Taking the tickle out

Illustration of a man from a Morley wool underwear catalogue

The cold weather is making me think of thermal underwear. It’s probably an age thing too. But that in turn made me think of a lovely Morley Pure Wool Theta Shrunk leaflet I have.

I particularly love this illustration of a relaxed gent, in his socks and suspenders, smoking a cigar, wearing his ‘soft wool’ all-in-one, already rid of all ‘natural irritants.’ Important, I think. One wouldn’t want him to feel itchy and scratchy on certain delicate parts of the body.

The leaflet was issued during World War II. It extols the virtues of wool that won’t shrink and has had ‘the tickle taken out of it.’ The British Army, we are told, were issued with the garments; ‘and the Air Force quickly followed suit.’

All in all: ‘Something exciting has happened to wool.’

The succinct illustrations are by ‘Fenwick’ – I can’t find anything about him / her. Very much in the style of Fougasse, who illustrated a lot of war time print and advertising work.

Thermal-ness, keeping warm and practicality are definitely an age thing as far as underwear is concerned these days. Those models writhing in the Calvin Klein adverts really don’t look bothered about the temperature.


chris lush

At 70 years old I still wear wool button front vests and wool pants button front with brace loops, very comfortable and warm, the morley theta shrunk is probably my favourite. Although now quite old I will contiue to wear untill replacements can be found.


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