2008 Weave of the week #10: A French tweed

French tweed face

French tweed "right" side

French tweed "wrong" side

French tweed "wrong" side

The last few days have been autumnal in NYC, and Chanel showed its spring 2009 collection in Paris Friday, so this week’s featured weave is a cold-weather swatch from my collection, of a cozy vintage French tweed.  It is a type of tweed that Coco Chanel popularized for collarless jackets and suits starting in the 1950s, and that is still being made and used by designers — including Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel — in all weights, fibers, and weaves.

In the swatch shown, 2 ends and picks of thick brushed slub yarns alternate with 4 ends and picks of thin plain yarns. I showed both sides of the cloth because the thick yarns float on the “right” side and are tied down by the thin yarns on the “wrong” side.  This construction makes the fabric non-reversible, so when it was made into coats or jackets, it would certainly have been lined. Today, fabric this heavy is more likely to end up as a handbag than as a coat.

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