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Fabric as it comes off the loom has various names, most often greige but also greige fabric, gray goods, loom-state fabric.

The etymology of greige is a history lesson. One source said it comes from combining gray and beige. Wiktionary had a more complicated story ... From French grège (“raw (of silk)”), from Italian (seta) greggia (“raw (silk)”), from greggio (“grey”), ultimately from Germanic roots.

When our Fabric comes off the loom it is quite different from the finished Fabric that is tailored into garments. Back in 2013 or so, Debby and I happened to be at Woolrich (the first company that oversaw production of our Fabric), working with Rob Stuart, who is now a WeatherWool Advisor. Our Lynx Pattern greige had just come in from MTL and Rob wanted us to see it. We were shocked that it was, to us, unrecognizable.

The greige is a somewhat stiff, oily (oil is needed by the loom), the colors are quite surprisingly different from finished and the bolt is quite a lot wider than the finished bolt.

There are several steps and some big-time machinery involved in the finishing process. I've watched some of the finishing steps at Woolrich and spent more time with the finishers at American Woolen. I don't understand it, that's for sure. I can say there is a great deal of experience, art and science in action.


17 May 2022 --- Ralph