We are working on turning Batch 5 info Fabric ...
Some bad news and some good news regarding Batch 5. The FullWeight Lynx Pattern Fabric, "finished" by TexTech Industries of Maine, has been with the tailors since the beginning of January. In December, TTI sent an early piece of Lynx for our inspection, and from this Fabric, Factory8 made for my testing one All-Around Jacket and one Anorak. I tested these garments daily for about 2 weeks and I'm fully satisfied with the results. Since early January, the tailors have been making All-Around Jackets, Double Hoods and Anoraks. There will be enough FullWeight Lynx Pattern Fabric to make perhaps 170 garments, and we will use all the Fabric on those three items plus Mouton Jackets, Mouton Vests and Mouton Hoods.
But the bad news is that the Batch 5 Solid Colors that are in greige-state (also known as loom-state, meaning unfinished fabric as it comes off the loom) has unacceptable levels of vegetable matter. There is actually very little VM, but there is enough to see if you really look for it. We will need to find a company that can carbonize (one of the steps in the wool-fabric finishing process that is specifically directed at removing any remaining vegetable material) this fabric. And that's a big deal. The Lynx does not seem to have unacceptable levels of VM, and that may be because the Lynx Yarn was dyed by a different process than the Solid Colors ... or it may simply be because Lynx Pattern "hides" everything ... anything "on it or in it" is invisible. Our previous batches of Fabric were carbonized.
The greasy was purchased in April, 2018 and October, 2018 (the Padula clip):
- M&J Corn Ranch: 5573 pounds / 2527 kg (57%)
- McMurry (Genopalette) Ranch: 3199 pounds /1451 kg (32%)
- PM (Bob Padula) Ranch: 1063 pounds / 482 kg (11%)
It is an absolutely crazy-long time for us to still be working on greasy purchased in 2018 ... and we do have a separate page on the Production Backstory ...
Batch 5 greasy was scoured (cleaned) at Bollman Industries in Texas. Batch 5 weighed 9835 pounds (4460 kg) "dirty" and weighed 5757 pounds (2611 kg) after scouring, for a yield of 58%. This means that 42% of the weight of the fleece was wool grease (lanolin), dirt, twigs, vegetable matter and other debris. This is actually a very high yield.
Batch 5 will be the first Batch of our Fabric that will be tracked by sewing Fabric Number Batch Tags into each of the garments made from this Fabric.
Batch 5 will include FullWeight Fabrics (Drab, Duff and Lynx Pattern) and MidWeight Drab Fabric. Batch 5 will not include MidWeight Lynx Fabric, and at present does not include FullWeight Black because although the Black Yarn was spun, it was not woven into Fabric due to virus shutdowns.
From Bollman Industries, Batch 5 was shipped to American Woolen Company in Connecticut in May of 2019. In January of 2019, Debby and I visited AWC and were very favorably impressed with the people and with their experience. AWC is a very old company, and for many years had been operated by Loro Piana, the 200-year old Italian family company renowned for luxury textiles. We loved the idea that Loro Piana's luxury could be matched with our hardcore performance. And indeed, AWC, working with Pennsylvania's great Material Technology and Logistics (MTL) for the weaving, produced a small amount of marvelous Fabric in November 2019. AWC also made us very happy by bringing in Rob Stuart, who has been our Fabric Engineer since before we had fabric.
In November of 2019, we sent to AWC a purchase order requesting they turn the rest of the Batch 5 fiber into finished Fabric.
AWC was working on our PO when the virus pretty well shut things down, and it has been very difficult ever since. However, AWC did manage to spin Batch 5 into yarn, and that yarn has been woven into loom-state fabric by MTL.
One crazy detail is that Batch 5 should have been about 2200 yards but right now we can only locate about 1650 yards ... the Black yarn was not sent to MTL for weaving and it seems like some other yarn is missing, or perhaps mis-weighed.
5 February 2021 --- Ralph