This is a review of the Ramielust t-shirt from Outlier. The t-shirt is so named because of the ramie fabric that its made with. Ramie is a natural fabric made from a nettle like plant that grows in Asia. Its similar to linen in that its a natural breathable fibre made from plants. However the process to turn ramie into a workable thread is a bit longer and more expensive than with linen. Which is why linen is a bit more popular.
Also like linen the fabric is prone to wrinkles and creasing especially depending on how you store it. I usually fold my tshirts and then roll them. The wrinkles you can see in some shots are due to that. I couldn’t find any information on the tags about ironing. So get rid of the wrinkles I would suggest hanging it beside the shower and letting the steam take care of the creases.
The ramie fabric does feel very fresh and breathable in the hot and humid weather. It has a firm slightly rough-to-the-touch texture that is unique. It is very comfortable and not itchy when you wear it. I was testing it (along with the injected linen pants which I’ll be reviewing soon) while the temperature hit 38 degrees celsius (or 100 fahrenheit) and it really felt very comfortable temperature-wise. It feels like the wind blows straight through the fabric and directly onto your skin. It’s very comfortable. Unfortunately fabric doesn’t have antimicrobial properties like merino wool and will need to be washed more frequently.
As with linen one of the great benefits of ramie fabric is how well it performs in hot and humid weather. Its extremely breathable and absorbs moisture while keeping a dry hand feel. The fabric dries quicker than cotton but not as fast as merino wool in my testing. It dried in a few hours or so depending on where you dry it. When you first get the t-shirt you’ll notice it feels a little larger than the tagged size. This is absolutely intentional and if you read the details on the outlier site it says “This product is unwashed and calibrated for shrinkage. Please expect significant shrinkage in length when washed and dried.”
When I first got the tshirt out of the box the size XS was about 28 inches (71 cm) from the top hem to the bottom. But after a wash in the washing machine on a cold cycle and drying in the shade for 2 hours I remeasured it at about 27 inches (68.5 cm). So it does shrink about an inch and a half or so after the first wash. Subsequent washes I didn’t notice any further shrinkage but I’ll let you know later if I do.
In terms of sizing I have the black here in a size XS and the white in a Small. This is what they look like before washing. And this is what they look like after washing. It’s a subtle change but its probably more noticeable while you’re wearing it. Now as you can see from some of the shots the fabric is almost translucent depending on the light and how tight the fabric is pulled. I noticed this a lot more on the white version. Its very faintly translucent but I have read some long term reviews saying that it gets less translucent after each wash. I will have to do an update later to see if I have found this to be the case or not.
In terms of pricing the ramielust tee comes in at USD$125 (AUD$176) which is on the high end for a tshirt. However the premium price gets you a premium product that should last for a long time with the right care. The tee comes in a total of 6 colours as you can see here. Overall I wouldn’t hesitate to pick the ramielust over merino wool if you’re planning to be spending a large amount of time in the tropics or South East Asia. Its refreshingly cool and extremely breathable and comfortable in hot and humid climates. It’s not as versatile as merino wool but it does excel hot weather in big way.