not sure I want to gamble $60-90 to wash one of these shirts and see if it gets better.
 

20DYNAMITE07

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I'd say to try to get information about the diameter of the wool fibers on the piece you're considering. Anything less than 18 microns should be soft as the fibers will be thinner and less stiff. The smaller the softer but you may lose some durability. However, if you do buy a piece and it's scratchy there are things you can do. You can hand wash the wool and add a about 3 tablespoons of glycerine. Or you can run it through the washing machine (following the care instructions) and add a couple cups of white distilled vinegar. The latter is my favorite as it will dry odor free, and it worked well on some Badlands merino layers that I had bought.

Good luck!
 

xcutter

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I find the Firstlite merino to be as comfortable as a cotton T-Shirt. Haven't tried any of those other brands you've listed. I have a Kuiu Nu-Yarn shirt and I find it to be itchy. I have some Sitka merino base layers and they are soft but still have a slight itchiness to them. Not bad though.
 
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GunsAreFun

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I may try the Eddie Bauer merino-poly blend. It might not have quite as good odor mitigating qualities, but everyone says it is soft. Plus, I can try it on without shipping.
 

elkstabber

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I've used Kuiu, Icebreaker, and some generic brands and they all itched. Then I found that First Lite's merino blends don't itch and sold the rest of what I had.
 
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GunsAreFun

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Does FirstLite ever have sales lol? I just cannot bring myself to spend $100 on a shirt. Will of course keep my eyes on the classifieds.
 

Turkeygetpwnd38

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Does FirstLite ever have sales lol? I just cannot bring myself to spend $100 on a shirt. Will of course keep my eyes on the classifieds.
They do sales pretty often, just sign up for emails. Sierra Trading Post has there stuff sometimes as well. If you are a strange size a lot of online retailers have their stuff on clearance since the went there direct route. I agree, my FL merino are the most comfortable shirts I own.
 

5MilesBack

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I may try the Eddie Bauer merino-poly blend.

Patagonia's merino and capilene blend shirts were the itchiest merino shirts I've ever tried, and I've tried a bunch. My Icebreaker+Cabela's branded shirts are softer than a new cotton t-shirt, but Icebreaker's economy brand Red Ram is a little scratchy. Minus 33 is super soft as well. Both my Minus 33 and Icebreaker are softer than my First Lite.
 

Bbrinks

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Aug 28, 2017
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Illinois
I’ve had a couple of the smartwool mid weight tops that were a little itchy, but that went away after I washed them once or twice. Didn’t really have a problem with the 150 weight tops though. My first lite pieces weren’t itchy at all, icebreaker lightweight top was a little at first but again went away after washing.
 
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