Today we’re looking at ‘the cavalier’ cotton t-shirt by a company called Threadsmiths. Although you cannot tell from looking at it, this is no ordinary cotton t-shirt. It is coated with a patented nanotechnology making it completely hydrophobic. This means that it is highly water resistant, no matter what you throw (or pour) at it, it will repel it. From water to sauce to oil and dirt, it just slides straight off of the shirt without sticking. It is recommended however to rinse with water to fully clean the shirt. Speaking of cleaning the shirt, you wash it like any other shirt. A basic cold wash and tumble dry to fully restore the nanocoatings effectiveness.
The hydrophobic nano coating on the shirt is very similar to the coating what many of Outliers shirts and pants have. However I have found that if you leave water on the shirt for a few minutes it begins to slowly seep into the fabric. This means that if you were to wear this in light to heavy rain that the rain would eventually penetrate into the shirt.
The cotton material feels and looks just like any other cotton, you wouldn’t be able to tell from touching it that it has any special coating applied. Which makes me to wonder if this same nanotechnology could be applied to a merino wool t-shirt. One of the main reasons I love merino wool is for its natural thermally regulating and antimicrobial features. Cotton however tends to smell bad after only a few wears and does not keep you warm when it’s cold like merino wool.
This shirt does breath well in the hot weather like any other cotton tee. However it doesn’t keep you warm when it’s cold outside. Sweat doesn’t stick to the shirt and it it wicked away rapidly. Due to the nanocoating I noticed that the shirt didn’t smell as bad as a regular cotton shirt would if you wear it for a few days. However it wasn’t quite as antimicrobial (or smell resistant) as a merino shirt.
In conclusion, without thermal regulation and natural antimicrobial features I would be hard pressed to choose between this and a merino wool t-shirt. Especially given the $55USD ($75AUD) cost. It really depends whether you need water repellency or thermal regulation more. I really hope Threadsmiths find a way to apply this nanotechnology to merino wool and create the ultimate travel t-shirt.