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Discuss BLENDS, based on EXPERIENCE. Wool/linen, cotton/silk, wool/cashmere, linen/silk - How...

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
We all know that cashmere makes things warmer and more fragile, silk makes things hotter but stronger, linen makes things cooler but wrinklier, and cotton sucks.

I'm sure many of us have heard the common knowledge about these things, but sometimes things are nuanced.

Here's a chance to talk about how your various esoteric blends perform (sport coats or suits whatever - presumably more sportcoats), and/or challenge the common knowledge if your experience differs.

(obviously the weight of the material is going to have a big impact, don't let that hinder the discussion)




Myself:

I have two wool/linen blend sportcoats, fully lined, but open weave. The linen and weave do their job - the coats stay nice and cool, but they do wrinkly as you'd expect with linen. It has nice body though.

I have a wool/silk jacket that does fine in warm weather despite the silk (fully lined, half canvas), though it is definitely a light weight material. Doesn't wrinkle at all, hangs very nicely.

I have completely unlined/unstructured flannel (unusual combination, perhaps) jacked that is on the warm side. Fairly beefy flannel, shapes nicely. Flannal attracts lint though, which is annoying.

I have an open weave cashmere 1/4 lined donegal unstructured jacket. Is it possible for something to be neither worsted nor flannel? Cause I think that applies here. You'd think it would be warm, being cashmere, but the open weave makes it very breathable, so it's no problem. Does not wrinkle at all.

I have another jacket that's cotton/linen (or maybe I threw it away, idunno), and it's actually fairly warm given the heavy fabric, and wrinkles/bunches a decent amount. Pre SF.

My suits are all 100% wool. I do have a pair of pants that's 5% cashmere, 150's, and they basically are softer but also hang very smoothly and nicely.



Any interesting / counterintuitive observations from anyone else?
post #2 of 18
I have this poly/cotton shirt...


Just kidding. Nice topic though. Interesting.
post #3 of 18

I have two jackets with cashmere, one 5% and the other 30%. I dislike the way the 30% hangs. Given that its the same pattern as a few other jackets, I suspect that this is the cashmere at work. I have a pair of pants with, I think, 10% cashmere and they're wonderful.

 

I have a suit that should hopefully be done in the next few weeks with a wool-linen blend. I look forward to seeing how wrinkle resistant it is. Also just got some wool linen fabric (jumped the gun a bit...I probably should have waited to see how the first suit comes out).

 

As far as ties, I think silk-linen takes the cake as far as being the best possible fabric. I hold it above silk.

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claghorn View Post
 

As far as ties, I think silk-linen takes the cake as far as being the best possible fabric. I hold it above silk.

 

That's good... I have just got hold of a Zegna silk-linen beige/cream summer suit. I'll report my impressions here when it arrives...

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claghorn View Post

I dislike the way the 30% hangs.

Care to elaborate?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claghorn View Post

I have a suit that should hopefully be done in the next few weeks with a wool-linen blend. I look forward to seeing how wrinkle resistant it is.

I would prepare for the worst and hope for the best. My wool/linen jackets definitely wrinkle a bit (or crumples, or "waves"?), but they're clearly casual and it's just part of the look.

Even with wool pants I get crinkles in the crotch area if I'm sitting for a long time, so plan accordingly (or get one of those standing desks).
post #6 of 18
I have a wool / linen blend jacket, and i had it half lined with linen. It is quite cool to wear, but does wrinkle, more so in the arms though. I am interested in seeing a blend that is even cooler, and possibly lighter. Florida is unforgiving, and i need all the help i can get...
post #7 of 18
re: preparing for the worst
I like the wrinkles of linen. If I could wear linen year around, I probably would.

re: the cashmere jacket
It's one of those things that you really only notice when moving. It just doesn't feel like it's holding its shape well. It's only half canvassed, and while this hasn't been a problem with 100% wool, with all this cashmere it drapes like a...shit, I don't know...something very poor at holding form?...wherever there isn't something providing structure underneath. Or I am just a crazy person and it's all in my head.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JubeiSpiegel View Post

I have a wool / linen blend jacket, and i had it half lined with linen. It is quite cool to wear, but does wrinkle, more so in the arms though. I am interested in seeing a blend that is even cooler, and possibly lighter. Florida is unforgiving, and i need all the help i can get...

Half lined with linen? I didn't know that was a thing.

The purpose of a lining is to be smooth, so the jacket can move relative to your shirt, right? I've never seen a linen (even shirtings) that's nearly as smooth as silk or other normal linings (I forget their names).

You never had the jacket sans lining, did you?
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by archetypal_yuppie View Post

Half lined with linen? I didn't know that was a thing.

The purpose of a lining is to be smooth, so the jacket can move relative to your shirt, right? I've never seen a linen (even shirtings) that's nearly as smooth as silk or other normal linings (I forget their names).

You never had the jacket sans lining, did you?

I prefer to go half (or even sans) lining on jackets meant for warm or hot weather. As such, it seemed reasonable to have the half lining of my linen blend jacket in linen. I can attest to having no trouble in mobility, or comfort.

I would probably also be fine with a chambray lining. I don't care for the synthetic linings, they are too warm for me in Florida. I would imagine silk to be warmer still.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
In the new Bergdorf catalogue I saw a melange green Kiton with a light blue overcheck, which was Wool/Linen/Silk/Cashmere.

Is there anything reason to do that other than saying "fuck it, lets just blend everything in it"?

Linen + cashmere sounds like a recipe for hot soft stiff cool wrinkles.
post #11 of 18
In my opinion, a lot of the talk about blends is BS; either based on arbitrary tradition or pure marketing. Even the Unfunded Liabilities thread needs to be taken a with a grain of salt. What I've observed is that 100% wool doesn't show wrinkles, with certain weaves behaving slightly differently (emphasis on slight)... generally the heavier, the less wrinkles. Wool doesn't necessarily have better 'body' or a clean, smooth drape relative to other cloths. My cleanest-draping jacket with the most body is a duck cloth sport coat I had made up; the cloth is very rigid and holds the intended body of the tailoring quite well (but, because it's cotton, shows creases). My 8 oz mohair blend has a better body than 8 oz all wool. All-linen is even better. I suspect that the best bodied jacket would be made out of all fachrosshaar (haircloth), which I will be experimenting with soon.

Regarding polys, I think they could show a lot of promise in the suiting field if someone ever makes the effort to weave a good blend without fear of the angry old traditionalists objecting. For stability in cotton jeans for example, a spandex/polyester blend allows stretch, without bagging out like all cotton jeans or all wool trousers do over time. It would make suits a lot more comfortable. The stretch suiting I've always seen though is pretty awful.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenn View Post

In my opinion...

In my experience, wool does not "bag out.," if by that you mean stretch out. It might change form due to wrinkles etc, but otherwise no...

In my experience (from long ago due to avoidance), polyester does not breathe and is hot as hell. I won't even wear polyester socks.
post #13 of 18

I think I've handled wool/silk/linen/cashmere. I really don't recall the exact blend, but I recall it felt like a silk/linen and a wool/cashmere at the same time, if that makes sense. It also struck me as too hot for summer time.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
I wonder what the record is? Wool/Silk/Cotton/Linen/Cashmere/Mohair/Vicuna/Alpaca...
post #15 of 18
Originally Posted by archetypal_yuppie View Post

We all know that cashmere makes things warmer and more fragile, silk makes things hotter but stronger, linen makes things cooler but wrinklier, and cotton sucks.

I'm sure many of us have heard the common knowledge about these things, but sometimes things are nuanced.

Here's a chance to talk about how your various esoteric blends perform (sport coats or suits whatever - presumably more sportcoats), and/or challenge the common knowledge if your experience differs.

(obviously the weight of the material is going to have a big impact, don't let that hinder the discussion)


Any interesting / counterintuitive observations from anyone else?

 

Only just noticed this good thread. My thoughts, based on personal experience of a large variety of blends (which, of course, doesn't necessarily equate to me being alert/attentive enough to the differences to be categorical about these personal observations):

 

- 95% of commercially available blends feel identical to me (in terms of warmth, comfort, etc NOT in terms of the hand of the cloth) to whatever the majority fabric happens to be. i.e. I don't find that wool/silk runs hot, or that wool/linen runs cool, PROVIDED that you factor out the weight/weave differences. They all feel like wool to me when worn. The hands can feel very different, of course.

- for the remaining 5%, the effect of the blend is usually detrimental rather than beneficial (e.g. making summer items feel warmer than they should)

- the main differences with blends are visual (the look) and tactile (the hand). I'm fairly good at noticing blends with linen, cotton, hemp, silk, etc. They all lend wool distinctive appearances; you either like that, or not. The hand confirms those differences, especially with hemp and linen (linen is generally the most instantly visually noticeable addition, be it to jackets or shirts). Cashmere additions only affect the hand and not the visual appearance, unless the proportion is really high, in which case it's a bit thicker/deeper/lusher in look. The various higher-end soft fabrics offer diminishing returns in their effect on the hand, and don't really feel any different when worn. Sure, a 100% vicuna overcoat does feel a bit softer & lusher than cashmere, but not 10+ times softer. (no, I don't own one; only tried one on long enough to get a fair idea.)

- if you're daft enough to actually care how clothes photograph (or, more charitably, this is somehow relevant to your job), then avoid blends with silk, and to a lesser extent some other fabrics, as they can sometimes add reflective/sheen in photos that isn't present IRL. IMO it would be a stupid reason to avoid them, but as the WAYWRN is demonstrating recently, a minority will do anything for thumbs-up votes, so it might play into thinking for some.

- effects on durability seem minimal either way to me, but I'm a very light user of my clothes and have a fair amount of variety. I live a relaxed life, placing relatively little stress on garments, and take decent care of them, so I don't really notice impacts on durability before I think about moving the item on anyway.

- most blends strike me as being opportunites for price point manipulation rather than offering major functional or aesthetic benefits.

 

Perhaps I just don't scrutinise my clothes closely enough to note the more detailed and marked differences that some report.

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