uimi Jumper by Rachael

Australian made knitwear from uimi has been on my wish list and radar for a while. They’re based in Melbourne (like me!) and have just released their new Essentials collection, Merino wool 2020 – with pre-order open now, be sure to check it out.

There’s something special about coming across a beautifully crafted woolly piece. The stunning colour of this one caught my eye and I had to ask more so I’m excited to introduce you to our guest reviewer Rachael!

Rachael shares that same joy and awe that I have when it comes to wool. Our paths crossed at a wool social event in Melbourne when she was working in the warehousing side of wool and reconnected on Instagram. Rachael didn’t let ‘no’s get her down and persisted to carve out her path in the wool industry and is a photographer with a great eye for capturing special moments (see her photos on Instagram @rmimages_). She is a wool classer who’s not afraid of hard work – now back on farm with her partner Tom, currently running a mixed enterprise of cropping, Merino and Crossbred sheep and Angus cattle.

Rachael is based in Harden, New South Wales – about a 3.5hr drive from Sydney via Goulburn (345km) or 1.5hr from Canberra (135km). But she didn’t start there. She grew up on a small farm in the Hawkesbury region that grew poplar plantations for milling, orchards and Hereford cattle. Despite a limited exposure to sheep, programs like ABC’s Landline sparked an interest that grew. After high school, she intended to do a wool handling course that unfortunately did not run due to lack of interest so worked in horticulture for 12 months before moving to Wagga Wagga to study Agricultural Science. Rachel worked as a rouseabout in shearing sheds as she worked towards getting her wool-classing qualification which took her to a work as a woolpresser at at a local woolstore in Harden then as a storeperson in a Wagga woolstore.

I think Australia’s agricultural history with wool also makes it intriguing for me, and it makes me proud to know that we are still bloody good at producing it! I always imagine the bales of wool that I’ve either touched the wool or marked with my handwriting or loaded them with my forklift, sitting in a factory in China or India or Italy, waiting to be processed, and then one day I might be buying a shirt that has come full circle back to me!

The more I learnt about wool, the more I wanted to know, and after working with it, from growing it right up to shipping to china, and wearing it for a few years now, its my favourite fabric. The whole sustainability thing sits well too, I’d much rather be wearing a natural fabric (and thus supporting the industries involved in that) than plastic. Even though there is plenty of plastic in my wardrobe, I like to wear things out properly before I make them into rags, and these last few years any replacements have been with wool/cotton/bamboo.

Its always fascinated me, the softness and beauty of a nice merino fleece, especially when your hanging onto a freshly shorn fleece that is still warm. The smell of greasy wool (not so much crossbred, they stink lol) and the hot oil on shearers handpieces also brings to me a sense of home. 

Rachael

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The Product | uimi jumper

It’s a Piper jumper in Cinnamon, size medium.
I think its sold out but there a quite a few similar designs and colours available in their new season.

How and where did you come across it? I was searching for an Australian made wool jumper so checked out a few brands online and came across uimi. I had seen the name pop up on Instagram and they just so happened to have a sale on with some styles that I liked the look of so I bought. I’m quite a tightarse when it comes to buying clothes but I don’t mind paying for quality and especially if it’s Australian made, and wool, because I want to support the industry that I am involved in/love as much as I can! I’m also not afraid to wear the same outfit 2, 3, 4 , 5 times, so I love the idea of slow fashion.

What was your experience buying it?  Bought online, easy peasy, on sale for $159, purchased on a Friday, was delivered in 12 days. 

How difficult/easy was it to find the colour/size you wanted? They have a ginger haired model for a heap of their products which is SO HELPFUL because sometimes things look awesome on the models but NOT WITH GINGER so it made it very easy to get an idea of what colours/styles would look like on me!

I am a 10-12, S-M, but I prefer looser fitting clothes which is why I opted for the medium. It was a little big, the first hand wash I did. It seemed to dry as though it had stretched (I did lay it flat so unsure what the problem was) but since a few more washes it has shrunk a tiny bit. 

How long have you now had the product? Almost 5 months

What do you love about it, would you buy it again? Lightweight, so so soft against the skin, simple but lovely colours/pattern, looks modern and not like our nan should be wearing it, great to wear on its own, or as an autumn jumper (and hopefully spring) over an Aldi merino t shirt. When its quite cold I generally wear with a merino skivvy, merino t shirt, and then just a jacket over the top because it’s not quite warm enough. Good length of jumper, no back breezes!

You can wear it for 4 weekends in a row with zero washes and no smell! On a separate occasion I got bonfire smoke smell in, hung for 7 days on a hanger in my wardrobe, and the smell was completely gone. Which is amazing because most synthetic jumpers I have, if they get smoke smell on them, it goes sour smelling and gets worse with time, they have to be washed before you can wear again. No smelly armpits. Would buy again if I had a need to!

What do you think could be improved? If they could make them machine washable!!!! No one likes handwashing… (I did risk it once in a cold 25 minute machine wash and it did shrink a tad/felt up a little, but it wasn’t the end of the world because it was a little large from the first hand wash I did when it seemed to have stretched). Slightly heavier/bulkier knits for a bit extra warmth.

Rating out of 7 Probably a 5.5/7.
Minus points for not being machine washable and for being a bit on the thin side when its marketed as a “Jumper” , might be better off as a “Top”.


Have you got a uimi piece? Let us know in the comments!

uimi also produce a range of other items using Merino wool including blankets, scarves, beanies and gloves. They offer free delivery Australia wide for orders over $100. Be sure to subscribe to their mailing list to get $15 off your first order – terms and conditions on their website. CLICK HERE to visit uimi

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Samantha Wan is a first generation Australian-born Chinese. From a non-farming background, she partners with Australian wool growers to market their wool clip in her role as a wool broker. She is the recipient of industry recognised awards and promotes wool as the natural fibre for today's slow fashion, every day. Wool has improved her quality of life and she wants to share those benefits to improve the lives of others. Sam's dream is for every person to have one item made from natural wool in their wardrobe. Ask her about her woollen shoes or where wool is taking her next!

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