Merz b. Schwanen

1950s Lightweight Loopwheeled Tee - Army


$12 USA Shipping on orders under $300
Free USA Shipping on orders over $300


In a small factory on the Swabian Alb in Germany, 30 loopwheel machines (produced between 1889 and 1960) quietly knit the fabric for Merz b. Schwanen's tees and henleys. These antique machines work slowly, knitting at 1/10th the speed of more modern sinker weave machines, producing a soft and airy fabric with only a few needles, gravity, and some time.

The fabric is a lightweight 100% cotton loopwheel knit, this is a single-thread fabric, which combined with the weight of the yarns and airiness of the loopwheeled construction breathes extremely well and feels great on a hot day. The low tension knit and organic cotton feel exceptionally good on bare skin - which is the absolute minimum one should settle for in our opinion. 

It's got a classic, old school tee fit with tight shoulders, extra short sleeves, and an ever so slightly fitted chest. Triangle underarm inserts allow a full range of movement even with the 1/4 length sleeves and more narrow shoulders. The torso is cut slightly longer than other vintage tees (even after shrinkage), great for tucking in, but not so long as to look unnatural untucked.

These run true to size for a trim fit - size up for a more regular fit. Will shrink ~1" in length after washing, but will stretch back out with wear. Wash cold on delicate cycle, hang dry.

  • 100% organic cotton from Greece
  • Lightweight single thread knit
  • Loopwheeled (no side seams)
  • Vintage-style 1/4 length sleeves
  • Underarm triangle insert
  • Knit collar and cuffs
  • Custom labels
  • True to size
  • Wash cold on delicate, hang dry
  • Designed and produced in Germany

See how we measure - click here.

All measurements are in inches.

Model Gen wears a size Medium
Gen's sizing specs are:
6'1 and 180lbs
41" chest and 31" waist

True to size. Will shrink ~1" in length after washing, but will stretch back out with wear. Wash cold on delicate cycle, hang dry.

Size Front Length Shoulder Chest Sleeve Length
Small 26.75" 15.25" 35" 8"
Medium 26.825" 16.25" 38" 8.25"
Large 27" 17.5" 40.5" 9"
Extra Large 27.75" 17.625" 42.5" 9.25"
XXL 29.25" 20" 47" 9.5"

Our Oakland and Santa Fe stores are open for cubside pickup. View our curbside pickup info.

Due to USPS service delays, we are shipping most USA orders via UPS Ground until further notice. If you prefer to have your order shipped with USPS, please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.

USA Orders

Bandanas, Patches, T-Shirts, Socks, & Hats - $5 via USPS First Class Mail
Curbside pickup: Free
Orders $300 and over - Free shipping via UPS Ground
Orders under $300 - $12 shipping via UPS Ground
Expedited Shipping (1 - 2 business days) via UPS - $40

International Orders

Canada Shipping - Orders under $400
USPS First Class (10 - 15 business days)  - $18
USPS Priority Mail (5 - 10 business days) - $35
DHL Express (2-3 business days) - $55

Canada Shipping - Orders over $400
DHL Express (1-3 business days) - $50

Rest of World Shipping
DHL Express (2-4 business days) - $55

We want you to be comfortable shopping with us online without being able to touch the product. Before you purchase, please check the size charts we provide against your favorite garments.

  • Exchanges or returns for store credit will be accepted on full-price items within 14 days of delivery (as verified by courier)
  • Items sold on sale or discount are final sale, no returns or exchanges.
  • Items must be in original condition with all tags attached.
  • Items that have been washed, hemmed, altered, excessively worn, set aflame or touched by a private equity firm cannot be returned.
  • All return and exchange shipping costs are your responsibility
  • We will process all returns within 3 business days of receipt
  • Our team will acknowledge receipt and action take with your return
  • Full terms and conditions are here.
  • If you have questions at any time you can reach us at or use our contact form, or phone us at 510-373-9696.