Tweed is a rough, unfinished woollen fabric, of a soft, open, flexible texture, resembling cheviot or homespun, but more closely woven. It is made in either plain or twill weave and may have a check or herringbone pattern. Subdued, interesting colour effects (heather mixtures) are obtained by twisting together differently coloured woollen strands into a two- or three-ply yarn.
Tweeds are an icon of traditional British Country Clothing being desirable for informal outerwear, due to the material being moisture-resistant and durable. Tweeds are made to withstand harsh climate and are commonly worn for outdoor activities such as weddings and special occasions, in both Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The original name of the cloth was tweel, Scots for twill, it being woven in a twilled rather than a plain pattern.
Traditionally used for upper-class country-clothing like shooting jackets, tweed became popular among the Edwardian middle classes who associated it with the leisurely pursuits of the elite. Due to their durability tweed, they were the popular choice for hunters, cyclists, golfers and early motorists, hence Kenneth Grahame’s depiction of Mr Toad in a suit. Popular patterns include houndstooth associated with Windowpane, Gamekeeper’s tweed worn by academics, Prince of Wales check originally commissioned by Edward VII.
Worsted wool is a versatile compact yarn that is used in the creation of several different types of garments. While many forms of wool require that the fibre undergoes a spinning process, this type is produced slightly differently. Rather than going directly into a spinning process, the wool is first combed in a carding process to remove any short and brittle fibres. This leaves only the longer strands of the fibre to undergo the spinning process, producing a smooth yarn that has a high durability.
Owing to the strength of wool that undergoes the worsting process, the fibres can be woven into a finer material that is more wrinkle resistant than many other fabric choices. The process makes this smooth fabric an ideal choice for garments that need to hold their shape, and perhaps not only be wrinkle-free but also hold an even crease as well.
Over the years, worsted wool has been a popular choice for men’s trousers, pleated skirts for women, men’s suits and sports jackets.
Because it is so durable, it wears very well and also drapes easily, making it an ideal fabric for all sorts of garments.
When it comes to clothing, sharkskin fabric is popular for both men’s and women’s worsted suits.
Light winter jackets and coats for men are also often made with this material.
A linen suit is a set of garments that are made in matching linen cloth and usually include jacket and trousers or a jacket and a skirt. Linen suits are worn by both women and men, particularly during the summer months when suits made of heavier fabrics, such as wool, become impractical.
Generally looser-fitting and more casual than a traditional suit, a linen suit can be ideal for wear while on vacation or at a summer wedding.
Linen fabric is made from the fibre of the flax plant. Historically, linen was favoured by the Egyptians and used to wrap the mummies of the Pharaohs. In modern times, linen woven in Ireland has become one of the most desirable varieties of linen cloth. Undyed linen usually appears in shades of grey, tan, ivory, and off-white, although the fabric may be dyed as well. Garments made from linen typically are sturdy, absorbent, and feel cool to the touch.
Another property of linen fabric is its tendency to wrinkle when worn. Due to the stiffness of linen fibres, a linen suit creases when its wearer moves around. The inflexible linen fibres are slow to bend back the other way, so creases stay. When the person wearing the suit perspires, the linen fabric will wrinkle even more. Wrinkle-resistant linens are often treated with a special fabric finish that helps to reduce creasing.
Of course, these are not the only fabric we use in our suits. We have a wide array of fabric from 100% Wool to Polyester, Viscose and many others.