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Wrinkle Resistant wool for suits

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by damonallan, May 1, 2005.

  1. damonallan

    damonallan Well-Known Member

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    Hi Friends:

    What makes a suit wrinkel resistant? I see lots of different super 110's and 170's and I now know that this is not a predictor.

    I have Loro Piana fabric super 110's and it doesn't wrinkle and is expremely soft?

    So what makes it better and wrinkle resistant?

    Damon
     


  2. quill

    quill Senior Member

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    I don't know much about "treatments" for wool that make it wrinkle resistant, but I know that wool can be naturally wrinkle resistant. Typically, a wrinkle is formed when hydrogen bonds between chains in the fabric structure are broken and then reformed in the new position. In wrinkle-resistant treatments, strong covalent bonds replace weaker hydrogen bonds, giving the molecules more stability in their positions. So molecules are pulled back into alignement, preventing the formation of wrinkles (and no, this isn't my brilliance talking; this is from Understanding Textiles by Collier and Tortora. Resin treatments to fabric are "cured" at a high heat to create a chemical reaction that takes place with the fabric. They're not permanent, but the heat from the dryer can actually "re-energize" the resin treatment for a while. As for wool fibers, they are of course naturally elastic, and return to their crimped shape, which is why wool trousers can be "hung out" and look smooth the next day. If wool yarns are spun, twisted, and woven even tighter, the resilience goes up, and so does the wrinkle recovery. The opposite of worsted (highly twisted) wool is "woolen," which is wool left in a more natural state, more relaxed, such as Shetland and Harris Tweed type wools. Someone with more experience than I will have to correct anything I may have gotten wrong here, but I think that's basically how it works.
     


  3. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Worsted is not necessarily made from high-twist yarns.  The yarns are, however, combed out flat and straight before they are woven, resulting in a smoother, tighter cloth.  High-twist yarns allow worsteds to be made in lighter weights yet maintain the same (or close to the same) drape and wrinkle resistance as heavier cloth.

    There are plenty of natural wool worsteds that won't wrinkle at all, or if they do, bounce back quickly.  The factors to look for are: 1) Weight (heavier is better); 2) Yarn number (thicker yarns wrinkle less); 3) Yarn length (longer is better) 4) Ply (two-ply yarns are better; for maximum performance, both warp and weft should be two-ply); 5) Weave (this one is tricky; some tight weaves can wrinkle badly, while others won't; ditto with the loose weaves; this one goes case by case, and I think the other four factors have far more impact).
     


  4. alchimiste

    alchimiste Senior Member

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    Is wool vulcanized?.
     


  5. damonallan

    damonallan Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys:

    I just became a member yesterday and I've learned so much. I can't believe I didn't hear of this site before.

    Thanks for the help. Does anyone else have something to add?

    So, in sourcing for high quality fabric, what kinds of questions should I be asking concerning the quality of the cloth and also keeping the wrinkle factor in mind.

    As I am a custom clothier, I am mainly dealing with natural fibers for shirt and suits.

    Thanks a bunch.

    Damon
     


  6. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    The number one guarantee of good cloth is who made it and who sells it.  H.Lesser sells, in my opinion and the opinion of many, the best worsteds in the world.  The patterns are conservative unto boring.  Not a problem for me; that's what I like.  They sell very few "Supers" (only a handful of 120s and 150s).  These are hard wearing cloths made the old-fashioned way.  I would put Smith Woolens slightly behind Lesser.  They do have more variety in terms of color and pattern.  For flannels, my personal favorites are Harrions of Scotland (that's the distributor; the actual cloth is woven in the West of England).  Next best is probably Holland and Sherry.

    Different customers are going to judge "good" in terms of cloth differently.  Some people really want softness and silkiness above all else.  Other want "hard-wearingness" and longevity.  It is difficult to get both.  But not impossible.  If you're willing to fork out for Lesser 150s, for instance, then you really can have it all.  Or Lumb's Golden Bale.  (Though that will never be as hardwearing as a plain ole Super 80s worsted.)  And I've heard from a lot of people here that the Supers have gotten a lot better in terms of wrinkle resistance, but only at the high end (meaning $, not necessarily Super #).
     


  7. damonallan

    damonallan Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the insight Manton.

    Damon
     


  8. damonallan

    damonallan Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the insight Manton.

    Damon
     


  9. mack11211

    mack11211 Distinguished Member

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    Dear Damon:

    In what city do you do business?

    yrs

    mack
     


  10. quill

    quill Senior Member

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    (quill @ May 02 2005,21:31) Typically, a wrinkle is formed when hydrogen bonds between chains in the fabric structure are broken and then reformed in the new position. In wrinkle-resistant treatments, strong covalent bonds replace weaker hydrogen bonds, giving the molecules more stability in their positions.
    Is wool vulcanized?.
    Well, I'm certainly not a chemist, but in the sense of using heat and pressure (as in vulcanization), resin treatments to fabric involve some of that. But to my knowledge they don't use sulfur as additives (a common treatment that reacts with cellulose is dimethyloldihydroxyethyleneurea, or DMDHEU). I don't know if vulcanization refers entirely to rubber or not, but I'd guess this whole point is superfluous to this discussion. I think Manton offered a much clearer, more understandable way of looking at the fabrics in question.
     


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