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Unfunded Liabilities: a/k/a The Cloth Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    Again, I don't think the flecks are inherent to donegal because virtually every donegal book has, as pattern #1, a B&W large dot (not really a nailhead or birdseye but a distinct tweedy dot pattern) without flecking. Then pattern #2 is typically that same color but WITH the flecks.

    So, to me, "donegal" has always meant tha dot pattern, in tweed.
     
  2. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    I didn't say the flecks are inherent to Donegal! The opposite! You can have a tweed from Donegal without flecks that is rightfully a Donegal tweed, and you can have tweed from elsewhere that has flecks which many would call Donegal as well. So, if something is called a Donegal tweed, and it doesn't have flecks, then it's probably safe to say it is simply a tweed from Donegal. If you see a flecked tweed called Donegal, and the origin isn't stated, it could be from anywhere.

    It's just that the flecks have become so iconic that nubby flecked tweed has become known as "Donegal" itself. So, now, "Donegal" can refer to two things: tweed from Donegal, or nubby, flecked tweed from anywhere. The former may or may not be flecked.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  3. M. Charles

    M. Charles Well-Known Member

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    You guys kill me. The tweed above is Kevin and howlin handwoven from Dublin (made in. Dinegal)but most of my done gals were bought in donegal, and there was certainly no shortage of herringbones. There was also a museum of sorts that had swatches from very long ago of similar.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  4. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    the other reason I associate that dot with Donegal is that it seems to constitute the vast majority of Dongeal books while I never see it in any other tweed books.
     
  5. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Well-Known Member

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    Can I get people's opinions on Oyster, Lesser, and Smith's navy hopsacks? I'm planning to order a BlazerSuit through Steed, and they sent me some swatches to consider.

    My impression is that Lesser is really nice, but feels very smooth compared to the Oyster and Smith. Possibly better if this garment was only to be used as a suit. Oyster, on the other hand, has a much more visible weave, but I fear it might be too "rustic" for a true city suit. Smiths, to my eye, seems to be right in the middle. Good enough for a suit, but not so smooth that the fabric would look odd as a blazer, which is what I intend to wear this most as. Thus, I'm tempted then to use something like Smith's 3913, a 12/13oz wool.

    Can anyone offer thoughts?
     
  6. Slewfoot

    Slewfoot Well-Known Member

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    You guys are making my head hurt...again.

    I tend to think of Donegal as anything with the color flecks. If it's also made in the area of Donegal then even better. Perhaps that's an Uber Donegal.
     
  7. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    that is a fine summary. All three are excellent quailty. For use as a blazer, I would prefer the one with the most rusticity.
     
  8. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    It's not that complicated. "Donegal" can either refer to (1) tweed from Donegal, or (2) tweed with nubby flecks. A tweed can be one, both, or neither. That comports with Manton's experience. Any nubby, flecked tweed is likely to be in a Donegal book, regardless of whether it is actually from Donegal. Yet, there may be other non-flecked tweeds in the same book, which are Donegal tweeds by nature of being from Donegal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  9. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    3) tweed with the characteristic dot pattern, which to me is more decisive than 1 or 2.
     
  10. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    What dot pattern? I don't understand what you mean by that. I thought we were talking about the nubby flecks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  11. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    your blue jacket has that patter, IIRC

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  12. etkl

    etkl Well-Known Member

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    I think this is basically correct. I also think Donegal tweed, like Harris, originally referred to handwoven cloth, although, unlike Harris, Irish mills like Magee now offer machine woven cloth as Donegal as well. In addition,the name "Donegal" is not protected in the same manner as Harris and, therefore, cloth can be sold as Donegal by anybody regardless of place of origin, method of weaving or pattern.

    I think some of the confusion comes from the fact that donegal (with a lower case "d") has come to be used as a generic term for a woollen tweed with those characteristic flecks in it and you othen see such tweed offered by some merchants as "donegal style" fabric.
     
  13. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    It definitely has nubby flecks, but the weave is plain.
     
  14. etkl

    etkl Well-Known Member

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    Donegal yarn is much smaller, the weave is tighter, and the cloth is a lot thinner, less rustic.[/quote]

    I do not believe that any of this description applies to the traditional handwoven Donegal (upper case "D") tweed made in Donegal, Ireland, which is made in a variety of weights, weaves and patterns. For example, I have Donegal tweed coating from K & H made from thick yarn loosely woven in a herringbone pattern. You commonly see this kind of stuff in old coats from such makers as Burberry and Aquascutum.
     
  15. RogerC

    RogerC Well-Known Member

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    It's a plain weave, but with a warp that is dark and a lighter weft, creating the dot pattern. The flecks in the yarn do the rest.
     
  16. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    90% of the stuff marked "donegal" that I have seen looks like what I have posted above (in a variety of colors, though). And it's way thinner than harris. Harris pretty much only comes in very heavy weights, high teens and above, and is so scrachty it can sand off your skin. Donegal is more refined, though perhaps all the donegal I am familiar with is "faux donegal," I don't know.

    I will say that in the old sources, AA and the like, "Donegal" is always represented as having that pattern, sort like birdseye, but with the dot more or less the size and shape of arboreo rice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  17. etkl

    etkl Well-Known Member

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    Again, this all comes from a conflation of the original and generic terms. But if you look at the fabrics actually made by the Irish mills historically, they have always come in a variety of weights, weaves and patterns. So, in answer to your original question whether a Donegal can be a herringbone, the answer is yes and often is.
     
  18. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    Like how all tissue is called "Kleenex" and yet Kleenex makes things other than tissue.
     
  19. edmorel

    edmorel Well-Known Member

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    and how we drive in the parkway but park in the driveway :confused:
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. etkl

    etkl Well-Known Member

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    And a lot of companies make tissues that we generically call Kleenex. Xerox is another example. Or for those who are old enough to remember, Frigidare.
     

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