Unfunded Liabilities: a/k/a The Cloth Thread

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

  1. banis

    banis Senior member

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    Yes, they do. They sent to me a whole bunch of samples.
    If I'm not mistaken their London phone number is 0207 437 6226. You can also send e-mail to Sean or David at the smithwoollens.co.uk
    They may be not very fast with reply, but will definetely reply.
     


  2. Mr. Pink

    Mr. Pink Senior member

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    Before you had replied, Google got me to Isles Textiles, Smith's U.S. distributors. I emailed them and got a call back the next day and a promise to send some swatches. The following day brought another call announcing that Isles would send me their own sample book if I would get it back to them quickly. Of course, I happily agreed and thanked them for the wonderful service. Two separate books arrived today. One is the Finmeresco book. There are two different weights, the 11/12 oz and the 9/10oz. According to the book, the 9/10 oz is 3 ply instead of 4. There's a grey at the beginning which is very close in color to the Minnis 511 and a blue that is very close to the 520. There's not as much variegation as the Minnis, but the fabrics have a much smoother hand. For all those who don't like Fresco, these could be a very good substitute--except there are only 9 or 10 fabrics in this lighter weight.

    The first third of this book is actually made up of a group called Abacus, described as "fully balanced plain weave material made from conventional 2 ply worsted yarn. The fabrics are very crisp and springy. They are slightly porous. Held up to the sun, a bit of light shines through. The colors are nice but not special. The patterns are uninspiring. I imagine this is an analogue for the Frontier book.

    The second book Isles sent is the Blue Riband, 310 to 330 grams, 10/11 oz. The book describes the fabric as a "first rate worsted fabric, expensively constructed at 10/11oz." Obviously, I'm no kind of fabric expert, but this book looks really nice to me. The colors and patterns are beautiful. Crumpled in the hand, the fabrics spring back without any mark. The finish is smooth, but not as hard as the Lesser's 10 oz fabrics that I have. In that way, they look more luxurious. I'd love to hear what experts think of this book. I did a search and can find only a very few mentions of it either here on on LL.

    I will try to take some pictures over the weekend if I can figure out how to capture the look of the fabrics.

    I also meant to mention that Harrison's have been very helpful, and, for a small charge, have agreed to send me the Frontier and Lesser's 13 oz books--though I think the latter is probably too heavy for San Diego.

    Minnis, which in the past has always been helpful, has not responded to requests for swatches. I'm not sure it matters as I like this Blue Riband book more than the Classic and Crown Classic fabrics I've seen.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011


  3. scruff

    scruff Senior member

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    Recent pickups from Tip Top. Don't recall the maker of the former (my tailor had a hunch, but I forgot what he said). It's about a 13oz and the melange of colors was too much to resist. The latter is a light weight Zegna linen with a great mix of blue and black hues; might sit on it for a while, though, as I can't imagine wearing something so light in San Francisco. When made up, I'll probably go 3-patch on each.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011


  4. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  5. NewYorkIslander

    NewYorkIslander Affiliate Vendor

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    Looks nice man! I still have yet to venture there...maybe Tuesday I'll take the car out and take a look.
     


  6. RogerC

    RogerC Senior member

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    I visited Fox Flannels two weeks ago, when I was in the West Country for holidays. I was very kindly received by Alison, who even allowed me to take a little peek into the mill part of the building, as it was lunchtime (normally not allowed for health and safety reasons). Stepping into their store was like stepping into a candy shop. Apart from the flannels listed on their web site, Fox produce tweeds and worsteds, but I was especially interested in the flannels. I already committed to the Eden in Paris reissue on the London Lounge and a charcoal w/ scarlet stripe that Yachtie is organizing on Cutter and Tailor (which Fox is both doing), so my purchasing space was limited, but I did cop a suit length of gorgeous 14oz navy chalk stripe. However, they also stock a relatively large amount of suit lengths of custom flannels, so if anyone is interested in - for example - a light grey (think Minnis 300) with a sky blue chalk stripe, a mid-grey with caramel chalk, or a number of houndstooth variations, all priced at around £50/m inclusive of VAT,...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This cloth will definitely a peak lapel, I'm just debating about whether it should be SB or DB

    [​IMG]

    Also, 15 mins. away from Fox is their old spinning mill at Coldharbour, which has been turned into a weaving museum. Very interesting to see how these things work up close, and quite enthousiastic people working there, unfortunately I could only make on picture before my camera battery conked out. Darn.

    [​IMG]

    I did buy a tie made of the Blue Devon tartan they weave, also available in cut lengths:
    [​IMG]
     


  7. NewYorkIslander

    NewYorkIslander Affiliate Vendor

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    That sounds like a lot of fun, thanks for sharing!
     


  8. blackdice

    blackdice Well-Known Member

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    Oh wow - what a great post. I might as well make a visit sometime next month.
    I hope you didn't run into the new owner of the company!
     


  9. Slewfoot

    Slewfoot Senior member

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    Thanks for the report! Great stuff. I've seen some of their tweeds before and while nice, the flannels are definitely where it's at for them (not surprising!). For the chalk stripe, I'd be inclined to do a DB suit. I'm not too into SB peak lapels though.
     


  10. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    I visited Fox Flannels two weeks ago, when I was in the West Country for holidays. I was very kindly received by Alison, who even allowed me to take a little peek into the mill part of the building, as it was lunchtime (normally not allowed for health and safety reasons). Stepping into their store was like stepping into a candy shop. Apart from the flannels listed on their web site, Fox produce tweeds and worsteds, but I was especially interested in the flannels. I already committed to the Eden in Paris reissue on the London Lounge and a charcoal w/ scarlet stripe that Yachtie is organizing on Cutter and Tailor (which Fox is both doing), so my purchasing space was limited, but I did cop a suit length of gorgeous 14oz navy chalk stripe. However, they also stock a relatively large amount of suit lengths of custom flannels, so if anyone is interested in - for example - a light grey (think Minnis 300) with a sky blue chalk stripe, a mid-grey with caramel chalk, or a number of houndstooth variations, all priced at around £50/m inclusive of VAT,...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This cloth will definitely a peak lapel, I'm just debating about whether it should be SB or DB

    [​IMG]

    Also, 15 mins. away from Fox is their old spinning mill at Coldharbour, which has been turned into a weaving museum. Very interesting to see how these things work up close, and quite enthousiastic people working there, unfortunately I could only make on picture before my camera battery conked out. Darn.

    I love Fox flannels but they don't get that much love over here...

    Love their worsted flannel 10/11 oz in blue but my tailor hates it...

    I need some spring/fall suits...
     


  11. mlongano

    mlongano Senior member

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    Very nice fabrics from Fox...I am just now having the navy chalk stripe made up after purchasing about one year ago.

    I also ordered this fabric from Fox this morning:

    [​IMG]
     


  12. RogerC

    RogerC Senior member

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    How are you having it done? Also: great PoW
     


  13. E TF

    E TF Senior member

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    ^^ I'm having that same grey PoW fox flannel made up as odd trousers. Thought they'd go well with a navy blazer or plain sports coat in the autumn.
     


  14. mlongano

    mlongano Senior member

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    SB notch lapel, double vent, pleated, cuffed trousers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011


  15. mlongano

    mlongano Senior member

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    It's such a beautiful fabric...I'm sure anything you make out it will look fantastic.

    I've been meaning to purchase this fabric for a long time now. This will be my fourth Fox Flannel suit.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011


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