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Cloth Advice

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Hi, Could someone clear up a few queries I have re the merits of different cloths. I understand that the top bespoke-end favours Lessers, Smiths, Harrisons, Minnis, H&s etc, for English quality bespoke. I understand that 2 ply warp and weft is desirable.

Q1
Are all the offerings from these books of the 2 ply quality,( is it a given?), or how do I steer myself towards them , as it does not say on the books I have looked at.?

Q2. What are the considerations between a worsted and a superfine...why would you want one or the other..where might you wear them?

Q3. What are the considerations between a hard or soft finish.what are good examples?..where might you wear them?

Q4. Some books say worsted on them and feel smooth...others only say all wool and feel woolly, although they are not flannels...again , what would be their appeal. I am mostly interested in fine dressing, as opposed to workhorse durability.

With so few top end mills left...I hope this will fill in the gaps for my ability to pick nice cloths.......
I already understand the difference between worsteds, flannels, worsted flannels, frescos,milled/semi-milled etc.

It's mostly the 2 ply issue...and the all wool issue that throws me.........all help appreciated,
thanks, Rowly.
post #2 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowly View Post
Hi, Could someone clear up a few queries I have re the merits of different cloths. I understand that the top bespoke-end favours Lessers, Smiths, Harrisons, Minnis, H&s etc, for English quality bespoke. I understand that 2 ply warp and weft is desirable. Q1 Are all the offerings from these books of the 2 ply quality,( is it a given?), or how do I steer myself towards them , as it does not say on the books I have looked at.? No, it is not a given, though it is safe to assume that most are. AFAIK there is no reliable way to tell for suitings, though someone once told me that you can compare the 'front' and 'back' sides of the cloth for shirtings to tell. Q2. What are the considerations between a worsted and a superfine...why would you want one or the other..where might you wear them? A worsted is a wool fabric that has had the shorter fibres combed out. A superfine is a wool fabric that has had the thicker (i.e. coarser) fibres combed out. You can have sturdy worsted fabrics, while superfine fabrics are typically more delicate. The term 'superfine' has little meaning unless it is accompanied by a 'Super' number - e.g. Super 110/120/130/140/150/etc Q3. What are the considerations between a hard or soft finish.what are good examples?..where might you wear them? I've always understood 'hardness' to be a function of both the density of the weave and the yarn used (worsted vs non-worsted, super rating). Harder finishes are more suited to business situations, and softer finishes more suited to casual situations. Q4. Some books say worsted on them and feel smooth...others only say all wool and feel woolly, although they are not flannels...again , what would be their appeal. I am mostly interested in fine dressing, as opposed to workhorse durability. I am not sure what your question is exactly addressing here, as none of the terms you have raised are mutually exclusive, but you appear to be treating them as such. With so few top end mills left...I hope this will fill in the gaps for my ability to pick nice cloths....... I already understand the difference between worsteds, flannels, worsted flannels, frescos,milled/semi-milled etc. It's mostly the 2 ply issue...and the all wool issue that throws me.........all help appreciated, thanks, Rowly.
Here ya go.
post #3 of 62
Thread Starter 
Thanks, This is helpful.... my tailor told me that a superfine is the poor man's mohair. I read somewhere that people sometimes prefer superfines because they are more crisp. I read that Lesser's superfine 11oz is very popular.....so, are you saying that superfine is simply a worsted with a higher supers threadcount...and the rest is the same? Also, sorry about the ambiguous question...to clarify, .....is there a clear cut smooth worsted...and a woolen worsted...both for high class suiting..and if so, what would be their respective attractions. Finally.....are there specific books from the top uk mills which offer 2x2 ply books between super 100s and 120s above 10oz....and if so....what are they called? Thanks again for any further clarification....Rowly.
post #4 of 62
One word: Fresco.
post #5 of 62
Why fresco when there is mohair?
post #6 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Film Noir Buff View Post
One word: Fresco.

Well done. In just three words you've managed to resurrect your little inside "joke," muddling the thread of a newcomer honestly seeking information and you've betrayed your irrational animus for a cloth with a solid pedigree.
post #7 of 62
I agree with most of what apropos wrote, but disagree a little bit.

"Worsted" more properly refers to the yarn and how it is spun BEFORE the cloth is woven.

"Superfine" does not necessarily refer to cloth with a "super" number, though it has similar properties. It is typically very smooth, with a crisp (as opposed to soft or fuzzy) finish.

Anyway, "worsted" is a category that includes a ton of different cloth that is all equally worsted, but looks, feels and wears very different.
post #8 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowly View Post
Thanks, This is helpful.... my tailor told me that a superfine is the poor man's mohair. I read somewhere that people sometimes prefer superfines because they are more crisp. I read that Lesser's superfine 11oz is very popular.....so, are you saying that superfine is simply a worsted with a higher supers threadcount...and the rest is the same? Also, sorry about the ambiguous question...to clarify, .....is there a clear cut smooth worsted...and a woolen worsted...both for high class suiting..and if so, what would be their respective attractions. Finally.....are there specific books from the top uk mills which offer 2x2 ply books between super 100s and 120s above 10oz....and if so....what are they called? Thanks again for any further clarification....Rowly.
Ah I see. I think you may be referring to worsted fabrics vs. worsted flannels. Flannels are fabrics with yarns that are more loosely spun. They were originally not made from worsted yarns, but to complicate matters further, there are many flannels now which use worsted yarns to improve their durability at the expense of some of the characteristic flannel 'feel', which is precisely what makes flannel so special. So a worsted flannel is made with yarns that have had their shorter fibres combed out, but are more loosely spun. 'Clear cut' worsteds are the most flexible cloths for all sorts of business applications. In addition to the slight durability issues mentioned earlier, flannel is often more thought of as a winter cloth. Re: mohair, it is a very 'stiff' fibre that also has a bit of sheen. I have seen pure mohair pants that have actually cracked due to overenthusiastic pressing. It is precisely the stiffness and sheen which has resulted in them often being blended with wools - pure mohair cloths are less common. AFAIK worsteds are more 'crisp' when they have tightly spun yarns and are tightly woven - AFAIK the exact super rating plays a lesser role in determining 'crispness'. Lastly, ignore FNB. The occasional gems that he dispenses are unfortunately hidden amongst tons of (non-funny) inside jokes, opinion dressed up as fact, hypocrisy, and rampant social anxiety, delivered in a passive-aggressive manner. Its a crying shame as he has a lot to offer in terms of 1st hand experiences.
post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I agree with most of what apropos wrote, but disagree a little bit. "Worsted" more properly refers to the yarn and how it is spun BEFORE the cloth is woven. "Superfine" does not necessarily refer to cloth with a "super" number, though it has similar properties. It is typically very smooth, with a crisp (as opposed to soft or fuzzy) finish. Anyway, "worsted" is a category that includes a ton of different cloth that is all equally worsted, but looks, feels and wears very different.
Thank you Manton. You are correct re: worsted, I should have clarified further. Rowly, despite my, um, occasional disagreements with Manton in other, um, subforums I will freely admit that he is a member that has much to offer you in the MC subforum and you would do well to search for some of his older threads and read through his posts.
post #10 of 62
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the replies. I am interested in above 10 oz uk mills cloth...and want something that looks and feels good and not merely utility. In my enlightenment to date, I have favoured the posts of Manton, Film Noir Buff , Will and Sator......I have got my head around most of the info...and with a little more fine tuning..I'll be set. This is all helpful.....one thing though,.FNB in one post dismisses Premier cru and cru classe as flimsy tissue paper...while in another post he says it's indistinguishable from Golden Bale, which is described as an epicurean cloth......can this small confusion be clarified?........thanks again, Rowly
post #11 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowly View Post
.FNB in one post dismisses Premier cru and cru classe as flimsy tissue paper...while in another post he says it's indistinguishable from Golden Bale, which is described as an epicurean cloth......can this small confusion be clarified?........thanks again, Rowly
I would assume that it reflected an evolution in his taste.
post #12 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post
Lastly, ignore FNB.
Most of the senior members here do ignore me which is why there are such a plethora of balmoral boots, monk strap shoes, fresco and "hopsack" suits, 16oz worsteds, insipid, solid color shirts and neckties that look like they were either rescued from a bargain bin or designed by a customer with the same mentality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post
The occasional gems that he dispenses are unfortunately hidden amongst tons of (non-funny) inside jokes,
Since you cannot understand their inside nature, I must inform you that they are in fact, hilarious.
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post
opinion dressed up as fact, hypocrisy,
Better than mutton dressed up as lamb.
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post
and rampant social anxiety,
That's on my family crest...
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post
delivered in a passive-aggressive manner.
I'm pretty aggressive. I think what you mean is "delivered in a contempt ridden manner"
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post
Its a crying shame as he has a lot to offer in terms of 1st hand experiences.
You'll never take me alive.
post #13 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Film Noir Buff View Post
Most of the senior members here do ignore me which is why there are such a plethora of balmoral boots, monk strap shoes, fresco and "hopsack" suits, 16oz worsteds, insipid, solid color shirts and neckties that look like they were either rescued from a bargain bin or designed by a customer with the same mentality.
Thank you for being, well, sadly predictable.
post #14 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowly View Post
Thanks again for the replies. I am interested in above 10 oz uk mills cloth...and want something that looks and feels good and not merely utility. In my enlightenment to date, I have favoured the posts of Manton, Film Noir Buff , Will and Sator......I have got my head around most of the info...and with a little more fine tuning..I'll be set. This is all helpful.....one thing though,.FNB in one post dismisses Premier cru and cru classe as flimsy tissue paper...while in another post he says it's indistinguishable from Golden Bale, which is described as an epicurean cloth......can this small confusion be clarified?........thanks again, Rowly

Have you heard of Taylor and Lodge or Moxen? Both English and pretty cool. Dormeuil Royal 12 is rather good too. A lot of the cloths you talk about aren't very luxurious they are entry level Bespoke cloths wherever you go in England. I started stocking Lesser because all the igents wanted it but when you compare it to amadeus or royal opera nobody buys it.
post #15 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowly View Post
Thanks again for the replies. I am interested in above 10 oz uk mills cloth...and want something that looks and feels good and not merely utility. In my enlightenment to date, I have favoured the posts of Manton, Film Noir Buff , Will and Sator......I have got my head around most of the info...and with a little more fine tuning..I'll be set. This is all helpful.....one thing though,.FNB in one post dismisses Premier cru and cru classe as flimsy tissue paper...while in another post he says it's indistinguishable from Golden Bale, which is described as an epicurean cloth......can this small confusion be clarified?........thanks again, Rowly
I dont think i ever dismissed any cloth as flimsy tissue paper, did I? Here are some thoughts on those very fabrics: Cloth advice from an aggressive dresser And do not dismiss the others mentioned who have excellent input on interpreting the qualities of cloth, most notably the ability to divine the content, quality and weave by rubbing it between two fingers while it is held closely to one ear.
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