Built with cashmere and Merino that evolved to keep skin warm down to -50°C.
- Built with ultra-soft cashmere and Merino wool
- Cashmere from Mongolia and Merino from Australia
- Thermoregulating and naturally water repellent
We’ve spent more than 99% of our time on Earth as nomads. For over 2 million years we migrated across grasslands, deserts and arctic tundra, only carrying what we needed, only keeping what was necessary, and only using the things we had to hand.
Today the last remaining nomads roam the planet. Masters of surviving in harsh and fast-changing environments, they know what it takes to work with nature and leave no trace. So while the rest of the world remains underprepared for Earth’s increasingly volatile climate, nomads have always been ready.
Our Nomad Beanie is built for the times when you’re travelling light, and every piece of gear has to work across any climate and terrain. It’s insulating, thermoregulating, naturally water repellent, elastic, and built from two of the softest wools in the world – cashmere grown on the grasslands of the Mongolian-Manchurian steppe, and ultrafine Australian Merino.
Nomads know what it takes to survive
From arctic tundra to arid deserts, nomadic communities have always lived in some of the most remote and inhospitable places on Earth. Guided by the seasons they make the most of scarce resources by simply packing up their homes and moving to new ground, only leaving a faded patch of earth behind them. But as our climate becomes more extreme and resources become scarce, their lifestyle gives us a glimpse of what our future might hold if the next century doesn’t turn out quite as planned.
Why nomads use wool
To build the Nomad Beanie we started with the most versatile and natural raw material in the world. For centuries nomads have used wool from their livestock to stay warm and dry. It’s soft, elastic, and superb at keeping your temperature stable. It’s also naturally water repellent and fast drying. While all wools are known for having incredible properties, we set out to source two of the most extraordinary varieties on the planet - cashmere grown on the grasslands of Mongolia, and ultrafine Australian Merino.
How we source our wool responsibly
While merino and cashmere are amazing materials, they have to be made ethically and in the right way. To create the Nomad Beanie we work with a partner who is a member of both the Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA) and the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS). These independent bodies are committed to protecting the welfare and livelihood of the animals and herders, as well as preserving and restoring the grasslands they graze and work on.
We start with ultrafine Merino wool
The base material for the Nomad Beanie is an ultrafine Australian Merino wool. Merino sheep are bred to survive scorching summers and freezing winters, so their fleece has evolved to help them stay cool in temperatures of over 30°C, while staying warm in -10°C. So when you wear Merino fibres they respond and adapt to the conditions you find yourself in – either trapping or releasing heat depending on the temperature and humidity of your skin. By combining Merino with cashmere and a small amount of elastane, we make the Nomad Beanie even warmer, stronger, and more elastic.
We combine the Merino with cashmere
We get our cashmere from the fleeces of the Hircus Laniger goats that graze on the vast grasslands of the Mongolian-Manchurian steppe. Stretching over 800,000 square kilometres, they experience some of the harshest winters on Earth – where temperatures drop to -50°C, and recurring natural disasters like ‘the dzud’ even have their own name. While people developed yurts to survive, the goats developed an incredibly thick fleece. Today every cashmere goat has a thick and rugged outer layer that protects a warm and ultra-soft undercoat. And it’s this undercoat which produces the cashmere fibres that we use to create the Nomad Beanie.
These are two of the world’s softest wools
What makes the Nomad Beanie so soft is just how fine, or thin, the Merino and cashmere fibres are. The diameter of a wool fibre is measured in microns. The lower the micron count, the finer and softer the wool. For context a human hair is about 70 microns. While superfine Merino wool measures about 18 microns, the Merino we use for the Nomad Beanie is even finer, measuring just 16.8 microns in diameter, and our cashmere is just 15.7 microns.
How the hat keeps you warm in the cold
Staying warm is all about trapping as many pockets of air next to your body as possible and that’s what Merino and cashmere are built for. Every fibre is hollow which means you have millions of air pockets trapped next to your skin. And as the natural curl of wool fibres traps more air than straight fibres, the microscopic texture of the fabric itself will also retain heat. And if your head gets too hot, the wool will start releasing heat, just like it does for the sheep and goats that made it.
Fast drying and insulating even when wet
Merino and cashmere are both water repellent – the outside of every merino fibre is covered in a natural wax coating. At the same time the wool acts like a sponge to soak up sweat and spread it over a massive surface area so that it evaporates at high speed. And as the fibres can absorb over a third of their own weight in water and still feel dry, you’ll stay warm and insulated.