[This page is perhaps premature, but some edits on another part of the website required addition of this new page.]
All of WeatherWool's own Fabrics are 100% wool. However, we've always found it necessary to use small amounts of very light "combination fabric" that is not of our own manufacture. Combination fabric is used under some pockets flaps, under some collars, and to construct some pouch pockets. (Pouch pockets are pockets formed from a pouch of material.)
The combination fabric is quality stuff, for what it is. It's actually used for uniforms by the US Military, but it is not pure wool. The wool content of the combination fabric is anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2.
It's always bothered me that we've had to use a little bit of fabric that is not pure wool, and not of our own manufacture. But it never occurred to me, until Batch 9, anyway, that we might be able to replace the combination fabric with 100% wool "Utility Fabric" (my name for it!) of our own manufacture.
Weirdly, it was an Instagram session that led to our effort to manufacture Utility Fabric from our Batch 9 fiber.
Scrolling through my Instagram feed one day (Instagram is actually an important part of work), I came across a post about wool denim. I was intrigued, so I asked the Fabric Engineers at American Woolen if we could make denim from our Batch 9 fiber. To them, denim is basic stuff, and they just said SURE! WeatherWool Denim is in process, and so far ... I love it! But we still need to make some garments for testing.
In June of 2023, I was on 37th Street in New York City's Garment District, talking with Advisor JR Morrissey in front of his office building. JR and I are both city-lovers, and we really enjoy talking things over on the sidewalk, in the midst of the NYC noise and hustle. (Cityfolk will understand what a pleasure it is to jabber with a buddy while watching the constant street-parade.) I told JR about our denim project, and he suggested the denim might be a good substitute for the combination fabric. That suggestion got me thinking ... the team at American Woolen was so matter-of-fact about making denim ...
In late June of 2023, Debby and I were visiting American Woolen to see the first small yardage of our Batch 9 Natural White (Cream) Undyed Fabric (which we love!) As it happened, Giuseppe Monteleone and Arthur Lam, the Fabric Engineers, were at the reception desk when Debby and I arrived. We got to talking about various things, and I asked if we could make something to replace the combination fabric, and, again ... SURE, EASY!
I actually got a lot of this talk on video:
I love how Giuseppe referred to the synthetic as "stain".
We received the first samples of developmental Utility Fabric on October 6th. Arthur tells me this Fabric weighs about 6.65 ounces per square yard (opsy). For our metric-using friends, 225 grams per square meter (gsm). We like the Fabric a lot, but not for the intended purposes. Too thick, too heavy. We'll need to try again!
WOW ... funny ... AWC was very surprised when I told them we needed the weight of the Fabric cut down by half. We didn't actually weigh the Fabric ... as soon as we handled it, we knew it was too heavy. But a couple of days later, AWC realized they'd sent us the WRONG sample. The correct Fabric has arrived, and we are VERY HAPPY WITH IT!! We'll need to make a couple of garments to test. But it sure looks like we will be able to make our garments using nothing but 100% wool Fabric, made by us and sourced in our usual way. Hopefully, this will begin with Batch 9!
And for anyone interested in Fabric Weights ...
15 October 2023 --- Ralph