Fabrics Used For Suits
Mohair is the hair from the Angora goat. It is distinctive from wool, in that it has a different fibre structure, which hangs in ringlets and is exceedingly fine, soft and silky.
The name ‘Angora’ originates from the province of Angora in Turkey where these goats have been farmed for centuries and are said to have descended from the Cashmere goat. To achieve the best quality of Mohair fibre, the fleece should be shorn from goats under eight years old, after which time the hair becomes too coarse. The first clipping from the Angora goat is called ‘Kid Mohair’ and because it is the first ever clip, the fibre tends to be the softest.
Mohair is the most durable of all animal fibres, with natural lustre and resistance to dirt and creasing. Angora goats thrive in habitats of high altitude, warm climate, abundant grazing pastures and fresh water.
As with wool, mohair can be spun on the woollen or worsted system. Worsted mohair suiting fabrics have a clean, crisp handle with a bright, lively surface as the natural lustre of the fibre is used to full effect. They are light in weight, and yet the strength of the fibre guarantees a hard wearing, long lasting cloth.
Inca legend tells of the vicuna as the reincarnation of a beautiful young maiden who was wooed by an old, ugly king. She would only consent to his advances if he promised her a coat of pure gold. This is how the vicuna came to have its golden fleece. Considered sacred by the Incas, only royalty were allowed to wear the vicunas precious fleece, also known as the fibre of the gods. The attraction of vicuna fleece has not diminished with time; today, vicunas continue to be worshipped as sacred animals by the indigenous Aymara Indians of Peru and Bolivia. The incredibly soft and luxurious handle of the vicuna fleece has made this shy and diminutive creature a most sought-after treasure since the time of the Incas. These revered mammals are to be found in the extreme heights of the Altiplano regions of the Andes, most commonly in Peru. A vicuna’s fur is thick but soft and the fibre length is rarely more than 25mm making it more suitable for woollen spun fabrics. However, the fibre that has been used to produce this range of fabrics has a staple length greater than 30mm; making it the first vicuna fibre to be spun into yarn using the worsted spinning system
Silk is a natural protein fibre spun by the silkworm as it makes its cocoon and is one of the strongest natural fibres. Silk has always held a special position as a quality fibre, and was originally reserved for the Emperors of China, but quickly became popular throughout Chinese culture, Asia and beyond by means of the Silk Road.
The Silk Road refers to the extensive trade routes across Asia, connecting North Africa and Europe. This network extended over 8,000km and enabled traders and merchants to transport luxury goods including silk, rubies, diamonds and pearls across the continents.
Silk fibres have a triangular cross section with rounded corners, allowing light to reflect at many different angles giving a natural shine and lustre. Appropriate for all climates, the naturally good moisture absorbency of silk allows the fibres to maintain their insulation properties making silk cloth comfortable to wear even in warm climates.
Cotton is a soft, vegetable fibre that grows in a form known as a boll around the seeds of the cotton plant, a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, India and Africa. Successful cultivation of cotton requires a long frost-free period, plenty of sunshine, and a moderate rainfall.
The fibre can be spun into yarn or thread producing a soft, breathable textile. Cotton has been spun, woven, and dyed since prehistoric times, clothing the people of ancient India, Egypt, and China.
Europeans knew little about the origins of cotton prior to the 15th Century. Up until this time they believed cotton to be derived from a sheep-bearing plant, noting its similarities to wool.
Legend told of a wonderful tree which grew in India and bore tiny lambs on the ends of its branches. These branches were so pliable that they bent down to allow the lambs to feed when they were hungry. The advent of the Industrial Revolution in Britain provided a great boost to cotton manufacture, as textiles emerged as Britain's leading export.
The manufacture of linen yarn and fabric is a complicated process, one that requires skill and expertise from the cultivation of the raw flax plant, to the combing and processing of the fibres in preparation for spinning and weaving. The use of linen dates back to ancient times; it was the first known textile fibre in the world, with the earliest traces of its use dating back to 8000 BC. Linen has also been discovered in Egyptian tombs wrapped around the mummified bodies of pharaohs, it was seen as a symbol of light and purity, and a display of wealth.
Linen is highly absorbent and a good conductor of heat, keeping the body cool when worn in hot climates. It has a smooth, lustrous surface with a natural resistance to dirt and staining and is the strongest of the vegetable fibers, with two to three times the strength of cotton.
Linen fabrics have a high natural lustre, with the ability to absorb and lose water rapidly, gaining up to 20% moisture content without feeling damp. The natural look of linen cloth is an elegant choice for casual wear, warm weather, weekends and holidays.
source : hollandandsherry.com
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