BLACK AND WHITE
Black and White come from opposite ends of the colour spectrum, so when used together they create a high amount of visual contrast. They give elegance and set a
sophisticated and timeless tone.
The first “blazers” were worn by student members of the Lady Margaret boat club at Cambridge.
Joking reference to a “blaze of colour” was also applied to brightly striped boating jackets worn by
English University cricket, tennis and rowing teams during the 1880’s.
Boiled Wool is created from a woven fabric that has been shrunk and thickened using an ancient process
known as ‘Fulling’ or ‘Felting’.
Wool that has been boiled is thought to produce a fabric that is warmer, more durable, windproof and
highly water resistant.
In the 1960’s, every well dressed woman wanted to copy the classy look of Jackie Kennedy. To do this you needed boucle fabric in a variety of pastel colours.
Boucle is a yarn with a length of loops of similar size. One strand is looser than the other so as it is plied, the loose strand forms a loop.
BRITISH WOOL TWEED
When the Romans invaded in 55BC, the Britons already had a developed wool industry. By the 8th century, woollen fabrics were being shipped to the continent, quickly becoming Britain’s biggest export.
British wool is coarser quality wool which makes it hard wearing; it should not be regarded as inferior to fine wool, merely different and ideal for stylish outerwear.
A smooth surfaced twill fabric with a clean steep prominent double twill effect. Traditionally a fine wool worsted fabric, or combination of worsted warp and woollen weft, it was used for hardwearing clothes such as riding breeches – hence the association with British
Coco Chanel is credited with bringing tweed to high fashion. In 1926 she introduced a tweed version of her
signature cardigan jacket containing a mixture of fibres to give it a textured appearance. Chanel tweed suits of the 1950’s were the uniform of elite high society women all over the world.
Donegal Tweed is a generic term for loose Irish tweed of speckled appearance. Famous for its warmth and durability, its name is taken from the county of Donegal in Ireland.
Woven from woollen spun yarns, it is characterised by its plain weave structure composed of uneven slub yarns contrasting with the ground colour. Kilcarra Donegal yarn is the only genuine Donegal yarn
still spun in Ireland.
Double cloth is a compound woven structure in which two or more sets of warps and one or more sets of wefts are interlaced to form a two layer cloth.
Double cloth fabrics have two right sides and no ‘wrong side’; contemporary designers use true double cloth to make self-lined or reversible coats and jackets.
Closely linked to the British music taste of the time, the mod look of the 1960s popularised the simple geometric shapes that became so typical of the decade.
Heals, Hull Traders and Conran Fabrics all bought patterns from young freelance designers who took their inspiration from art and graphics of Andy Warhol’s Pop images and the Op Art paintings of Bridget Riley.
The Hacking jacket evolved from the riding coats worn since the 18th century by country folk and which caught the attention of the country loving English aristocracy. The hacking jacket is an accentuated version of a sports jacket, with a snugger fit and tighter waist; its traits are as truly British as can be.
Not pink but scarlet. Originally all hunting rights belonged to the king and those taking part often wore the King’s livery, which was often scarlet. The tradition has lived on in riding coats everywhere. The origins of
“pink” are not clear; theories of the colour of a weathered scarlet coat or the name of a famous tailor are often sited.
Mohair, from the Angora goat, is one of the oldest fibres in use, and is notable for its high lustre and sheen. In about 1820, raw mohair was first exported to England, which then became the leading manufacturer of mohair products.
Yorkshire mills spun yarn that was exported to Russia, Germany & Austria as well as being woven directly into cloth in Yorkshire.
A Pea Coat is an outer coat of heavy wool, originally worn by sailors of European, and then later, American navies.
Pea coats are characterised by broad lapels, double breasted fronts and often large wooden or metal buttons. They have vertical or slash pockets, with modern renditions still maintaining these original design features.
The Shetland Sheep are the smallest of their species and are believed to have evolved from north European sheep brought to the island by the Vikings. Historically Shetland Wool is long stapled with some softer undercoat, with the coarser fibres of the topcoat lending themselves to intricate colour melanges. Today the term is used for tweeds similar to Harris Tweed but with a softer handle.
Elastane is a synthetic fibre known for its exceptional elasticity. Invented in 1937, but not commercialised as a fibre until 1959, it revolutionised the clothing industry by enabling garments to not only fit well, but make them more comfortable to wear as they flexed with the movement of the body.
Tartans are colourful check designs adopted in Scotland as means of identification by various Highland clans as well as families and sects under their protection.
Tartan cloth is woollen or worsted in twill weave. The traditional garment is the pleated kilt, but it is also now used for trousers, shawls, scarves and fashion garments.
The Trouser Suit was introduced in the 1920s, when a small number of women adopted a more masculine fashion style, including trousers, hats and even canes and monocles.
In the early 1960s, French designer, Andre Courreges introduced slim tapering trousers for women as a fashion item, promoting them for everyday and smart wear.
The word “tweed” is an English variant of the Scottish word “Tweel” which refers to a rough unfinished hand woven fabric. The name became associated with the Tweed River which forms part of the boundary between England and Scotland. The name became a general term for all carded “homespun” wool whether it was Scotch,
Irish, Donegal, Cheviot or Harris Tweed.
During wartime, fashion was largely determined by necessity and availability; fabric manufacturers, like Moon, concentrated mainly on war-related textiles, with wool being in demand for manufacturing uniforms. The Utility Scheme was introduced making sure goods were produced at reasonable prices and high standards, whilst also meeting the restrictions on raw materials.