If you’re like us, you look closely at recipes. When you’re deciding what to cook for dinner for your family, it’s important for you to to know the ingredients — whether they’re natural, nourishing, and wholesome.
The same is true for us. We care about what we eat, knowing that the health of our children and our planet are impacted in ways, big and small, by our meal choices.
And the same is true about what we wear. Although most of us are used to reading ingredient labels on our favorite foods, we rarely do so for our favorite clothes.
Take synthetic fibers like the ubiquitous polyester, a fabric that tries to mimic the natural properties of merino wool. Sure, a polyester shirt will wick away moisture like merino, but it stubbornly clings to odor (unlike merino) and, to us, it just doesn’t have that same natural feel of super soft merino.
And how often have you wondered about the “ingredient” list of a polyester shirt? We’ve asked the same question.
The answer: polyester is a petroleum-based fiber. Courtesy of whatispolyster.com:
"The process of manufacturing polyester is fascinating. It is an artificial man-made fiber. Polyesters are generally manufactured from petroleum from which the constituent acids and alcohols are derived.
There are three steps in the synthesizing of polyester.
1 Condensation Polymerization: When acid and alcohol are reacted in a vacuum at high temperatures it results in condensation polymerization. Once the polymerization has occurred the material is extruded onto a casting trough in the form of a ribbon. Once cool, the ribbon hardens and is cut into chips.
2 Melt-spun Fiber: The chips are dried completely. Hopper reservoirs are then used to melt the chips. A unique feature of polyester is that it is melt-spun fiber. The chips are heated, extruded through spinnerets and cools upon hitting the air. It is then loosely wound around cylinders.
3 Drawing: The fibers consequently formed are hot stretched to about five times their original length. This helps to reduce the fiber width. This fiber is now ready and would into cones as filaments. It can also be crimped and cut into staple lengths as per requirements."
Courtesy of http://www.whatispolyester.com/manufacturing.html.
Acids? Alcohols? Filaments? Melt-spun? What are we talking about here?
Merino wool is different. It’s a natural fiber derived from the fleece of beautiful merino sheep. You don’t need a PhD in Chemistry to understand merino wool.
You just need the intuition of mother nature. Synthetics fibers, through complex chemical processes, imitate merino but can’t replicate its soul.
We think Mother Nature got it right the first time. Nature provides when we let her.
Every garment has a story. We’re proud to share our story.
Proud that the merino sheep on ZQ Merino ranches are treated humanely by farmers with great devotion.
Proud that the ingredient list is short, simple, and wholesome.