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Shepherd's Wool Utility Cloth

Regular price $28.00
  • Saffron Gold
  • Neela Blue
  • Half-Light Purple
  • True Black
  • Glasgow Tartan
  • Home Modern Tartan
  • Everything you buy from us here at TOM BIHN is satisfaction guaranteed. We’ve been in business for over 30 years and we stand behind what we make.

    If something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it for free. Repairs due to normal wear and tear or due to other things that are not our fault will be performed, when possible, at a reasonable charge right here in our Seattle factory where your bag was made. Defects in materials or workmanship are uncommon and almost always evident while the product is still new. Keep in mind that bags and packs are often subject to extreme wear in everyday use: do not expect them to last forever. Only true love lasts forever! You can expect a TOM BIHN product to give years and years of hard service.

    Face Masks
    Our masks are satisfaction guaranteed. Please if you're happy with your mask *or* there's something that doesn't work for you. We want to hear from you!

  • Our bags and face masks are designed and cut & sewn right here in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

    That allows us to be control freaks in the best way possible; we have direct control and oversight of the quality of our materials, our products, and the jobs and working environment that we help create. It also offers us a unique spontaneity: when we have an idea for a new product or accessory, we can design it, figure out how to build it, add it to our website and be ready to ship it out our front door all within just a few weeks. How cool is that?

    Intrigued? You can more about the unusual way we do business on our Company Philosophy page.


Wool is 23.5 micron; fine texture, robust yet smooth. The wool yarns are sourced through merchants who guarantee quality mulesing-free wool.


Made from Australia and New Zealand wool woven and sewn in Scotland.


Dimensions: 27" / 70cm square
Weight: 2.3 oz / 65g

Over the past couple of years, Tom has taken to ofttimes wearing a simple cotton bandana tied around his neck while hiking, traveling, or pretty much any time he felt like it. While hiking, the bandana provided protection from sun, wind, and cold; when traveling, it could serve as a make-do tablecloth, a way to dry hands, or to protect a small delicate souvenir. And for those pretty much any times, it could be used to wrap around a glass jar used as a coffee mug or as a headband to prevent sweat from dripping into the eyes.

That was all well and good, but not quite good enough for Tom. He imagined that having such an item made of wool rather than cotton might expand its utility even further, adding seasons/temperatures/situations in which it might prove useful. He made samples of various sizes and fabric weights, testing them all thoroughly, finally arriving on an optimal 27” / 70cm square of lightweight wool.

With us so far?

Next up was finding a source for the wool fabric, which you’d think would be easy but proved a greater challenge than expected. After many dead ends, quite serendipitously Tom stumbled upon a mill in Scotland that not only wove their own fabric, but also manufactured items somewhat akin to his prototype. Yes, you heard that right, Scotland. And yes that means tartans.

The wool, sourced in New Zealand and Australia, is lightweight and by most folks opinion pretty darn soft and itchless (your mileage may vary). The Shepherd's Wool Utility Cloth is, as a travel accessory, superbly useful: it's an ad hoc table cloth, a (very) minimalist blanket on a drafty airplane, a wrap to protect an impromptu purchase of a bottle of wine, a flag to wave at parting friends (or maybe partying friends). Properly tied around one’s neck, it can be as warm as a bulky scarf, yet it takes up almost no space whatsoever when folded in your bag or backpack.

The Shepherd's Wool Utility Cloth hand washes easily and dries quickly; wash it in the hotel sink with a tiny bit of soap, hang it, and it'll be dry before you know it. Please don't machine wash -- and never machine dry -- your Shepherd's Wool Utility Cloth. Dry cleaning is fine too.

We're offering the Shepherd's Wool Utility Cloth in the following colors:

Neela Blue
A brilliant blue; may remind one of the deepest blue in a peacock feather.

Half-Light Purple
A dusky purple/grey.

Saffron Gold
A full, vibrant yellow-gold.

Matter Grey
A stately grey.

True Black
That you-can't-go-wrong shade of deep black.

Glasglow tartan
A red/black/green plaid; more red than the other two colors.

Home Modern tartan
A navy/red/green plaid; more navy than the other two colors.

Tom claims that if you drape one over your face while napping on the airplane, you’re almost certain to dream of shortbread and whiskey. 

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