Merz b. Schwanen makes some of the world’s best cotton basics, period. The German underwear label was originally established in 1911 but was revived in 2010 by Peter Plotnicki.
Located in the Swabian Alps in southern Germany, the company employed over 2,000 workers at its peak. However, in 2007, the family-owned business closed down, only to be reopened three years later. Today, the brand lives on and the original factory once again churns out authentic “made in Germany” henleys, tees, and other traditional knitwear. They maintain an unscrupulous attention to detail, both in the fabrics they choose and the designs the create. This is German precision at its best.
What is it that makes the Merz b. Schwanen items so special? Unlike most cotton basics, the henleys and t-shirts don’t have side seams. Every element of the design has been curated for comfort.
The fabric is also exceptionally soft and has a noticeably uneven character. Flecks of different colours add some intrigue to each design - an added texture to everything they create. This is all thanks to the way it’s woven on vintage tubular knitting machines from the 1920s-1950s. You instantly feel the quality when you touch the garments. It beautiful to think that each garment is drenched in the company’s rich history. And, it’s not only the fabric that is made the original way; everything from the genuine mother-of-pearl buttons, the classic packaging, and even the woven labels are made in Germany. They are proud to stick to their roots and carry on over one hundred years of tradition. While the detailing and production methods of the garments unquestionably fall under the ‘heritage’ category, the fits and details have been updated for the tastes of today. This is traditional making with a contemporary feel, and they pull it off brilliantly.
Merz b. Schwanen stocked by HANSEN
Here at HANSEN, we stock Merz b Schwanen good basics. From comfortable t-shirts to warm socks, these are the items which keep you content. Firstly, we have their Classic T-Shirts with a crew neck cut. Each piece is made from 100% pure organic cotton. This means that no unnatural chemicals were used during the production process. Therefore, the making of these garments has as little effect on the local ecosystem as possible. This garment is also known as the Merz b Schwanen 215. The cotton type they use is Merz b Schwanen 2 thread heavyweight, 220 gram cotton, made on a loop wheeler. Merz b Schwanen loopwheel cotton is a very special kind, famed for its quality. It’s made using French Circular Knitting machines which have found their way out of typical production over the past century. Few people still know how to use these machines and keeping them in good condition is becoming more and more challenging too. The machines work by creating a seamless tube of fabric. This has many benefits, including the fact that there are no seams to cause discomfort within the pieces. Pure organic cotton feels comfortable on the skin as it is a natural material. 2-count fabric is durable as well as it means that two yarns are spun together to produce one thread. So much thought has gone into the materials behind these pieces. Their classic t-shirts are made in the colours army, grey melange, navy, and nature charcoal.
We also stock the Merz b Schwanen long sleeved heavy sweatshirt. This item is also made from organic cotton, though this time is 3-thread and 420 gram. This makes it heavier-weight and even more durable than the previous item. The sweatshirts are made in the colours charcoal, grey mel., and ink blue. If you like long sleeved styles, they also manufacture Henley t-shirts with button down fronts. It is through their Henley t-shirts that you get to see some of the real, heritage elements of the brand come out - the buttons that decorate the front of these pieces are mother of pearl. This style is available in navy, stone, and white though the Merz b Schwanen indigo henley is a particular favourite!
Another item featuring their trademark mother of pearl buttons is the short-sleeved Henley t-shirt, called the Merz b Schwanen 207. Again, the attention to detail on this piece is stunning. Just take a look at the way the knit pattern changes around the edge of the sleeves to bring it into a flat knitted cuff. It’s something else. Finally, we also stock woolen socks by Merz b. Schwanen which are made out of 80% recycled wool and 20% recycled polyester. It’s brilliant to know that each of their products are made with the environment in mind.
Each design features a tonal shift for the heel and stripe around the top of the sock. They’re warm and playful. The socks are knitted with a wide rib, adding a lovely design feature as well as a bit of extra warmth to wear them. We have some of the best products from Merz Schwanen on sale. Their reputation and dedication to German craftsmanship is unrivalled. It’s difficult to beat the quality you find in the kind of pieces they create.
Every question you need answering about Merz b. Schwanen
How should I take care of my garments?
Merz b. Schwanen give several pieces of advice on how to care for their garments to maintain their brilliant quality. To start, to keep the shape of the items, make sure you never go above a spin of 1,000 spins a minute. This stops them from stretching whilst they’re inside the washing machine. For the same reason, make sure you pull items into shape once they’ve come out of the wash. Naturally, pieces made from materials such as cotton might shrink when they’re in the washing machine. It’s therefore important to pull them back into the shape they are meant to be afterwards, though always be careful with this step. Also, make sure you avoid the tumble drier. These items will dry naturally if they are given the time to. Tumble drying may only shrink clothes more. Finally, they give advice on the right sort of detergent to use to wash their clothes. They suggest to use wool detergents and never solutions which are intended for whites. Chemicals with bleaching qualities can drain the color gradient from normal garments and take the nuance out of white ones. You’re best sticking to colour wool detergent.
What is the sizing like?
The official advice from Merz b. Schwanen is to buy pieces with 2cm extra length as the garment will shrink in the first wash. Also, they make it clear that each item from them is sized individually. This means its important to take a look at the measurements of each of their garments before buying. You can do this by either looking online or seeing pieces in our shopfront in Copenhagen. In general, they state that people tend to order one size bigger than the size they usually wear. The socks come in two sizes, either 39-42 or 43-46.
What other products are Merz b. Schwanen famous for?
Another popular product is the Merz b Schwanen pocket tee. This is made in the same style as their crew neck t-shirt only with a pocket detail on the front. It is made from 100% reine Bio-Baumwolle and doesn’t shrink like some of the other items do. They also stock Merz b Schwanen merino wool items for extra comfort, including a t-shirt and sweatshirt. The Merz b Schwanen 103 is a similar style to their Henley short sleeve t-shirt, only it doesn’t have the same raised collar detail as the 203. There is also a whole collection of Merz b Schwanen womens items. Again, these pieces show the same dedication to beautiful design and attention to detail than their menswear counterparts. All in all, this company is famous for their high quality, good basics line which is durable and sturdy. They are slim fit but still casual. They’re the perfect garments to build your wardrobe up from.