UPDATE: Closing the comments for this post because it seems to be getting a lot of traffic and my hosts are getting antsy.
Note to anyone here because of an Internet search for Damart or Thermolactyl (which seems to be a lot of you):
Hi there random Internet Person! Between the time I wrote this post and now, Damart USA has been shipping products much more quickly and I have indeed ordered Damart items several times since writing this. In fact I’m about to order some things for my daughter — so disregard the negativity below and order away. It is really good stuff; just don’t toss it in the dryer.
Are you familiar with Damart? If you live where it gets cold in the winter, you should know about Damart. Damart makes the best thermal underwear I’ve ever used (and I’ve used a lot of thermal underwear).
I first heard about Damart from my husband. I was buying a pair of cotton thermals at REI and my husband said he’d heard about a brand of thermal underwear from England that the Minnesota Vikings wore. That it was a petroleum based material that had remarkable insulation qualities. We, somehow, obtained a catalog and I ordered a set to see if it was as promised.
It was better. I now could keep warm anywhere. I no longer had to decline winter walks and spending time in Wisconsin during the winter was no longer something I could not do. I was finally warm. Life was good.
For years this was the only thermal underwear I’d wear. I had several sets and was careful to not put them in the dryer after a couple of mistakes. See — Thermolactyl — the name Damart has given to its wonder-material shrinks in the dryer. A lot. So much that a woman’s top will fit a toddler if put in the dryer. I did this a couple times, but quickly learned to wash my Damart items separately so I would not mistakenly toss one in the dryer.
If taken care of, Damart thermal underwear lasts a long time but does wear out after a while. Luckily I had the catalog (then website) from which to order. At first they’d even send free gifts with each order — an incentive to order more!
Shortly after September 2001, Damart announced they would no longer ship to the United States. I was devastated. I’d just introduced my mother-in-law to the brand and she wanted more sets of thermals — but I couldn’t buy them anymore. They suggested another company, Wickers, but their product was no match for Damart.
In 2002 we visited England for a family vacation and I made my husband stop at the Damart factory so I could stock up on thermals in their factory store. How many other people make a long underwear factory a stop on a vacation? (The factory is 5 minutes drive from Cottingley where the young cousins saw fairies in the bottom of their garden, so we did at least two tourist stops in one day).
A few years ago Damart began shipping to the States again and I began ordering from them again. Last November I realized I’d pretty much run out of tops and turned to the website to order more. I ordered two items and was glad I’d have them for our trip to Illinois at Christmas. In mid-December, when I’d not received my order I wrote to the company and received an email saying they were sorry and the order was then processed. I still had not received my order in mid-January and wrote to the company again. This time they said there was no news about my order and if I wanted to they’d cancel the order. I said no, don’t cancel it.
My package finally arrived about a week ago. I immediately wore one of the tops. It was wonderful and warm and perfect. I remembered why I loved Damart so and forgave them for the slowness in getting me their product.
Yesterday I threw some clothes in the wash. Then tossed them in the dryer. This morning I had a bad feeling. Yep. I now have a very warm shirt that will fit a 4 year old.
So with the slowness of the order and the shrinking of the shirt, I think I’m finished with Damart. Sorry guys — I did love you so and you are only partly to blame. I do recommend you to others though — especially ones who are not in a hurry and who are more careful about their laundry.