What is Wool?!
What is Wool?! We make the majority of our clothing from it, but what are the options available and just how good is it?!
Though 'Wool' can be used to indicate the protective covering of a number of animals, we most commonly use the term for the fleece of sheep. It has always been a valuable commodity and we have been using it since the Stone Age, nearly 8000 years ago!
Wool has had a huge economic factor in many cultures and many Towns in Gloucestershire owe their prosperity to wool. In the UK the Lord Chancellor in Parliament actually sits upon the 'woolsack' recognising that Great Britains Wealth and power was built upon it.
The famous Merino wool of Spain funded Columbus' voyage to the Americas and even today accounts for a large amount of Australia's export economy.
With all of the problems and awareness being brought about at the moment with plastics and our realisation that we are slowly destroying our Planet, wool is the perfect fabric.
It is a completely renewable resource, and entirely biodegradable. Also, if sheep are pastured responsibly they can also aid the environment by clearing unwanted vegetation.
Wool is thick, strong, naturally elasticated and incredibly resilient.
The average wool fibre can be bent more than 20,000 times before it breaks. The average fibres can be stretched to 35% of their natural length and will spring back to its natural shape easily, making it resilient to creases and wrinkles. Being natural, dirt and mud will sit on top of the fibres and once dry can be easily brushed off leaving no marks. The perfect fabric for any item of clothing.
Woollen or Worsted?
Woollen is a bulkier yarn, characterised by a soft, fuzzy & uneven appearance.
Worsted cloths are traditionally smoother and shinier than woollen ones and may be feel slightly lighter to wear.
TYPES OF WEAVING
A brief look into the types of weave that are available. Looms of many shapes and sizes have existed for thousands of years and the modern loom is still strikingly similar to the most primitive, it is just designed to work quicker and produce more, but the concept is still exactly the same as the ancient hand looms.
The most basic form of weaving. Each horizontal weft thread is interlaced with each vertical warp thread by going over the first, under the second, over the third etc etc. It is very solid and can be very light without sacrificing stability.
Characterised by its diagonal appearance. Twills offer great versatility and drape, which makes them an excellent choice for all year round clothing.
The hopsack is a modification on the plain weave in which two threads in warp are followed by two threads in weft creating a small cube effect. Very popular with jackets but becoming more popular in suits.
The zigzag effect of the herringbone is one of the most easily recognisable weaves and is a real classic.
Named after the shape of an avian eye and normally has two different shades of yarn used to create a clear contrast.
This is only a selection of the most common weaves but should help when looking at fabrics for your clothing.
The following designs are all obtained by the formation of colour woven on the twill weave.
PICK N PICK / SHARKSKIN
PRINCE OF WALES
Finishing is arguably the most important stage of the process, as it is here that the fabrics will be given their distinctive attributes. There are many different types of finishing, with dyeing being only one. Before a fabric can be dyed it must first be treated which will most commonly clean the fabric and stretch the cloth to its proper width.
Each fabric mill that we use produces different types of fabrics, finished in different ways, but all producing the finest fabric available from which to have you clothing made.
There is no right or wrong when choosing your fabric, it is down to a personal choice and we are here to help you every step of the way.
Simply get in contact and book in for your appointment.