The women’s version of McNair’s Provenance AG Merino shirt, made with wool from ‘Glencoe’.
McNair Shirts of Yorkshire has always used Australian Merino wool for its iconic mountain shirts, but the company last month achieved its dream of launching a fully traceable line of shirts, showcasing the journey that the wool takes from a wool-growing property in NSW all the way through to the final garment.
McNair Shirts was founded seven years ago on the idea of making a wool shirt based on the same type of fabric as the famous Dachstein mitts – the classic heavy duty, felted wool mitts that have been providing mountaineers and skiers with serious protection and warmth for decades. McNair’s shirts are made to the highest of standards and, if their reviews are anything to go by, the company has definitely achieved its aim of making ‘the best mountain shirt in the world’.
The shirts are made at McNair’s factory near Huddersfield in Yorkshire, England. The company is rightly proud that its shirts are designed, spun, woven, milled and finished all within 10 miles of where they make the shirts, which enables the company to keep a very close control on quality.
REALISING A DREAM
McNair uses Merino wool from Australia in its shirts, but it was always the company’s dream to have full traceability of its wool. That dream has now become a reality with the launch of its Provenance AG Merino shirts that use wool from woolgrower Paul Simons of ‘Glencoe’, 30km north-east of Boorowa in NSW.
“It was a happy set of circumstances that brought us in touch with woolgrower Paul Simons. In 2017, Paul’s partner Lyndall had her interest piqued by an article about McNair Shirts in Beyond the Bale,” said Natalie Stapleton of McNair Shirts.
“With her passion and knowledge for textiles and design, and mention in the article of Huddersfield, it all seemed to link to Paul’s desire to sell his wool to the UK given his British heritage. Lyndall signed up for the McNair newsletters and then in June last year while she and Paul were visiting the UK, they attended one of our events, met some of the McNair team and from that meeting, the partnership developed.”
Merino wool for McNair’s new fully traceable shirts is sourced from ‘Glencoe’, located on the South West Slopes of NSW, run by woolgrower Paul Simons (left) and farm manager Tom Simson (right).
FROM SHEEP TO SHIRT
Merino wool was shipped earlier this year from ‘Glencoe’ to Yorkshire where the fibre was processed and then made into the fully traceable Provenance AG Merino shirts. To highlight the full traceability of the shirts to consumers, McNair has documented the progress of the wool ‘from sheep to shirt’ on its website and social media channels.
‘Glencoe’ is located on the South West Slopes of NSW and is made up of fertile valleys and granite slopes leading up to undulating native grassland flats surrounded by old-growth native woodlands. More than 10% of the land has been set aside for conservation.
Paul and farm manager Tom Simson are committed to their flock, animal welfare, the environment and sustainability. They are doing everything in their power to conserve the look and feel of the property and provide the best possible home for its 10,000 sheep.
“We are proud that our ‘Glencoe’ wool meets the exacting standards required by McNair Shirts and that the product is fully traceable from paddock to shirt.”
Woolgrower Paul Simons
Natalie says that after arriving in Yorkshire, Paul’s wool is processed by some of England’s most respected mills, all located close to McNair’s own factory.
“We work with local companies such as Z. Hinchliffe where the wool is dyed, blended and spun into yarn. After weaving, the fabric is sent to our friends at WT Johnson who mill the material to create the luxurious soft and weather resistant material with its felt-like finish,” Natalie said.
“McNair Provenance Ag Merino fabric also has silver micro particles embedded into it to give it enhanced anti-microbial and anti-viral properties so that that the shirts will be fresh, odour-free and clean for longer.
“The fabric is then transported to McNair for cutting and sewing into the Provenance AG Merino shirts, for men and women. The consensus is that the shirts are beautiful, incredibly soft and the best the company has ever made.”