How our enhanced merino keeps the weather out


It’s easy to make a really soft fabric and it’s easy to make a really protective fabric. Making something really soft and really protective calls for a little witchcraft.

McNair is in the little village of Slaithwaite for a reason. This old village is in the heart of Yorkshire’s wool country and within a mile or two of the finest wool finisher in the world.

And it’s during the finishing also called milling where the magic happens. After our lambswool merino has been woven, the fabric is gently turned by giant wooden paddles in warm water. This gradually pulls the fibres together, shrinking the fabric and producing a weather proof seal. And to further help the soft part of the equation the fabric is steamed and raised on the inside. This raising also boosts the warmth, trapping tiny pockets of warm air inside.

It might be possible to copy these crafts and build the same machines on the other side of the world but what is unique to this Yorkshire valley is the softness of the water and the gentle filtration provided by the ancient gritstone and shale. It’s this natural advantage that allowed the textile industry to initially flourish and generations of experience to grow. Without the unique skillset and the natural resources of our area the McNair Shirt would feel much more like other felted wool jackets. Heaven forbid!

The result is dramatic. As recent McNair convert Austin Healey explains, “I skied deep powder all day with just a t-shirt under the McNair Shirt, best piece of clothing I’ve ever bought!” Wow, thanks Austin, we love you too!


Milling machine – Slaithwaite, Huddersfield


Milling – Slaithwaite, Huddersfield


Austin Healey in his McNair Moutain Shirt