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The tricky friend. The tyrant of any wardrobe. The one that fluffs and pills, stretches out of shape and self-destructs in the first wash.

So we asked them to imagine the perfect jumper, what would it be like? Here’s what they told us:

1. Soft 35%

2. Durable 26%

3. It doesn’t make you sweaty 17%

4. Warm 14%

5. Easy to maintain 8%


Graph

To prove we didn’t just make this up to impress you here’s a screenshot with the results. They’re legit, honest gov’.


So why is it so hard to find one?

Well we’ve been trying to crack this eternal problem these last 4 years, improving our jumpers with each iteration. Here’s where we’re at:


Wool

That Wool Do

We started off with the choice of material. Cotton’s a non-starter, as it’s not exactly the most trusty companion to get you through a cold winter. Besides, the fiber’s basically a lazy git that doesn’t like to stretch and is quickly out of shape.

But we’re guessing that you’ve already learnt this the hard way, your Gallic chums certainly did: 

- 46% said they’d rather have wool

- 40% answered cashmere

- 14% pushed for cotton

While cashmere is a good shout, it didn’t make it onto the pitch on this occasion for two main reasons:

- It pills more than wool

- It’s a hassle to care for

...so not such a great option for a long-lasting jumper. It was also at odds with our commitment to greater sustainability. And let’s be honest, a true cashmere jumper, the really good stuff that’s not destroying the planet, costs an arm and leg.


Sheep

A bit of wool searching

So wool it is. And by that we mean sheep’s wool. We thought about other varieties such as yak, angora... but they were all too hairy, fussy or simply not right. The idea after all is to make a great long-lasting jumper that you can depend on, not a Chewbacca outfit.

This isn’t as simple as it sounds though as not all wools are created equal. The two main hurdles left to clear being:

1. Wool has a terrible habit of shrinking in the wash.

2. It can be itchy (remember that old wooly school jumper?)

This took us to Italy, where we met some renowned local spinners. After a few grappas we tried our luck : “Buongiorno, we’re looking for a super soft wool that survives a machine wash unscathed and never shrinks. And if that’s not enough, a ristretto per favore.”


Fingers

The Mighty Wool

 

... enter 2/48 Harmony 4.0
(sounds more like a Space X launch site than a wool)

Developed by Filatura di Tollegno (between Turin and Milan) this merino wool is made of fibers 5 to 10 times finer than ordinary wool, which gives it its remarkable softness and breathability.

And the game winner? This stuff doesn’t ever shrink in the wash. At all. What? Is that even possible? Our reaction was the same and the answer’s yes.

“Total easy care” is the technical term. After the spinning and dying, the wool is soaked in an invisible coat of resin to protect it from it’s dreaded enemy: water. These jumpers can be safely tossed straight in with your boxers at 40°C.  Total easy care, you better believe it. 


Wool

The Lowdown

To sum up, we give you a wool that is :

- Soft

- Breathable

- Unshrinkable

- Doesn't lose its shape

… and with one shake of a lamb’s tail Le Pull Parfait becomes the Perfect Jumper.

Stay tuned for the next episode, there’s more than one twist to this tale. In the meantime fire away any questions or suggestions in the comment section below.

We’ve also set up this international IG account just for you as a picture can sometimes say more than 715 words.

Until we meet again,

The ASPHALTE Team

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