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Unfunded Liabilities: a/k/a The Cloth Thread

Mr. Mott

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I’m looking at buying fabric to ultimately turn into suits. Is there any general limit on the life span in years for storing worsted wool before turning it into a suit? i.e. if it’s been stored for 5 years is the wool likely to deteriorate or not be worth using anymore.

Apologies if this isn’t the right thread
 

Bromley

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I’m looking at buying fabric to ultimately turn into suits. Is there any general limit on the life span in years for storing worsted wool before turning it into a suit? i.e. if it’s been stored for 5 years is the wool likely to deteriorate or not be worth using anymore.

Apologies if this isn’t the right thread
Should be fine as long as you keep it safe from moths and out of direct sunlight.
 

Mr. Mott

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Should be fine as long as you keep it safe from moths and out of direct sunlight.
I appreciate your response and advice. Is there any way to determine if there has been damage to the fabric? It’s likely easy to see moth damage, however do you have any idea of the characteristics of excess heat or sunlight exposure
 

Bromley

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Moth damage= visible holes in the cloth. Longterm exposure to sunlight causes color to fade. If you like the color, and it's even throughout the piece of cloth you've got, then it's fine. I recently picked up a piece of cloth from the 1920s (storage conditions unknown), and it's in perfect shape.
 

jonathanS

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Okay, forum question, looking ahead for the fall (bc of traveling tailors). I've always liked the idea of a navy db chalk stripe flannel. What are your thoughts on flannel books?

Theres a part of me that wants to go Fox Heritage Flannel (the 18 oz book), just to experience all 18 oz of flannel. But, I feel that might be better suited for a medium gray db. What other books do y'all like, I already made sure to ask the tailor to bring the Fox normal flannel book (13/14 oz).

Theres also a part of me that feels like a navy chalk stripe isn't that useful. Thoughts?
 

emptym

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^I really like the Minnis flannel pants that I have. Don't have a flannel suit though, but I wouldn't hesitate to get one if I wore suits.

Thanks a lot for the advice re. ML guys: @Bromley, @dieworkwear, @aristoi bcn, @jonathanS, @ZRH1, @Alan Bee,@Concordia, @DavidLane, @S K M.

I think I've settled on the Minnis. Did you mean Huddersfield, @S K M? or was it really Harrisons?

Also, does anyone know if Drapers Ascot 4-ply is the same as Smiths finmeresco 4-ply? Urbancomp and I were comparing them today and they seemed almost identical.
 

mercury

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Out of curiosity, what tipped you over the edge?
I'm about to order a jacket from the same Minnis ML.
If I get one in a brown one later on, I will try it in the Finmeresco ML.

Question now is what buttons to use...
 

emptym

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Three reasons: I saw dieworkwear's Minnis ML jacket and it looked great. Then Salvo or i Sarti said he preferred the Minnis swatch to the Smith's one, because it was a little less translucent. And the Minnis is cheaper.

I'll probably go with dark mop buttons.
 

mercury

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Well that would have sold me as well.

The dark MOP will look good.

I'll probably stick with horn for this one, and get something more exciting for a DB blazer later down the line.
 

zr3rs

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Theres a part of me that wants to go Fox Heritage Flannel (the 18 oz book), just to experience all 18 oz of flannel. But, I feel that might be better suited for a medium gray db. What other books do y'all like, I already made sure to ask the tailor to bring the Fox normal flannel book (13/14 oz).
The Heritage Flannel is great stuff, but I cannot imagine wearing it comfortably under normal office conditions here, in particular double-breasted. The 14oz flannels are great as well, though designs are a bit limited. I am a big fan of the grey herringbone, it provides just the additional amount of texture if you do not want to go checks or stripes. The Patterns book contains more designs, I have a single-breasted suit in the slate grey gunclub check, first thought of it as jacketing, but does not work well as such, but is really great as a suit.
I could imagine a double-breasted from the Blackdown glen check.
 

jonathanS

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The Heritage Flannel is great stuff, but I cannot imagine wearing it comfortably under normal office conditions here, in particular double-breasted.
Thats my concern with the heritage flannel. Its almost like heritage flannel is a good cold weather suit, but chalk stripes seem odd just for cold weather (although, I'd imagine it looking quite nice at an old london club on st. james street).

Should I stick to 14 oz? or go lighter? I do have a gray flannel suit (db), from lumbs golden bale (although its rarely worn bc the button stance is rather high, which is unfortunate). Theres also a part of me that wants to experience what all the old tailors are talking about when they rave "proper cloth" of the old days.

This does remind me of a story Michael Alden shared on London Lounge,
I know I have told this story a few times, but here it goes again.

A couple decades ago I was visiting the premier men’s shop in Paris wearing a particularly handsome tweed jacket. The shop was top drawer in every respect and had a team of tailors on the premises. My coat was immediately noticed and a few of the sales staff came over to me to see it more closely. After a few minutes, the manager of the store and resident expert on all things sartorial came over as well. “Nice coat!”, he said with some admiration in his voice, “That’a a great tweed. Looks nice and sturdy like old tweeds used to be. Too bad they are so heavy.” I smiled, thanked him and suggested he try my coat on to see if it were too heavy or not. We were about the same size and when he slipped the coat on he said with some surprise, “Oh no, this coat feels very nice to wear. Lovely. It’s stout but nothing over the top.” “What weight cloth do you reckon it is?”, I asked. “Oh it’s got to be at least 400 maybe 450 gms. Pretty heavy for most people.” I reinstalled the coat onto my shoulders as I revealed the truth to him, “That coat is made from an 800 gms Cheviot tweed.” The choir of sales staff gasped in unison “800 gms Tweed! OH MY GOD!” A few of them nearly passed out.

“Yes”, I replied with a grin, “and this little experiment of mine has proven that the difference between 400 gms and 800 gms tweed is all in your head!”

^I really like the Minnis flannel pants that I have. Don't have a flannel suit though, but I wouldn't hesitate to get one if I wore suits.
Good call on minnis (even though I was wearing a pair of gray flannels today from minnis, haha), I forgot about those, what weight were your trousers?
 
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Mr. Mott

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Moth damage= visible holes in the cloth. Longterm exposure to sunlight causes color to fade. If you like the color, and it's even throughout the piece of cloth you've got, then it's fine. I recently picked up a piece of cloth from the 1920s (storage conditions unknown), and it's in perfect shape.
Fantastic thank you. Appreciate that you’ve taken the time to provide advice.
 

aristoi bcn

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I have compared the swatches I have from the regular Fox flannel and the old Minnis flannel (recent kolecho run) both are around 400g and they look and feel almost identical to me. The hand is the same. Current Minnis flannel is 475g (woollen) and 370g (worsted) is another kind of animal. Can someone confirm that the old Minnis flannel book was done by Fox?
 

Concordia

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W/R/T cloth weight, the 18oz flannel isn't much hotter than 14oz, especially if you get the trousers lined. The key is to wear it when pavement has cooled and drafts are not going to be warm. If you can guarantee never going above 68F, and start the day with slightly pale extremities, you'll be fine. The only thing you'll regret is the physical weight of the cloth, which makes an 11oz worsted seem like a pair of pajamas by contrast.

That said, I have left my LL flannel suit at home this winter. Worsteds are more practical and run cooler when necessary.
 

zr3rs

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Should I stick to 14 oz? or go lighter? I do have a gray flannel suit (db), from lumbs golden bale (although its rarely worn bc the button stance is rather high, which is unfortunate). Theres also a part of me that wants to experience what all the old tailors are talking about when they rave "proper cloth" of the old days.
The 400/430g (14/15 oz) Fox flannel is the minimum for woolen flannel and it approximates "proper cloth" for me. I also have 340g worsted flannel (from Harrisons and VBC) which you would wear as a regular office suit just with a flannelly texture.
 

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