The Art of Tropical and Flannel Fabrics
The common misconception with Wool is that it is a very heavy and coarse material that can only be worn in the winter. However, over centuries of mastery, new techniques and enhanced technology, wool has become one of the finest materials available worldwide.
Before the twenty first century, the quality of wool was very coarse, nothing compared to the softness found in wool suits today. However, as the market for Wool exploded in the late turn of the 18th century, the quality of wool drastically changed. A refined grading system allowed mills to measure the quality of their wool in finer and more effective methods than every before.
This meant that spinners at the mill could record the number of spools from one pound of wool through way of “Hanks”. You can learn more about this grading system in our other blog “What makes a Wool ‘Super’?”. As a result of this revolutionary change, the styles of wool and when to wear them also drastically changed. The ability to wear them in hotter climates became more appealing. Styles and patterns were richer and shaper in heavier weaves. The notion that wool was strictly a winter fabric was no more.
Introducing the Seasonal Wool Suit
Today, the finest quality wools are incredibly soft and lightweight, competing with the best of cashmere and silk for the finest material in the world. This surge of quality offered more versatility across the different seasons, a tighter weave allowed for more insulation and warmth while a looser weave gave more breathability and comfort in the heat. For the first time in history wool was not only ideal for winter, but it became a favorite in the summertime, too.
For flannel fabric there is a noticeable thickness to it that gives every texture and weave another dimension of depth. We recommend that the weight of your flannel should be between 13-15 oz so that it can still hold its creases while remaining thick enough for warmth.
Rich Pattern & Weaves
One of the best aspects of a flannel is the enhanced layering effect of patterns and weaves. For example, windowpanes and glenn plaid checks are more prominent and vibrant, leaving a stronger impression. Weaves such as herringbone pop up from the jacket, making for a refined textured look and feel. We recommend exploring one of our saxony flannels from Holland & Sherry or the Jaspe Cashmere from Ermenegildo Zegna.
Tropical wool is one of the lightest materials available measuring in just around 210g. The fineness of the thread allows for looser weaves that provide immense relief in hotter climates. Instead of trapping the heat, the wool. We recommend wearing a summer weight wool for casual afternoon outings or summer business meetings with or without a tie.
Freedom of Color
Before the advent of tropical wools, the wearer relied more on the relief provided from certain colors instead. To avoid absorbing more heat, one would stay away from darker colors in the summer opting instead for lighter tans, greys and blues. However, due to the breathability in summer wool, you can still wear many of the darker colors without sacrificing coolness. We recommend a sharp teal or chocolate brown fabric to bring a unique touch to your summer looks.