Friday, 11 November 2011
Woollens & What you should but didn't know. Part 1
What Tailors Should Know About Woollens - Part One
'The term "Woollen" as understood by the tailor, is a very general description of the numerous and varied classes of fabrics which , by reason of the aforesaid term, are presumed to be made of wool, or of which wool, in some form or other, forms the major part.
Fabrics comprising these classes are described as, and sold under names which indicate broadly (1)The quality of the wool fiber ; (2) the basis of the thread structure; (3) the pattern, or "weave" ; and (4) the style of finish. These terms, however , indicate group or general distinctions only, and obviously, therefore, can give no idea of the relative values of different fabrics belonging to one class.
Relative values are dependent largely upon differences in the quality of material, the character and size of the threads used in weaving, and the number of thread units in a given space, because these are factors which affect the appearence of the face of the cloth. In comparing cloths, presumably of the quality and contruction, differences in these factors are, with practice, comparatively easily discernable by sight and touch. Greater difficulties in appraising values arise when other materials of less value are incorporated in the structure in such a manner that they are not readily detected without an analysis of the fabric..
But to analyse a fabric requires a knowledge of quality and structure, which is obviously out of the tailors province ; and this lack of knowledge, therefore, leaves him largely dependent on the vendor of cloth, on whom he has to rely for for obtaining a sufficient value for his outlay. For his own protection, therefore, and for that of his client, to whom he stands in the position of sartorial trustee, it is very desirable that he should possess a reasonable knowledge of the medium in which he works. This knowledge should enable him to recognise different classes of fabrics ; to identify the materials from which they are made ; to understand something of their structure ; and above all, to differentiate between fabrics of the same class with regard to quality of fibre and possible structural differences.