The simplest wool product with maximum usability
What is a wool kerchief? That is what I asked myself when I first came across a 42-inch by 42-inch (or 106 by 106 cm) piece of soft merino wool fabric from North x North on Kickstarter around a year ago. Turns out a wool kerchief is one of the simplest wool products I know with the highest number of ways to use it.
What is a wool kerchief
I had the chance to talk to Chad North, the founder of North x North, on the Wool Academy podcast. During our discussion, Chad explained that the wool kerchief is like a Shemagh, just instead of being made out of cotton, it is made out of merino wool. The format of the piece of merino fabric has been specifically chosen to allow it to be used flexibly in many different ways, especially during outdoor adventures.
Over 100 applications
The wool kerchief can be used in the most classic form of a head protection against the cold as well as the sun. It can be worn in different ways around the neck and face. It can be used as a blanket and as a tool to carry things and many many more ways. The image below actually demonstrates this perfectly. Overall Chad North found over 100 ways on how to use the wool kerchief.
After our interview, Chad was so kind to send me one of his wool kerchiefs without any expectations for me to write about it. While he told me that he was going to send me one I was thinking that I don’t really have a use for it as I am not an outdoor girl at all. My outdoors involves a 1-hour walk in the woods with my dog each day, mostly on paved and graveled paths, that is as outdoorsy as I get. But anyways, who says no to a free gift and I was curious how the wool kerchief would actually feel and look like.
Soft and light
When the wool kerchief arrived in the mail a couple of days later, the first thing that surprised me was how soft the merino wool fabric was. Chad had been searching for the perfect fabric for over a year. He sources the fabric from a manufacturer in Australia. The next thing that surprised me is that the material was also quite light.
My wool kerchief is black and the wool kerchief is available in a total of 7 colours – black, commando (military green), indigo, stone (beige), charcoal, cayenne and flame (red).
Traveling with the wool kerchief
As I mentioned, I enjoy the outdoors, but I cannot call myself a real outdoor person. However, I was about to go on a trip to South Africa and decided to take the wool kerchief with me to see if I had any use for it. And indeed I did.
I first started using the wool kerchief on the plane. I tend to feel a bit chilly so it was nice to have this extra piece of wool fabric with me that I could sling around my legs or around my shoulder to stay cozy.
Protect yourself from the sun
On arrival to Port Elizabeth, my colleague and I headed immediately for a walk along the beach. As there was not enough time to cover myself with sunscreen I got out my wool kerchief to put around my back and shoulders to protect me from getting sunburned.
The next day we met with some more colleagues for lunch outside of Port Elizabeth at a Restaurant along the coast. It was this kind of temperature that it was pleasant enough to sit outside but once you sit in the shade you feel a bit chilly. I had a sweater to keep warm on my upper body but I was still cold around my legs. I got out the wool kerchief and covered my legs with it.
Sit on it
I also found it useful as a kind of a blanket to sit on at the beach or beside a pool. The wool kerchief is much lighter and less bulky than a typical picknick blanket or a towel and therefore more handy to bring along. Also, you can fold it several times to function as a pillow on a bench or hard wooden chair.
Get your own
Overall I really found the wool kerchief practical and it is now a permanent companion when I travel.
Check out the NorthxNorth website for more inspiration on how to use the wool kerchief especially in the real outdoors.
If you want to learn more about Chad’s story and how he started his business, you can listen to my interview with him on the Wool Academy Podcast.