The Guide To Autumn/Winter Fabrics
It is the middle of October and the welcome feeling of the crisp autumn sunshine is now firmly beating down upon us. It is now time to start thinking about putting away you summer shorts and t-shirts and bringing out your chunkier garments for a warm staple inside and outside the house. For those of you who are about to freshen up your wardrobes with some warming new attire this week, we have decided to compile an Autumn/Winter materials guide to help you on your way to getting a versatile, on-trend wardrobe that will see you through the coming months.
A vital substance of nature, wool is natures great insulator and is key to survival in colder climates. We may all know where it comes from, but this material is ultra versatile with some of its properties meaning that in its natural state the material is breathable, moisture-controlling, fire-retardant, hypoallergenic & biodegradable. The fact that wearing wool comes at little expense to the environment and boosts the income for local farmers is a huge bonus too. Did you know that wool can be found in many variants in menswear, all of which are listed below!
If wool had an original make it would be Lambswool. Fantastic for making jumpers, Lambswool has a warm, rugged texture, something of which brands such as Norse Projects put into good use when constructing their AW knitwear and alike.
A luxury fibre, Known in the business as “the diamond of fibres”, Mohair is the wool of the Angora goat and makes for an exceptionally soft, durable, warm and showerproof piece of clothing. Taking to dye exceptionally well, Mohair also has excellent insulating properties whilst the materials moisture wicking abilities allow for the wearer to remain cool throughout the summer months. All in all, Mohair is the perfect material for suits or winter coats.
Tracing back to Wales in the 16th Century, Flannel describes the process of weaving wool (or sometimes cotton) in order to create a very fine and soft garment that holds its structure well. This season flannel is most definitely a menswear essential with a range of lightweight and breathable flannel shirts available at Stuarts to add to your winter wardrobe.
Coming for the Merino sheep, the lightest of all sheeps wool, Merino wool is a cut above the rest with its soft, natural, qualities forming a quality base layer. Merino Wool also works well in roll necks and long sleeved winter jumpers and polo shirts.
Widely known as the super fine fibre obtained from Cashmere goats and the goat species, Cashmere is particularly useful material when it comes to crafting jumpers and accessories. Defined as wool it is even softer than Merino woollen variant and is more delicate than other wool’s. Examples of Cashmere in use in this season’s collection can be seen in this pair of Dents gloves.
The hardy patterned fabric of Scotland, Tweed is a tough woollen fabric of a soft, open, texture resembling cheviot or homespun, but more closely woven. It is usually woven with a plain weave, twill or herringbone structure. Colour effects in the yarn may be obtained by mixing dyed wool before it is spun. Widely present is several menswear collections from a variety of designers this season, Tweed can be commonly found in blazers and menswear accessories this season.
Worstead is another wool variation that is particularly well suited to suiting. Worsted wool is a tightly weaved variant that is brushed to get rid of excess hair, leaving it clean and durable. Worstead can be seen in some of Paul Smiths tailoring this season.
Wool Variants In Our AW16 Collection
|Paul Smith- Merino Wool Tan Jumper||Barbour Tweed Explorer Bag||Norse Project Lambswool Jumper|
|A fine example of Merino Wool in use, this Jumper by Paul Smith is a true AW16 Wardrobe Staple.||As seen in a variety of Barbour Accessories such as this bag, Tweed makes for a versatile material
||With a warming texture, this Norse Project Jumper is a stylish essential this season
Coming from the cotton plant, as we all know, there are plenty of ways of manufacturing cotton to form a warming autumn garment. Here is a list of everything you need to know about the wonderful world of cold weather cotton!
The ’70s favourite that is making a welcomed, fashionable return, cord is cotton that is twisted into thick ribs that are both hard wearing and soft. One of the best things (and there are many, we hasten to add) about cord is the fact that it gets better with age. With many examples of Corduroy in use this seasons, the material is visibly prevalent in Human Scales collection this season.
Melange is a mixture of two or more different colours of cotton in the same weave. Prevalent within the Armani Jeans collection this season melange provides a soft comfortable feel whilst looking best when used on sweats,or t-shirts in shades of grey. Examples can also be seen in Orlebar Brown’s polo-shirts and the Wood Wood and Norse project collections this season.
The material behind the iconic Burberry Trench (it was actually invented by them) sported by Humphrey Bogart, Gabardine can be wool, but nowadays is more usually cotton or a blend. The process behind it involves a very tight weave before singing off excess fibres, resulting in a dense and water-resistant finish, hence its usefulness for coats and jackets.
Cotton Variants In Our AW16 Collection
|Armani Jeans Melange Jumper||Human Scales Corduroy Shirt||Orlebar Brown Melange Polo-Shirt|
|Melange cotton can be seen in a handful of this season’s collection of Armani Jeans Jumpers
||Back in trend this year, Corduroy can be seen in the coastal inspired Human Scales collection
||Melange makes for a fine durable material that can be seen in the Orlebar Brown Polo Shirt Collection
Leather, is a durable and flexible material created by tanning animal rawhide and skin, often cattle hide. It can be produced at manufacturing scales ranging from cottage industry to heavy industry and used in a variety of goods from apparel to book covers. Here are the leather variants you’ll want to know about for the coming months, especially when shopping about for a quality Leather Jacket this season.
Suede is made from the underside of the animal skin, hence its soft, brushed feel. Less durable than other leathers, don’t be caught out wearing suede in the rain, however, a cropped jacket in brown suede is one of our favourite autumn style items. Suede can also be seen in many footwear models, such as the Adidas Originals Jeans Re-issues, this season.
Shearling is either the wool taken from a freshly shorn sheep, or sheepskin that has been tanned with the wool left on. Not the easiest or cheapest fabric to pull off, shearling is the ostentatious alternative for those looking to channel some ’60s high roller style. Some examples of Shearling put to good use this season can be seen in the Matchless collection this season
Leather Variants In Our AW16 Collection
|Matchless Quilted Bomber Jacket||Belstaff The Panther Leather Jacket||Adidas Originals Gazelle Shoes Shoes|
|One of many Shearling jacket styles available, this Matchless Jacket is a quality purchase this season||The Belstaff Panther Jacket is a fine example of men’s leather craftsmanship at its best.||Suede is a heavily prevalent within the Adidas Originals collection, such as this Gazelle model