A quick rundown for anyone interesting in buying fabrics for suiting but not overly familiar with fabric jargon. Maybe you’d love a tailored suit but have no idea what a finish is. Or you’re looking into buying a wool jacket but don’t know the difference between mohair and lambswool. Whatever it is, we’re here to help!
What does “ply” (3 ply, 4 ply) mean in terms of fabric?
3 ply means there are 3 threads intertwined together in the yarn and 4 threads in 4 ply. Usually only 2 threads are used, which is called 2 fold. The higher the ply, the heavier the finished cloth.
What are the differences between Merino, mohair and cashmere wool? Between mohair and kid mohair?
Merino is a high grade of wool named after the name of the Australian sheep where the wool comes from.
Mohair comes from a goat, while the kid mohair is an extra soft wool taken from the kid goat.
Cashmere helps to give a softer feel to the finished cloth when added to the yarn.
Lambswool makes for a softer fabric because the wool comes from younger sheep.
What is Worsted?
Worsted is the term used for wool suiting fabric.
What is tweed?
Tweed is the term used for heavier woolens with a harder feel, traditionally used for jackets, skirts, etc. (i.e. Harris tweed).
What are these “Super” numbers on my fabric (Super 120s, Super 150s, etc)?
They indicate fabric quality. Super 100s, 120s and 130s are ideal qualities for a good suit.
Super 140s, 150s and 160s are much finer and softer, so perfect for the suit for a special occasion. Similarly, the higher the yarn count, the softer the fabric.
What is the significance of fabric weight when picking fabric to make a suit from?
Lightweight starts from 260 grams (summer weight) and below (i.e. lightweight wools, panama weave, mohair fabrics, crepe weaves). The average weight of a suiting fabric is around 280 grams.
Winter weights are from 300 grams upwards.
What is twill? What is a crepe style weave? Basket style? Donegal style? Barathea style? Imperial?
Twill, panama, hopsack, basket and barathea are all terms describing the type of weave in the cloth.
Twill is the most common weave, a diagonal weave from right to left.
Hopsack and panama weaves, on the other hand, look like a series of small pin dots.
What does “finish” refer to?
Finish is the term used to refer to the handle of the fabric.
Where does your fabric come from?
Britain and Scotland have always been famous for producing the best cloths in the world.
Tartans, heavy tweed and woollen fabrics are typically produced in Scotland, while finer suiting fabrics are made in the mills of Huddersfield and Bradford.
What is British country clothing?
Typically used for wear in hunting and shooting.
Heavy tweed or any other heavy cloth is very durable and won’t snag while walking through the woods.
For more info about our fabrics, visit the British Fabrics eBay store.