Friday, September 28, 2012

Tis the season for all things wool.

Wool, along with silk and leather, is one of my favorite textiles to work with.  Here are some reasons why:

·         Natural fiber

·         Good drape

·         Creates dramatic structure

·         Hydrophobic (wicks moisture)

·         Warm/Insulating fabric

Wool comes from sheep and has been used by humankind since the Stone Age.  There are over 40 different breeds of sheep, such as Merino, that make up 200 types of wool fiber. Wool is judged, a process that is called grading, based on fineness of fiber as well as length.  The best quality wool comes from the back, sides and shoulders of the sheep, where as the lowest quality of wool comes from the lower legs.

 (Side note:  Looks like my wool production would be of poor quality, my best asset is my legs. Thank goodness I’m not a sheep. Bah to that.)

Determining quality of wool depends on the breed, health, climate of the sheep.  Merino wool is thought to be the best grade of wool due to the thinness of the fiber, the best drape, most strength, softest hand, best elasticity and most resiliency.

I was lucky enough to participate in a fabric buy with the owner and designer of Garnish Apparel.  A wholesaler came to her shop with suitcases full of swatches where she selected fabrics and yardage for future production.  One sample hit me and hit me hard.  The wholesaler, also known as a jobber, saw the love and light in my eyes and was kind enough to send me 2 yards free of charge, and I have been dreaming of it ever since.

Well the fabric is in.  Here she is and she is going to make an extraordinary coat for fall. Super clean lines.  Super modern. Super “who-the-hell-is-that-gal-in-such-a-striking-bad-ass-coat,” kind of coat.

Pictures to come.

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