Polyester/Wool Tees – intial test results

Back in August Dunning Sportswear gave us some T-shirts made of CoolMax polyester blended with wool to test.  The first six to volunteer were given a T-shirt to wear and collect any thoughts/comments.  We said we would let you all know what we learned so here goes:

The two most frequent reported issues were:


  • 4 of the 6 reported that the material was scratchy/itchy.  One of the testers noted that it was a good thing there was polyester otherwise it would have been a “hair shirt”.

Fit – not related to the material, just the cut.

  • One of the Large, the Extra Large and the two Medium wearers all reported that the neck opening was too small/high.  Two of you went on to say that the shirt was too loose through the torso.  For a few the neck fit made the itchy fabric feel even worse.
  • The Small wearer liked the small neck.

Other performance notes:

Odor management

  • One tester reported the shirt had more “stink memory” than the wool you normally wear.

Warmth/temperature comfort – interestingly, no one noticed or commented on how the material managed heat better or worse than what they are usually using.  I mention this because body temp. management is the selling features for the trademarked “CoolMax” polyester fabric used in these shirts.

To me, the itchy feeling is not surprising.  I have found that wool that is used in poly blends tends to be of lower quality (shorter, coarser staple) as the polyester allows the yarn spinner to use a lower grade wool that alone would poor fabric integrity. I avoid them especially if to be worn close to the body or will be subject to a lot of abrasion in use (exception for socks).  The itchiness is not noticeable to the touch, only when wearing.

I am planning to check in with the testers again.  Hopefully the shirts will get a little more wearing as the guys get down towards laundry day and can’t anything else to wear.  Maybe the winter season will bring new findings.

Thank you to our intrepid testers who have sacrificed comfort for our benefit.  I a feeling these shirts are going to make the long laundry rotation and we may not learn anything more.  We’ll see how tough these guys are :).


3 thoughts on “Polyester/Wool Tees – intial test results”

  1. I wear tons of Smart Wool clothing, undies and socks while hiking, camping, riding, etc., and have never had issues with itching, fit, shrinkage, odor, etc., and they make things in all different weights for all types of weather. Expensive, but lasts forever!

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