2009 Weave of the week #13: Un-classic worsted check

Un-classic worsted check

Un-classic worsted check

A friend of mine who wrote for a menswear trade publication was sent to cover the British menswear shows sometime in the 1970s, and when she finished her assignment, kindly passed the swatches she got there on to me. This week’s weave is one of those swatches — an unusual design that stood out in that collection of British men’s suiting fabrics because it was neither traditional pinstriped worsted nor  a Harris Tweed.

The swatch is an off-beat combination of colorful and subdued yarns: solid color wool or mohair, brushed, variegated wool or mohair, and slubby silk. The finished cloth is about 30 epi x 30 ppi. It is cleverly designed so that light and dark areas combine with the weave’s tabby and float sections to create a color-effect houndstooth check. The fabric has the characteristic worsted hand — as crisp as parchment, but also lustrous and drapey.

I wish that I knew who designed it and for what end use, because much as I like it, as a flat worsted fabric, it seems too strange to be commercial.


2 Responses

  1. I’ve been thinking about this fabric ever since you first posted it! (In fact, today I went running, in drizzle, and I was still puzzling over this fabric!!)

    The picture makes it seem like is has a lot of depth, but the description makes it sound like it’s flat and smooth.

    It’s very interesting – I love houndstooth….

    Too bad there’s not a way to google fabrics and find out what this one was used for!!


    • That’s it exactly, Sue. The contrast between the
      texture of the floats and yarns, and the
      flat finish, is puzzling. Plus, it was in a packet of menswear swatches. So what the heck was it designed for?

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