Frequently Asked Questions
We update this section regularly. Feel free to ask anything. The questions are in no particular order, but we start with the questions that are most important or most frequently asked by people who don't know us. There is a lot here ...
What are you doing? What are you trying to do? What are your principles?
- We endeavor that all who interact with us -- Customers and Partners -- are better-off as a result
- We're making the best 100% American All-Purpose Outerwear we can figure out how to make, supported by the best Customer Service. And we're trying to make the best All-Purpose Outerwear there has even been. Crazy, maybe ... so here is some explanation. But what else is there? ... should we strive to be second best? ... mediocre? Indications of whether we are achieving our goals are easy to find with a little web-searching. There is customer feedback on this site, too
- WeatherWool is the best we can figure out how to make, and we are always trying to improve
- A garment cannot be better than the fabric from which it is made. We make our own Fabric because fabric that meets our requirements is not otherwise available. Our Fabric sets us apart. WeatherWool's custom Merino Jacquard Fabric, which we make starting from raw wool, is always 100% pure wool, 100% virgin wool, 100% USA
- Our products are always 100% American (100% American materials and 100% American labor)
- We want our customers to enjoy our garments, recommend WeatherWool, and to view WeatherWool as a long-term investment that is a pleasure to wear. We want to be the clothing parents are happy to pass along to their children. We want to make your single favorite Jacket that works great and looks great in the field or at a ball game or corporate setting or even Church. Or even the battlefield. We want WeatherWool to add to your outdoor experiences
- If your outdoor activities involve true extremes and serious conditions, we want WeatherWool to be the gear that performs when it is really needed.
- If you're not happy with your WeatherWool, send it back for a refund, even if you've worn it for a year. Or even if you just need the cash, let me know. I've definitely been there
- The price of our garments reflects the costs of manufacture:
- We don't have salesmen or marketing people. We don't pay people to wear our garments. We don't hold "sales", nor do we offer discount codes or coupon codes or anything like that
- We don't advertise. (If our customers do not advertise WeatherWool, we have failed.)
- We are a family business operating out of our home
- We sell directly to our customers worldwide ... no retailers
- We are always looking to improve in any way we can
- Customer communication will always be completely frank, honest, open and hopefully two-way
- If you have suggestions for us, please let me know. Our customers are the most important Partners we have!
- If you think some other brand (whatever it's made of) is better than WeatherWool, please let me know. We'd love to examine, test, compare and potentially improve
- Also, very importantly, we hope to be part of the revival of America's Sheep, Wool, Textile and Garment Industries, all of which are only a tiny fraction of what they once were. We strongly believe that high quality woolens can help to support and grow ways of living and working that have centuries-old roots in the USA.
Why so expensive?
The short answer is that we do everything we can think of to improve our products and service. And always American. Please click here to read about some of the factors that increase costs. But WeatherWool may not be as expensive as it seems at first, because our garments often take the place of more than one of the more typical pieces. That's part of being All-Purpose Outerwear. For example, people often wear one piece of our wool for city, country, work, worship. We strive for that.
What's the single word that best describes WeatherWool?
Versatile. All-Purpose Outerwear is all about versatility. We want people to wear WeatherWool for most everything they do. After all, if you don't wear it, then it cannot do its job. And so we have created clothing that works in a wide variety of Natural and human settings ... from the most difficult situations to the most leisurely. WeatherWool is made to handle weather, but people sometimes wear WeatherWool indoors, all day long. Please visit our Versatility page to see WeatherWool in a wide variety of settings. And the Testing Outerwear page also gives a sense of what "All-Purpose" means to us.
What do you mean by pure-American?
All components of our garments, all labor and all owners are American. More info on our Pure American page.
Who makes WeatherWool?
We manage a large team ... from Ranchers through Tailors, plus many others. But the only employees are Debby's and my children Alex and Denali.
How do you operate? What are your "DOs and DON'Ts"?
What about sustainability and environmental impact?
How is sheep's wool turned into fabric?
Cinema highbrows often cite Orson Welles' Citizen Kane as the greatest film ever made and Welles was a huge name for decades. America's wool industry seems to have peaked in the 1950s, but wool was still important enough -- or maybe he was just a wool lover -- that in 1977 Welles narrated a tremendous 14-minute film FROM FIBER TO FABRIC ... WOOL'S A NATURAL. Welles had a wonderful voice, and his 1938 radio adaptation of HG Wells' (only one e and I presume no relation!) War of the Worlds famously caused some panic here in New Jersey. FIBER TO FABRIC, made for The American Sheep Producers Council (defunct?), may lack drama, but presents fantastic information Fantastically Welles! (Sorry about that!) ... Big THANK YOU to my Old Friend Bob for flagging this to me!
What should I wear?
Wool. If there were something better than wool for All-Purpose Clothing, we wouldn't be doing this. We are developing a separate page, What to Wear.
What wool does for sheep, it can do for us. And please remember that FLEECE is made by sheep. Photo courtesy Advisor Bob Padula, PM Ranch.
What do you mean “Satisfaction Guaranteed”?
We're doing the best we can. If you are not totally happy ... if there is something you would rather wear than WeatherWool, you are very strongly urged to please accept a 100% refund. ...... When you receive an item from us, and it fits you comfortably, do some rigorous, extreme field testing, for a week or a month or more. Get a full refund if you are not satisfied with the wool. This isn't much of a risk for anyone. Anyway ... we are guided by the philosophy of William Gladstone, which is kind of funny and is essentially a NO AGGRAVATION approach to life. There is more info on the No-Risk Guarantee here, but basically, the last thing we would ever want is someone feeling "stuck" with WeatherWool.
What about your Customer Service?
Why did you register the trademark “Hardcore Luxury®”?
Don't modern synthetics outperform wool?
"Absolutely not" is my view. But we are making All-Purpose Outerwear, and the more specific the situation, the less valuable an all-purpose garment is. For a marathon run on a warm, dry day, I don't recommend WeatherWool, although ultra-light pure woolens made by some other companies would outperform the synthetics even though people usually think of wool for cold weather. If we thought there was any better All-Purpose material than wool, we wouldn't be doing this. Even companies based on synthetic outerwear are now selling wool base layers and singing their praises. Please click over to our COMPARISON page for a discussion on how the performance of garments might be rated or compared. The WHY WOOL, Fire and Heat and Wool and Water pages have a ton of info and great diagrams, so here I will just relate a quick story. Some years back I was speaking to a gent who had responsibility for Search and Rescue for Northern British Columbia. He told me he sees people heading out wearing all kinds of stuff. He said something like “If you come up here with anything but wool, I know you don't know what you're doing.”
What about WeatherWool Reviews?
There are a good number of reviews on this site. Pages with reviews that people have sent us are linked from the product pages. Reviews that people have posted themselves are at the bottom of the product pages. But there aren't many of those because the website has only accepted direct reviews since March of 2022 and mostly we've been sold out since then. I make no attempt to post all the material people send me. I get amazingly positive comments every day. Plus, it's interesting to see what information is found on other sites that are completely independent of us. At this point, it seems as if one or more of our customers posts every day ... at least during cooler months in the Northern Hemisphere. Check out YouTube and even better, Instagram. If you don't have an Instagram account, it's worth getting ... it's free and you can be anonymous if you want. You don't have to post anything, either ... just search for #WeatherWool. Of course, straightforward web-searching will turn up lots of material also. There are a number of forums where WeatherWool is discussed. And if you'd like to post (or send us) a review, GREAT!!
What methods of payment do you accept?
Over the website and/or over the phone, we accept all major credit cards, Paypal (Ralph@WeatherWool.com), personal checks, money orders, Western Union, cash, Venmo, Zelle. I love precious metals, and will be happy to work that out. We would also go with cryptos. More info on the Payment Methods page.
Can bugs bite through your Fabric?
We have not heard of any that can.
Can you tell me more about what you mean by pure-American?
Our raw wool comes from ‘American Sheep eating American Grass’, as they say in the US Army. The wool is scoured (cleaned), spun and woven in the USA. Dyeing and finishing takes place in the USA. Our Fabrics are cut and sewn into garments here in the USA. All of our thread, zippers, buttons, snaps, cuffs, clips, cords, accents, labels and facings are made in the USA. There isn't anything that isn't American. We are fully compliant with the Berry Amendment. All of our owners are United States Citizens, American-born. And our phone number is 831-704-1776 (831-July 4th-1776). We have on file Certificates of Origination that attest to our American sourcing. We have great relations with people in many countries, and we are grateful for information and suggestions from non-Americans, and non-Americans have helped us test our garments. We are proud to have Advisors outside the USA. More information on our Pure American page.
Why make a pure-American product?
Because we REALLY WANT to make a pure-American product. Because we have no interest in making a second-tier product, and we are competing on quality and service, not price, and therefore we must be able to stay close to all phases of production. Because some people think Americans can't make clothing anymore. Because we are huge flag-wavers. Because we love Rosie the Riveter (my Aunt Sue appeared in some of the official "Rosie" photos during World War II). Because we want to see WeatherWool worn by the United States Military, and they will buy only American products. That's not a knock on anybody else or anywhere else. This is just what we want to do. ... For the record, we have friends in and from many countries, and have had plenty of great trips abroad. But my favorite part of any international trip is coming home, and I love to see the American Flag on my front porch, and on WeatherWool.
What if I don't like WeatherWool once I've given it a good test?
If it fits you in your living room, go out and give it a tough field test ... and no need to hurry. Test all kinds of weather, all kinds of activities, all kinds of settings. If you are not happy, send it back for a full refund. We're not worried ... and really, how could we run the business any other way? The last thing we would want is people feeling as if they are stuck with WeatherWool. Here is more info on our No-Risk Field Testing. You can also send it back if you simply need the money. Just let me know.
Who is WeatherWool designed for?
Basically, anyone who spends time in cool or cold weather. But we have an extremely wide base of customers, and some people actually wear WeatherWool mostly indoors because they keep their winter homes quite cool. And of course our Blankets mostly stay indoors. We have a separate page on our Customers.
Where can I see and touch WeatherWool? Can I talk to someone?
You can contact me in the USA by telephone anytime, 24/7/365, at 831-July 4th-1776 (831-704-1776), and visit us by appointment. Or come to an Open House. We also have a growing network of Advisors who can answer questions, make recommendations, show WeatherWool in person and take your order. And please request Free Fabric Samples. By the way ... why wouldn't a clothing company offer samples of the material from which their garments are made?
Is WeatherWool in retail stores?
No. It probably would not work for us for a variety of reasons. If you'd like to read more about my thoughts on the traditional retail approach, please visit our Retailers page. But if you're a retailer who'd like to talk, that's fine, too. Maybe there is a way we haven't heard about yet.
Do you make anything for running or similar activities?
We are developing the Runner
Do you make Base Layers?
Not yet, although we are trying to figure out how we could do it.
Where are your garment tags?
We are legally required to sew various tags into our garments. However, we minimize use of everything but our Fabric because other materials are a liability in severe conditions. Our garment tags are placed where their impact will be minimized. Generally, you will find the WeatherWool label, care instructions, material composition and size and batch tags near the bottom of our jackets. Beginning in 2021, we added Fabric Batch tags so we can track the performance of the garments over time. We don't expect performance to differ, but it is our goal to always improve if possible and the ability to identify all the elements of production of a garment may eventually be important.
What activities is WeatherWool designed for?
Just about anything that might happen in the weather. Hiking, bushcraft, camping, hunting, birding, skiing, snowmobiling, fishing, icefishing, sledding, trekking, photography, engineering, biking, construction, professional gatherings, walking the pooch, waiting for the train, watching a ball game ... or just getting from one place to another. Quite a few people wear WeatherWool just getting back and forth to work (by foot, motorcycle, bicycle, car, train ...). WeatherWool is probably pushed the hardest of all by the Military. A couple of our customers are hunters who wear WeatherWool in the field and to church. WeatherWool is designed for cool and cold weather, but can be worn comfortably in room temperature. I've worn WeatherWool in temperatures over 80F/27C and been comfortable, particularly in low humidity.
Is it true that wool keeps you warm even when it's wet?
Yes, it's true, but it's also true that wool doesn't get wet the way most people think ... and this is because wool was designed by Nature to clothe sheep, which are very similar to people. Paradoxically, even when wool is holding all the water it can hold, it will still be dry to the touch because it holds water internally ... Wool and Water is a great example of Nature's sophistication in action.
Tell me about your wool.
Our FullWeight Fabric is about 19.4 ounces per square yard (658 grams per square meter -- gsm) and our Batch 6 MidWeight Fabric is 12 ounces per square yard (opsy), which is equivalent to 407 gsm. (Please note that wool weights in America are usually quoted by the linear yard, but there is no standard width, so comparisons can be difficult. More information about this confusing topic here.) All of our Fabric is woven on a Jacquard loom, creating a 3-dimensional Fabric that enhances performance. The Jacquard is the only type of loom that can create complex patterns such as our LYNX Pattern. We use mostly American Rambouillet Merino wool. Our ranchers generally work up their own bloodlines, sometimes mixing Targhee genetics and sometimes even creating their own breeds, such as the Debouillet developed on the Jones Ranches. Average fiber thickness is 21-micron, which is very fine for outerwear. Staple length is pushing four inches (about as long as the machines can handle). Thin enough to be very comfortable but selected to be strong, with plenty of crimp (kinks) for insulation. We have made the best-performing Fabric we’ve been able to figure out how to make. There is a LOT more information on our Fabrics page.
Talk about the differences between FullWeight and MidWeight Fabric
Do you pay anyone to wear WeatherWool?
Nobody is paid money to wear WeatherWool. But some people do get WeatherWool for free. Here's what I've learned about how the clothing biz works in this regard. Everybody knows that big brands pay big money to famous people to appear in ads. The clothing biz does too. The outdoor-clothing business does not do this on the scale of, for example, insurance companies, but there are people on TV who are paid well into six figures annually to wear certain brands of hunting clothing. At first, I wasn't even willing to give well-known people (they are called 'influencers' these days) free clothing. My thinking was that I didn't want anyone wearing my stuff just because it was free. What I didn't understand was that my view was a sort of insult to the stature of a lot of people. A guy I have now known for years as a result of WeatherWool is something of a mentor and friend. He is a big name in the outdoors world. He told me his office receives, unsolicited, 5-10 packages every day from manufacturers hoping to get more exposure for their products. So the mere fact that various TV personalities and our famous Advisors wear WeatherWool at all is a big deal!
How does WeatherWool handle prolonged exposure to the weather?
Describe the entire WeatherWool manufacturing process.
I'm working on a page, How WeatherWool is Made, and it has more info than is here, but it's a long way from complete. .............. Manufacture of WeatherWool begins with extremely careful selection of our raw wool. America's top ranchers have very detailed, independent lab tests performed on their fleece. We normally split the costs of the testing with the ranchers. Together with Bob Padula, our wool consultant, we analyze the results of these tests and select the lots that can create the very comfortable and luxurious but also very tough and weather-resistant (Hardcore Luxury) Fabric that is the heart of WeatherWool. Basically, we select fantastic American raw wool. A nice bonus of our careful selection process is that we get to know the Ranchers that raise this wonderful wool. Once we identify the wool we want, we need to win that wool at auction ... we have to be the highest bidders. From the auction house, the wool goes to South Carolina for custom scouring (cleaning). Our clean wool is shipped to Connecticut, where there is a mill that acts as our prime contractor in making our Fabric. They don't have the facilities to handle all the processes involved, but they are the central point and have the experience and relationships to deliver our Fabric. Our various components (thread, zippers, buttons, fasteners, cords, labels, snaps, etc.) come from quite a few different states. Until lately, all of the components and Fabric were collated into production packages at our home in New Jersey, and production packages were then sent to tailors or hat makers in New Jersey or New York City. Lately, the tailors have begun to manage the process of inventory and management of all the components. Finished products are shipped from us to our customers throughout the USA and many other countries. We stay in touch with our customers and testers and Advisors and regularly receive feedback. We take everyone's input very seriously, and are very grateful for all comments. We carefully collect all feedback and evaluate every suggestion and criticism. We are always willing to consider new ideas and potential enhancements. We periodically re-work the designs for our various products, making one or more prototypes of the new or updated garments. Our prototypes are tested hard and re-evaluated. Then we finalize our designs, make a production run, deliver the garments to our customers and ... the cycle of field use generates more feedback and ideas and ... We will always seek to improve everything.
How do you test outerwear?
There are a LOT of parameters by which outerwear can be judged. And of course it is necessarily subjective! Please click here for a discussion about Testing Outerwear.
What other brands do you compare yourself to?
We feel there is no obvious comparison because we are not aware of anyone else doing what we are doing. People often mention other makers of woolen outerwear, and we surely invite comparison to any of them! But we also invite comparison to makers of synthetic outerwear, whether for skiing, casual wear, hunting or birding or almost any outdoor activity. We don't compete on price ... only on quality, performance, versatility and service. And American origin. We don't know of anyone else making garments that deliver both Hardcore performance and Luxury, and therefore Hardcore Luxury is our registered trademark.
There are many other companies out there and performance comparisons should be extensive, if undertaken. And so we've created a separate page on comparison.
Will WeatherWool protect against sunburn?
Describe your Quality Control
Can you make custom sizes?
We can if necessary. Please talk to us if you are difficult to fit.
Please click here for a picture of our Fabric colors.
What makes WeatherWool better than other brands?
The short answer is that we are making the best we can figure out how to make, we aim to be the best All-Purpose Outerwear there has ever been, and we have never made any decision except to maximize the quality of our garments and remain 100% American. We don't know of anyone else who has that philosophy. We buy the best raw wool we can find, and it gets primo treatment every step of the way as it is turned into Fabric. We use only the best components (zippers, thread, etc.) and expert tailors. Our Fabrics are pure wool, pure virgin wool ... many other woolens have significant amounts of cotton (or other fibers). But cotton sucks up water (that's why it's used for towels!). So we eliminated it. We don't use cotton thread, either. Our Fabrics are very tough but also very soft ... qualities that are difficult and expensive to combine. But toughness is important in outerwear, particularly outerwear built for performance. Softness is also important, tho, because we can avoid use of liner fabrics, which do not perform the way wool does. The other garments we know of have liners at the back of the neck and around the wrists and elsewhere. These liners turn into wet rags which could get someone killed. There is more information about our Fabrics and raw wool and processing on the Fabric pages. We also offer no-risk field testing. Take WeatherWool out there and give it your best shot. Get a refund if you want one.
Where have WeatherWool products fallen short, and what are you doing about the problems?
We have had very few failures ... The biggest problem we've had is a few pairs of Pants split in the crotch, and corners of cargo pockets have come loose where they are sewn to the Pants. The front button has come loose on a couple pairs of Pants (before we found Slot Buttons!). The buttons we fix, or pay to have them fixed locally. Seams and pockets we have sent out new Pants. (Some Pants split because guys wore them without a belt, and the Pants are not designed to be worn low. Please wear a belt.) These were really all tailoring issues that we have solved. One woman returned for refund a Jacket because she didn't like the Hood while hunting and because she wanted a windproof jacket. We issued her a full refund. She probably should not have worn this Jacket in the field because she didn't like the fit. Also, our Fabric is not windproof by design ... we require our Fabric to breathe, and, IMHO, windproof and breathable does not exist. Our Mouton Products are windproof because the Mouton still has the leather from the lamb pelt. But on the subject of returns ... we always accept returns for 100% refund. Can't have anyone unhappy.
Do your Ranchers participate in any of the Sheep and Wool and Animal Health certification and assurance programs?
Yes and No. Our Ranchers are aware of all these programs, but as of this writing (6 May 2021), these types of programs are, mostly, just getting going in the USA. Also these programs are primarily focused on animals other than sheep, and, to the extent they have focused on sheep, the emphasis is on meat animals rather than wool. However, our Ranchers have participated and will continue to monitor development and participate in the programs as appropriate. Perhaps the most important point, tho, is that our Ranchers are committed to their sheep and the land and to the highest standards of care for both. Among the programs developing in the USA:
- AWA ... American Wool Assurance ... this is the program most relevant to us. The program is in the final stages of planning and is expected to begin in May or June of 2021.
- SSQA ... Sheep Safety and Quality Assurance ... Primarily oriented to lamb meat but does have some wool-oriented aspects, but these are not as advanced or as proactive as the previous "certified wool clip" programs. Padula was involved in SSQA with levels 1 and 2 and still keeps the required records. The updated program is expected to be available in late 2021.
- Secure Sheep and Wool Supply is another new program that is focused on disease reporting and control. The focus is control of any potential outbreak of foot and mouth disease (which does not affect humans), and on meat, rather than wool animals. It's expected our Ranchers will be participants by way of their registrations with their state and local governments.
Do any of your Ranchers practice mulesing?
Some sheep have an accumulation of folded skin around their back end. The wool in the skin folds is an ideal place for parasitic flies to lay eggs. The fly larvae cause "flystrike" ... they eat the flesh of the living sheep, which is very painful and potentially lethal. Mulesing is the surgical removal of the extra folds of skin, eliminating/reducing the situation that attracts the flies. Click for some information about mulesing from Australia's Woolmark.
Advisor Mike Corn, a recent president of the American Sheep Industry Association, informed me that nobody he knows practices mulesing. Instead, those ranchers that need to address the situation "tag" their sheep ... meaning they shear the wool away from the problem areas. THANKS MIKE! I also asked Rancher and Advisor Bob Padula for input, and he phoned me. Bob agreed with Mike and did not believe there is anyone in the USA practicing mulesing.
Is WeatherWool good on a dive boat?
Yes. Please click over to Mississippi River. People not only wear WeatherWool after diving, but some people wear it under a dry-suit. At least one member of what is perhaps the world's best-known SCUBA crew wears WeatherWool.
How does WeatherWool handle water and spray such as on a fishing boat?
It will pretty well shed all the spray and splash. I wear WeatherWool surf fishing, wading into the waves, and getting it soaked. It's a good idea to rinse the salt out of the wool afterward tho. It seems like it absorbs rainwater more quickly if the ocean-salt is allowed to stay in the wool. I have also been told the salt will weaken the wool but I have not observed that personally.
How do I care for WeatherWool?
Please click to go to the separate Care page.
What kind of warranty do you offer?
Eventually everything wears out. But until then, we’ll take care of any problems that might come up that are not due to mistreatment of the garment. And we would love to hear from anyone who actually does wear our stuff to exhaustion. We’ll give you a nice discount on something new. In April of 2021 we received back from Advisor Tanner Buller a MidWeight Drab Anorak that he managed to pretty well wear out in less than two years. Tanner is the only person we know of who has done this. He is a young guy who put the Anorak through a LOT of hard use. But the main thing is that he hardly took it off. He wore it just about every day and slept in it too.
Where is your operation?
We run WeatherWool out of our 1890s Colonial house in South Orange, New Jersey, a few miles West of New York City. (Please come to an Open House, or visit by appointment.) There are people from many States involved with WeatherWool in one way or another ... California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and probably other States. But absolutely no other countries, unless we count Shopify, the company that provides the platform for this website. Shopify is a Canadian company, although it mostly operates out of the USA. We are happy to have WeatherWool Advisors in other countries, to assist international customers and to provide ideas and feedback to us. Our phone number has a California area code because we really wanted 704-1776 (Fourth of July, 1776), and that number was available in area code 831.
Do you have any videos about WeatherWool?
We are building a video library on this website. We also have a small Youtube Channel but going forward the emphasis will be keeping video here. And there are WeatherWool videos that have been produced by others, too. You can see a descriptive list (with links) of the videos on this page, but I can't keep up with all the material people are putting out. Also, we've been around long enough that we appear in a lot of videos that are about other things ... people are simply wearing our garments and may or may not have tagged us but the video itself doesn't address clothing at all.
Do you make any camo (camouflage) patterns?
Our Lynx Pattern is what we think of as camo-camo. Lynx disappears in many natural environments, but is not perceived as camo by the general public. One of our customers described wearing Lynx to a big-city dinner cruise with corporate colleagues. He reported receiving several compliments on the Jacket and questions about the designer (the Other Ralph!), but nobody realized he was wearing camo. Our development and testing of Lynx Pattern included trips to shopping malls, etc., to test people's reactions. We are comfortable stating that people who do not have a ‘camo frame of mind’ will not see Lynx Pattern as camo. Incidentally, our solid colors Drab and Duff are also by design very difficult to see in natural settings, and tend to be difficult to distinguish from one another, which is a very effective form of camouflage. Black, to me anyway, is still a question mark. Black is conspicuous to human eyes but here in Jersey our Black Bears are thriving and we do also have jet-black coyotes. Of course there is no shortage of birds that are black, and Ravens seem to be really on the upswing. One last point ... the preceding conversation about Lynx Pattern in public refers to Jackets, Hooded Jackets, Hats. I'm not sure I've worn Lynx Pattern Pants around town. Probably I should give that a try. But I always take to the field in Drab Pants and Lynx top because I prefer to have my legs looking different than my torso in the belief that breaking up the silhouette is more important than any given camo pattern. Also, one of the features of wool fiber is that the microscopic texture deadens reflectivity.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes. We are proud to have customers in many countries. Shipping to Canada and USA is free. Usually, we split the cost of shipping to other countries ... customer pays half, we pay half. The website usually adds the correct cost of shipping to international orders (meaning half of the actual cost). Orders over $2000 will probably ship free almost everywhere. I write "probably" and "almost" because there are about 200 countries and we haven't looked into shipping costs for more than about 50 of them.
What about sales taxes or import duties or tariffs?
There is no sales tax on clothing in New Jersey. So there are never any governmental taxes or fees added on by us, although I think that will change before very long. American politicians have been working hard to turn online vendors into local tax collectors. Canada does not levy any import fees or duties on WeatherWool, or any American woolen products. Some countries do levy import fees or tariffs but we have no role in this regard. We are building a separate page with some basic information on the taxes and duties assessed on our shipments to other countries. Please keep in mind national import tariffs are a remarkable thicket of regulations and the info we present needs to be regarded as our best effort, but not definitive! Sorry we can't do better than that.
Do you use superwashed fiber?
Our weft fiber, which is about 85% of our woven garments (almost everything we make), is not superwashed. Our warp has been superwashed, but as of Batch 9 we hope to eliminate superwash. Our knitted garments are made with superwashed yarn. We hope to eventually eliminate superwashed fiber from our knits, and have already taken some steps in this direction as of early 2023. Please click for more info.
What in tarnation are you doing in Jersey?
The short answer is I was born and raised in Jersey, and for Debby, Brooklyn and Long Island. Debby and I have been in the same big old house in South Orange since 1984, so we really have roots here. Our son Alex lives nearby with his family, and he has been with WeatherWool since day one. Our daughter Denali (Laura) lives with us, and has a growing role with the company. Alex's wife Cecy lends her experience in marketing and sales and her native Spanish. The houses in our neighborhood were built when large families were the norm, so it’s a great base for our family and our business too. Plus being so close to New York City means WeatherWool has NYC's Garment District within 30 minutes. But a lot of people are surprised to learn what a great outdoor State Jersey is. We don't have BIG spaces but we have real variety and some super quality and Jersey is for sure one of America's best States for venison. BUT ... if you know of a farm that touches on salt water, please give me a call!
Why don't you have a logo or label on the outside of your clothing?
Logos, labels and tags in general detract from the performance of a garment because they cannot be made of our Fabric. So we minimize their use. I'd even leave off ALL the labels if it was legal. But also, many people do not like wearing a garment with a logo, let alone a prominent logo.
How do your garments do with sawdust?
Here is an answer from Advisor Trustin Timber, in reference to an Instagram post: "Great question. So this photo of me chainsawing the log was just last week. Prior to this photo I have felled and bucked about 300+ trees with a chainsaw in this anorak. Chainsaw chips are big enough they brush off with the hand. When I’m using a power sander or table saw and making fine sawdust I usually take it off and swing it against a post or something or beat it with a broom stick if it gets really covered. I’ve really only felt I needed to do this maybe 4 or 5 times since owning it. Usually just keep wearing it and it self cleans itself. If you really wanted to clean it quickly I suppose you could try to brush and vacuum it but I’ve never felt it necessary. Even pine sap seems to eventually work its way out over time as it dries and crumbles and falls off. Wool is unlike cotton in that way. Everything sits on the surface of the hairs and eventually falls off. Most importantly snow and freezing rain."
Can you do anything to keep animals from catching my scent?
Wool is naturally anti-bacterial, so it does help in that regard. There are also reasons to doubt the effectiveness of the various scent-suppression approaches. Field and Stream magazine has, over a few years, run several articles describing different types of scent-control and scent-suppression tests they have conducted. The only device that seemed to make any difference at all was an ozone generator. All the other techniques were pretty useless, versus the nose of a police dog. These articles are really interesting reading, and F&S has incentive from their advertisers to find in favor of the scent-killers, but they don't. One of the tests they run involves a police dog searching for people who have used scent control products. Here is a link to one article in the series, on the Field and Stream website. Field and Stream updated the series in August 2019, testing the same dog versus an ozone generator. The dog needed 50 seconds to find the hidden person, but everyone involved in the testing thought this was a remarkably long time, based on all the previous results. The dog was able to overcome all the other scent-suppression techniques in only a few seconds.
Will WeatherWool help me avoid detection by animals or people?
Yes, it will help. To avoid detection by mammals other than humans (who are generally believed to not see color), wool is very useful. Animals such as deer are, in my opinion, most sensitive to scent, sound, movement, silhouette, then camo pattern and colors. Of course, the transmission of scent, and to a lesser extent sound, are dependent upon wind direction. Movement can also be less obvious as the wind picks up and moves leaves and branches. Wool is quiet as can be, and presents a soft silhouette. Instructors at the United States Air Force Arctic Survival School told me the key points for avoiding visual detection by another human are shape, shadow, shine, texture, color, tone, position, movement. WeatherWool can help a lot with shine, color, texture and tone. Also with shape and shadow. I personally always hunt wearing Pants in Solid Drab Color and Lynx Pattern for a Jacket. Deer, turkey, fox have all come within a few steps of me, looked at me, but did not see a human. The dark pants and lighter top -- I think -- prevents critters from perceiving the human silhouette.
Is WeatherWool suitable for thru-hikers (long-distance hikers)?
This was a fairly lengthy exchange we had with a thru-hiker in early January 2017. We hope to follow this up with his feedback on hiking with WeatherWool. It’s a pretty long back-and-forth, so it’s on a separate page. We got some great feedback from a trekker in Nepal.
Tell me about the Comfort Factor
Will pet hair show on the wool?
Lynx Pattern will hide just about anything. And Black is the color upon which pet hair will be most visible. Drab and Brown are more forgiving than Black, but have nowhere near the ability of Lynx to hide pet hair (or almost anything else).
What is Mouton?
Mouton is the tanned and processed pelt of the highest-graded lamb skins. When a lamb is processed for meat, the pelts are sold as a by-product. The lambs are raised for the meat and the pelt is an afterthought. Most of the pelts wind up as shearling, but the very best ones, less than 1% of them, are processed into Mouton, which is much longer, thicker, softer, silkier and warmer than shearling. Please click here for more info on Mouton.
What is the environmental impact of wool ranching and wool clothing versus synthetics?
Wool obviously is a natural and biodegradable resource. Polyester clothing (that stuff they call "fleece", for example!) is a petroleum-based product. In a landfill, the synthetics will resist decomposition for a loooonnnng time ... Wool decomposes quite quickly. Also, synthetic fibers break up rather than degrade, and these smaller and smaller pieces are picked up and internalized by all kinds of living creatures, including our food and even us!
This question of environmental impact is probably going to wind up as a separate page before long ... One of our ranchers, Andy McMurry, flagged a video about microfibers, and that’s what got me to add this question. Click for a 3-minute Youtube video on microfibers. The gist of the video is that synthetic products shed tremendous amounts of microfibers as the garments are worn and washed. And these tiny bits of plastic last practically forever and get into everything. Please visit our Related Information page for more info on this.
Production of wool also takes far less input of petroleum products than do synthetic fibers, which actually are petroleum products:
Also, sheep ranching itself is environmentally sound. Again, Andy McMurry has given us information on this subject.
WeatherWool is too expensive for me. What can I do?
Call us. Maybe we can figure something out. It is pretty common for us to accept 50% down payment and then monthly payments for the balance. Also, check our SPECIALS page, and get on our mailing list. We don't do traditional sales or seasonal discounts but the SPECIALS page may have used pieces, irregulars, older versions of current designs.
Will ozone treatment damage WeatherWool?
Tim Gauthier, (former?) owner of Enforcer Zone (website is gone), told me ozone will find other things to react with before it will react with wool. Ozone can damage the elastic found in many garments, but WeatherWool has used very little elastic. Our Fabric, of course, is pure wool. We use elastic in our waist adjustments, shock cords and the cuff adjustment of the SkiJac. Tim is someone I have been on the phone with quite a bit, but not since 2019 or so. Not sure what he is up to now. Tim has had a CPO Shirt since summer of 2017 -- and his research shows that the relatively small amounts of ozone emitted by his devices will take a very long time (many hours) to damage elastic. However, other ozone-creating devices may emit far more ozone than Tim's, and can damage the elastic in clothing much more quickly. This is a well-known problem with ozone ... which chews up everything, given enough time.
Who Owns WeatherWool?
The DiMeo family, and two friends. Please click here for more info on our owners.
24 September 2023 --- Ralph