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Harrisons of Edinburgh fabrics

post #1 of 242
Thread Starter 
Things that didn't make into the Harrisons essay http://www.filmnoirbuff.com/article/har ... of-manners but are nevertheless interesting nuggets It seems a very English behavior to like similar things in different weights of cloth and different scales of pattern. I suppose if something works for them they stick with it. Harrisons always inventories a two fold (both warp and woof) cloth with a rather tight setting. Handmade tailoring response serves as a good judge if a cloth is serviceable for custom clothes and ultimately for ready-to-wear as well.. Apparently, it's all about the finish on the cloth. Cloth is getting lighter and lighter and new technologies have enabled the finishing plants to produce cloths in a way that gives them more depth. Finishing is the process where the cloth is placed on rollers and chemical solutions are applied to the cloth surface and then rinsed with water. There are just a few places left in Britain where you can get your cloth finished. It should be noted that these few remaining places do a very good job and you can specify a plethora of finishings. To maintain continuity of theme ranges which tend to be bought out of by the same customer such as the premier cru, grand cru and cru classe are all finished in the same place and thus have that same refined finish. Their 16oz corduroy cloth is great for weekends either as a suit, jacket or odd trousers. The 25 oz cords are too heavy for anything but the worst weather but they are beloved by the country set who walk around on the moors in weather normally fit only for ducks. Harrisons make both a silk-cotton blend and a pure cotton, a moleskin, cavalry twills and whipcord for odd trousers. Mohair is extremely popular in Japan and now becoming somewhat popular in England again. Mohair is extremely popular in Japan and becoming somewhat popular in England now, again. Harrisons mohair is a summer as opposed to winter kid. You get finer, softer yarns from a summer shearing which adds up to a mohair cloth which molds to the body as opposed to those "other" mohairs which remain stiff and tend to fight the body's movements. Mohair suits made up into one button single breasted peak lapel suits are currently very popular. Mohair and linen mixed gives a different look than pure linen and does still wrinkle but not nearly as much. People like these blends and there is one factory that made an exemplary linen and poly blend that looked just like linen and without wrinkling nearly as much. The Mystique bunch wears very well but the selections are unimaginatively English. However, relief is on the way. A Lovat green with red/orange windowpane check (37017) was made up as a "risk" fabric that sold extremely well in the Mystique bunch. This success led Harrison's to introduce some more exciting cloth patterns and colors in their Havana bunch which is a summer weight 120s with cashmere (Mystique is about a super 90s). In the Havana range, 21003 is incredibly popular as is a grey with a purple stripe (21002) and the double track red stripe (21022). Those are selling well too and as a result there will be newer and bolder patterns and colors added to the basic suit ranges across the board. Harrisons carries a lovely quality of velvet for jackets which have become popular for hip nights out with friends, to the theater or with that special someone you are having drinks with. In Italy Harrisons is immensely popular; the Italians love the 100s and 120s wool ranges. They love these premier cru and cru classe in the north of Italy because they feel it gives them that sought after English look. The Millionaire jacketing book is being re-issued with a lot more cloths and a few updated patterns. Cashmere colors and their well executed resolution have always been a Harrisons cashmere specialty.
post #2 of 242
I have a suit made from the Harrisons Cape Kid book. Super lightweight with a sheen. The ground color is sort of mottled, i.e., not really saturated or clear. It is basically a silver gray with two colors of pinstripes - white and salmon, I think. I like it.

I also have a heavyweight flannel from them 140z blue chalkstripe. Pretty good, though a lot of the woolen flannel offerings seem the same to me. Fox, excepted.
post #3 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by dopey View Post
I have a suit made from the Harrisons Cape Kid book. Super lightweight with a sheen. The ground color is sort of mottled, i.e., not really saturated or clear. It is basically a silver gray with two colors of pinstripes - white and salmon, I think. I like it.

I also have a heavyweight flannel from them 140z blue chalkstripe. Pretty good, though a lot of the woolen flannel offerings seem the same to me. Fox, excepted.

Do you prefer the fox type or the harrisons type? Any reasons you can share?

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post #4 of 242
Thread Starter 
two shots of a fabric from the cru classe (120s +cashmere) which has a herringbone weave with a blue pinstripe. Notice the herringbone weave itself creates the illusion of a shadow stripe when it is hit by the light in a certain way. Made up this shadow stripe wouldnt be apparent head on.
post #5 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by oscarthewild View Post
Do you prefer the fox type or the harrisons type? Any reasons you can share?

-

I have both, but don't really have a lot to say about the differences as the Fox cloth is in the midst of being made up.
post #6 of 242
Anybody have any opinions on Harrisons vs. Lesser fabrics? When I ordered my latest, flannel blazer from Chan, I was given a choice of Harrisons or Lesser flannels. I chose the Lesser, even though it was appreciably more expensive, largely because of the esteem Lesser fabrics seem to be held in the forum culture. I also liked the color of one of the Lesser samples somewhat better, as best I could descry it on my computer monitor. The Lesser fabric ran the price tag up by $65. I hope I didn't make a mistake.
post #7 of 242
My wedding suit was made up from Harrison's. Premier Cru, maybe. But you'd hate it: very un-smooth.
post #8 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
Anybody have any opinions on Harrisons vs. Lesser fabrics? When I ordered my latest, flannel blazer from Chan, I was given a choice of Harrisons or Lesser flannels. I chose the Lesser, even though it was appreciably more expensive, largely because of the esteem Lesser fabrics seem to be held in the forum culture. I also liked the color of one of the Lesser samples somewhat better, as best I could descry it on my computer monitor. The Lesser fabric ran the price tag up by $65. I hope I didn't make a mistake.

Overall, I like Lesser a lot more. IMO, one of Harrison's greatest strengths are its flannels, so I would not choose a Lesser flannel simply for that reason alone. In the end, go with whatever color/pattern/finish moved you.

As it happens, I recently did the opposite. I laid out flannels from Minnis, Harrison, Lesser, Smith and Drapers for good measure, and the Harrison won (in my case because of the color). The Harrison distributor charges so much for it in the US that it actually costs more than the Lesser.

I also have a Harrison flannel from 1998 (I think) that is still in good shape, so the cloth holds up.

I would not worry about your $65, the Lesser stuff is still great.
post #9 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
My wedding suit was made up from Harrison's. Premier Cru, maybe. But you'd hate it: very un-smooth.

I think Premier Cru is all clear cut worsted, I believe. Drecky cloth. I have one; flimsy as tissue. Never again.
post #10 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I think Premier Cru is all clear cut worsted, I believe. Drecky cloth. I have one; flimsy as tissue. Never again.

I'm no cloth expert, but do you really find it flimsy? Seems nice enough to me.
post #11 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by oscarthewild View Post
Do you prefer the fox type or the harrisons type? Any reasons you can share?

-

From my experience Fox is more open woven and more flexible. It also wears cooler. Harrisons is good for really winter-weight stuff.

Horses for courses.
post #12 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
I'm no cloth expert, but do you really find it flimsy? Seems nice enough to me.
I really do. It just strikes me as badly made. It's supposed to be 11 ounces, but 8 ounce Lesser or Minnis has more body.
Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtie View Post
From my experience Fox is more open woven and more flexible. It also wears cooler. Harrisons is good for really winter-weight stuff.

Horses for courses.

I agree with this. Minnis flannel is even tougher; that's the real Chicago flannel.
post #13 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I really do. It just strikes me as badly made. It's supposed to be 11 ounces, but 8 ounce Lesser or Minnis has more body.

Well, I obviously hope you're wrong! Now I'm curious to see how this suit wears over time.
post #14 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I really do. It just strikes me as badly made. It's supposed to be 11 ounces, but 8 ounce Lesser or Minnis has more body.


I agree with this. Minnis flannel is even tougher; that's the real Chicago flannel.


Minnis:
post #15 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
My wedding suit was made up from Harrison's. Premier Cru, maybe. But you'd hate it: very un-smooth.
I have two from this book. I think they are nice, but am no expert. The 12 oz classics book is great, as are the flannels.
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