In Search of Sears Golden Comfort Sanforknit Undershirts

A message from a reader looking for the vintage Sears Golden Comfort Sanforknit Undershirts:

Are there any “sanforknit” supima cotton undershirts out there these days like the Sears Golden Comfort [see pg. 8] brand of yesterday?

I absolutely loved them.  And now I can’t get anything like them : (

– Brian

Coincidentally, I received a similar email from another reader around the same time:

My father-in-law absolutely loves these undershirts and would really like to have some newer ones.  I believe he was getting them from Sears but I am not confident as he is in his 80’s and I am not sure he was the one making the purchases.

It has been several years since I tried to look and I managed to trip across your website this time.  I have tried to do some research on older Sears undershirts but my searches just don’t get me viable results.

The label (very generic looking) does not indicate the fabric blend but it does say “Made in U.S.A.” but there does not appear to be any kind of “brand” markings. 

The fabric has a very slight silky feel and a good amount of stretch but it is not sheer.  I made several attempts to find a matching fabric without much success. 

I own a shirt that is 90% nylon and 10% lycra that is close in feel but far to “slippery” and to smooth.  The 50 cotton / 50 polyester are not stretchy or smooth enough.  I am positive it is not 100% cotton or 100% polyester.

– Wendy

What is Sanforknit?

I did a little research and I discovered that “Sanforizing” or Sanforized is a trademark for a special non-washing fabric shrinkage control process.  

It’s not clear to me if Sanforizing is a process that is still currently in use, but for sure we know there are companies that are offering pre-shrunk undershirts.

Sears Golden Comfort Sanforknit undershirts
Sears Golden Comfort Sanforknit undershirts

In checking with some of my resources, I’ve come to learn that there are a few ways that companies pre-shrink their fabric:

  1. After knitting, the fabric is put through a compressing process
  2. Rolls of fabric are sent to a special laundering facility that fully washes and dries the fabric, leaving pre-shrunk fabric in rolls
  3. Fabric from the rolls are cut into large sections and sent to a laundering facility, then sent back to a facility where end garments are cut
  4. Garments are fully constructed, then sent to a laundering facility where they laundered prior to being finished and packaged

There may be other ways, but those are what my fabric contacts have told me.

Are Brian and Wendy Talking about the Same Undershirt?

After a bit more research, it appears that the undershirts Wendy was in search of were made of a specially knit S & Z twist polyester, but the undershirts Brian referred to were made from Supima cotton.

That said, it’s possible that the Sears Golden Comfort Sanforknit undershirts (Brian, 1974-vintage) were from the same generation as the one Wendy was looking for her father-in-law.

Are There Comparable Undershirts Currently Available?

To be really honest here, I haven’t been able to recommend any alternative undershirts. Primarily this is because I never got a chance to try either undershirt before.

While there are plenty of pre-shrunk, Supima, and Polyester undershirts out there, there’s really no easy way for me to tell if there is a suitable alternative.

Did You Ever Wear Either Undershirt? Know of Any Alternatives?

So, I’ll put it out to the community here. If you’re familiar with either one of these undershirts and have found a comparable product recently, please tell us about it in the comments below.

Sears Golden Comfort Sanforknit Undershirt Photos

Here are some Sears Golden Comfort Sanforknit Undershirt photos sent to me by Linda.

Sears Golden Comfort Sanforknit Undershirt. Encron Polyester & Pima Cotton.
80% Golden Touch Encron Polyester / 20% Pima Cotton
Sears Golden Comfort Undershirt

26 thoughts on “In Search of Sears Golden Comfort Sanforknit Undershirts”

  1. These were the most comfortable undershirts and briefs I ever wore. My mom bought me the full undershirts with sleeves, the athletic undershirts for summer and the matching white briefs when I was a teenager. My wife bought me the same for as long as it was available. Regular cotton/poly blends don’t have the same feel at all. I’m one of those guys who wears an undershirt under everything, even t-shirts, and these undershirts were very silky and breathable. And the briefs were so comfortable that I kept wearing them even after my brothers switched to boxer shorts!

    Reply
    • heya jay, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us about the sears golden comfort sanforknit undershirts!

      yeah, it would be nice to see something like this come back, but i’ve not heard of another undershirt or underwear product being made with the sanforknit fabric knitting technique.

      Reply
  2. Not all polyester fibers are alike. Golden Comfort was made from a single strand of Dacron polyester, made by DuPont. It made up 80 percent of golden comfort and cotton was woven in for the remaining 20 percent.

    Reply
    • hey ltt, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us!

      you sound a bit like a subject matter expert — how do you know so much about dacron and the make-up of the golden comfort yarn?

      have you come across any particular brand of polyester that is similar to dacron?

      Reply
  3. I’ve been searching for these too. Just today found a brand “new” pack in the back of a drawer. My brother loves these and now has Alzheimer’s but I’d love to give him the softness.

    Have a couple of old raggedy ones, could you use one of these?

    Wish I could send a photo of the package and labels, but not tech savvy. Help? I have an iPhone.

    Where would I send the old shirt?

    Reply
    • Please send an address where I can send an old Sears Golden sleeveless t-shirt.

      Had no idea they’re “vintage”! Why would such a wonderful product no longer be available?

      When I touched the wonderful feel of that magical fabric I understood why men who love these do so.

      Please let’s make them again available!

      Reply
      • heya rick — i heard from lita via email and she said the following:

        It’s a pack of three, size S/M, I think. (Left the pack in his home, so I’ll check next time I’m there)

  4. My 82 yr old father is in posestion of 10 of the Golden Comfort tshirts from sears.

    I too (like all you other children) are in search of these tshirts for my dad. I love how much we all care soooo much for our dads that we are searching the web to find what makes “him” happy.

    Probably bc we know they ask for so little, and it’s the little things that make them happy.

    Why the hell don’t we all get together and find a way to manufacture these ourselves….made in the USA for DOD (dear old dad)

    Come on guys, we can do this!!! Who’s in?

    Reply
  5. My father is in his 80’s and still has these undershirts needs to be replaced but can’t find them anywhere. He likes the v neck sleeveless style. Would like to hear if there is anything similar. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi! I have been looking for the same for my Dad for a couple of years now. Tried different sports brands, designer brands, etc, and they’ve all been stuffed to the back of his drawer as he continues to wear his tattered Sears undershirts from the 70’s. I wish I could share with all that a near match has been found, but still no luck. If you find a solution, I hope you’ll share. Tks, MJ

      Reply
      • thanks for the update mj!

        while i’ve come across 80/20 polyester/cotton shirts, which are similar in blend like the dri-release 85/15, the yarn construction, fabric construction, and weight all play a role on how the end fabric will behave and feel.

        will keep looking and maybe i’ll eventually find a solution.

        if i got more samples of the shirts/fabric, i could get it re-analyzed through some of my contacts, but still wouldn’t likely be able to find a provider making something similar.

        in looking through my notes, my contact found out the following about the one sample i received:
        – jersey poly s & z twist, 145gms 62-64”
        – 100% polyester
        – ring spun (though someone said it could be mvs yarn because it did not pill)
        – semi-dull yarn
        – 30s/1 > “30’s single”

      • Found a comparable (Daddy approved) undershirt solution! RBX active tees / undershirts v-neck. And the more they’re washed the softer they have become.

        Only found three but for the last six months they have been Dad’s go-to undershirts. Found them at a discount store in the men’s active wear section. And found what I believe is the same shirt on the RBX website. The sz L white have been showing as sold-out so I have not ordered, to confirm.

    • heya linda,

      sorry to say, i’ve not been able to track down a suitable alternative for the sears golden comfort sanforknit undershirts yet.

      what fabric blend are your father’s sleeveless v-neck undershirts?

      Reply
      • 80 Golden Touch encron? Polyester and 20 Pima cotton.sanfor knit I have pic of tag but could not send it here. He likes the v neck sleeveless style.

      • i got the photos linda, thanks so much!

        i’ll be doing a little digging around, but i have not come across any other polyester “encron” undershirts yet, but you just never know (:

  6. I to am looking for the polyester undershirt. My husband loves them. We have had these for years and seems nothing else will do. Would love to know if you find them

    Reply
    • hey sue, not sure i’ll find anything similar to the sears golden comfort sanforknit undershirts, but if i do, i’ll try to remember and post a comment here.

      Reply
  7. My Dad is in his 80’s and has worn his old Sears Golden Comfort indershirts until they are thread bare. My sister and I have looked everywhere for replacements for years. On our search for replacements we’ve found several 60/40 blends. The 40% polyester is not enough.

    Dad recently found one of these circa ’70’s undershirts in the back of a closet so we now have more info to search by from the tag. The trade mark is Sears Golden Comfort, 80% DACRON (trademark) polyester, 20% Pima cotton, made in the USA.

    Thought I would share this information to aid in your searches. If you should find anything comparable I would love the info. Thanks and happy hunting.

    Reply
    • thanks mj! that’s great information.

      i did a quick search and discovered that dacron is made/owned by invista. though, they don’t seem to promote dacron’s use in clothing anymore. they only promote dacron fiberfill — a filler for pillows and bedding products.

      if that’s the case, i doubt we’d find any apparel companies making undershirts with that blend. plus, there are very few companies making made in usa undershirts.

      also, even if we were able to locate at 80/20 (poly/pima cotton) blend undershirt, using a different brand of polyester, the key component would be to find one that has the same weight and knit style. the only way to do that is to have the undershirt sent to a company that makes fabric (knitting mill) and have it analyzed.

      some of my regular readers do work for knitting companies, so if you wanted to donate the shirt and send it to me, i could probably get it to them and see if they could provide more specific information about the weight and knit.

      if that sounds like something you’d like to do, let me know!

      Reply
      • Hi Tag, No such luck! Even though the shirt he found is too small (may be from the late 60’s) he won’t part with it. I too have gone to a couple of wholesale fabric vender warehouses and looked for a comparable material with the hope of having some made. As you noted, I don’t think anything is available. Thanks for your continued efforts to help us all out! MJ

  8. I have a couple of the sears golden comfort t-shirts of my deceased grandfather. I love the feel of these shirts and have been in search of something similar too. Would love feed back from the readers if any have come close.

    Reply

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