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I understand from reading the forum you cannot easily determine how warm a cloth will feel based on the weight of the fabric. If that's true,can one determine better it's potential by feel from a book of swatches? What information about the fabric would you need to know before deciding?
 

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As you can see from the range of comments on this board alone, every man seems to have a different opinion. Some think no-one needs more than 11 ounces. Others think a man would freeze to death in cloth that light. The only method I know to forecast whether a cloth will be warmer or cooler is to wear something like it.

Though I think the traditional classifications are useful for the most part. Worsteds under 10 ounces are tropical, 10-13 medium, and 14 and over heavy. And my own rule of thumb is that flannels wear roughly two ounces heavier than worsteds and frescos two ounces lighter.
 

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I understand from reading the forum you cannot easily determine how warm a cloth will feel based on the weight of the fabric. If that's true,can one determine better it's potential by feel from a book of swatches? What information about the fabric would you need to know before deciding?
As I understand it, the main determinant is how much air is trapped within the fabric. Trapped air actually provides the insulating properties. Wool actually has air trapped in the fiber itself, which is why it's so useful, and will help keep you warm even when wet. In additon, a fiber such as cashmere is so thin that a lot of air is trapped amongst the fibers when it's spun. Fabric made from more loosely spun yarn, such as tweeds, tends to be warmer for this reason too, as well as their often heavier weight. Fabrics with substantial amounts of cashmere or camel hair will be warmer due to the addition of those thin fibers. My experience has also been that looser woven fabrics can be warmer than those more tightly woven, though some disagree.

But fabric weight isn't a poor determinant of warmth either. This is because, all other factors being equal, a heavier fabric will equal greater warmth.
 

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As you can see from the range of comments on this board alone, every man seems to have a different opinion. Some think no-one needs more than 11 ounces. Others think a man would freeze to death in cloth that light. The only method I know to forecast whether a cloth will be warmer or cooler is to wear something like it.

Though I think the traditional classifications are useful for the most part. Worsteds under 10 ounces are tropical, 10-13 medium, and 14 and over heavy. And my own rule of thumb is that flannels wear roughly two ounces heavier than worsteds and frescos two ounces lighter.
Actually, under ten-ounce wool fabrics are lightweight or tropical, 10 to 12-ounce wool fabrics are medium weight and 13-ounce and over wool fabrics are heavyweight or arctic.
 

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Back in the seventies 14oz. was average. Many tailors used 20 pound irons, which are good with 16oz. cloth and heavier. But if you go back further 18-20oz. was probably the norm. Some cloth was so heavy in the past that you practically needed a knife to cut it.

Life is ever changing.
 

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Actually, under ten-ounce wool fabrics are lightweight or tropical, 10 to 12-ounce wool fabrics are medium weight and 13-ounce and over wool fabrics are heavyweight or arctic.
H. Lessers who are Savile Row cloth merchant in London, England (who are in my opinion and in many other peoples opinion both on AAAC and SF and probably many other forums too) refer to their cloths that weigh 10/11oz as lightweight. Their cloths that weigh 13oz are called medium weight. Heavyweight is used to describe their 15oz book. I have not come across "arctic" fabrics from H.Lessers, Smith Woollens, Dormeuil, Barberis, Scabal, Wain Shiell, Hield, Loro Piana or any other cloth merchant.

W_B
 

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...Though I think the traditional classifications are useful for the most part. Worsteds under 10 ounces are tropical, 10-13 medium, and 14 and over heavy. And my own rule of thumb is that flannels wear roughly two ounces heavier than worsteds and frescos two ounces lighter.
Does this classification change from weaver to weaver? I note a subsequent poster had a different classification scheme, specifically...

Actually, under ten-ounce wool fabrics are lightweight or tropical, 10 to 12-ounce wool fabrics are medium weight and 13-ounce and over wool fabrics are heavyweight or arctic.
Further to later comments, I believe the trend towards lighter fabrics is determined by (in no particular order) a) improved weaving technology, b) global warming. In particular, the improved weaving technology (mass production with lighter yarns, improved yarns, etc.), probably allows the production and widespread availability of less-expensive, lighter-weight fabrics.

Edit: Forgot to note the impact of indoor heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
 

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Does this classification change from weaver to weaver? I note a subsequent poster had a different classification scheme, specifically...
If I recall correctly, I have also posted that other classification on another forum.
The line between heavy and mid-weight moves depending on the merchant you last spoke to.
 

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Does this classification change from weaver to weaver? I note a subsequent poster had a different classification scheme, specifically...

Further to later comments, I believe the trend towards lighter fabrics is determined by (in no particular order) a) improved weaving technology, b) global warming. In particular, the improved weaving technology (mass production with lighter yarns, improved yarns, etc.), probably allows the production and widespread availability of less-expensive, lighter-weight fabrics.

Edit: Forgot to note the impact of indoor heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
Lightweight cloths are also cheaper to produce. There is a trend (at least with the English mills) to produce "proper" cloths in 12oz plus in super 80s with traditional finishing. They are more expensive than an Italian lightweight super 120s.

W_B
 

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This is what I have in The Encyclopedia of Men's Clothes:
Fabric weight for suits is measured in ounces per linear yard (36" x 60") of fabric.

Tropical weights (6.5 to 8.5 oz.) are comfortable for summer wear.

Mid-weight suits (9 to 10 oz.) are designated "year round" or favored for 10-month wear.

Regular weight (11 to 13 oz.) is appropriate for fall and winter.

Heavy weight (14 to 16 ounce) provides extra warmth but is most appropriate for winter in Scotland.
 

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This is what I have in The Encyclopedia of Men's Clothes:
Fabric weight for suits is measured in ounces per linear yard (36" x 60") of fabric.

Tropical weights (6.5 to 8.5 oz.) are comfortable for summer wear.

Mid-weight suits (9 to 10 oz.) are designated "year round" or favored for 10-month wear.

Regular weight (11 to 13 oz.) is appropriate for fall and winter.

Heavy weight (14 to 16 ounce) provides extra warmth but is most appropriate for winter in Scotland.
What about 17-ounce and heavier weight wool fabrics and (if they even exist) six-ounce and lighter weight wool fabrics? What would they be for?

I am guessing (But I am far from knowing for a fact) that 17 to 19-ounce wool fabrics are strictly for topcoats with 20-ounce and heavier weight wool fabrics being strictly for overcoats.

Six-ounce and lighter weight wool fabrics (again, if they even exist) are, 1,000,000-1, for shirts or for something other than suits, sportsjackets, odd trousers (possibly excluding chinos and the like), odd vests, tuxedos and tailcoats (certainly abominable for topcoats, overcoats and, 1,000,000-1, all other jackets and coats).
 

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What about 17-ounce and heavier weight wool fabrics and (if they even exist) six-ounce and lighter weight wool fabrics? What would they be for?

I am guessing (But I am far from knowing for a fact) that 17 to 19-ounce wool fabrics are strictly for topcoats with 20-ounce and heavier weight wool fabrics being strictly for overcoats.
It wasn't that long ago that 17-20 Oz city suitings were offfered by cloth merchants. I understand the Harrisons of Edinburgh still offer some. My favourite H Lesser book bar none is their 16 Oz book, and this is probably the best default entry level book for those interested in getting into more fuller bodied cloths.

Although I am flying in the face of current internet fora orthodoxy, I find these heavy cloths very comfortable and luxurious to wear. I wore my 20 Oz three piece in 32 C/90 F heat the other day just for fun. They make up like an absolute dream.

Between the 8-13 Oz range, you notice every Oz increase in weight makes an impact on how warm the cloth wears. Beyond 13 Oz you reach a point of every decreasing return and you have to go up in much higher increments to notice a change. The exception is flannel, as Will has alluded to already, which wears very warm.

However, with every Oz in weight beyond 13 Oz you still notice that the cloth tailors incrementally better. The results look clean and crisp in a way that makes you feel cheated when you wear lighter cloths: "Where's the beef?"

The next thing is that a beautifully woven cloth will feel effortlessly light and soft even if it is 20-24 Oz weight. Most overcoatings are finished with a rough texture that makes them unsuitable as city suiting.

The advantage of heavier cloths are that:

1. They tailor like a dream
2. They are more durable
3. They hold a crease better
4. They make the wearer look taller and slimmer

The reason for 4. is because they look so creaseless and immaculate. Lighter clothes always produce garments that look sackier and more like rumpled pyjamas, thus paradoxically appearing bulkier.
 

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I understand from reading the forum you cannot easily determine how warm a cloth will feel based on the weight of the fabric. If that's true,can one determine better it's potential by feel from a book of swatches? What information about the fabric would you need to know before deciding?
Sorry, I haven't really answered the question, have I?

The standard answer has been that a open weaves run coolest eg mohair, fresco.

Cloths that wear the warmest are slightly "woollier" in their weave. By this I mean carded (also called woollen) cloths such as carded cashmere, and carded flannels but also woollier tweeds such as Harris tweed. These weaves seem to trap a layer of warm air inside them.

Smoother weaves such as Shetland tweed runs cooler. Tighter weaves such those found on H Lesser Golden Bale runs cool. Likewise, cavalry twill, even at 22 Oz weight, feels ice cold to touch.
 

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This one old man (long gone dead, now) said that when he lived in Ketchikan Alaska everybody wore 17oz. or heavier.

Out upon the prairies 50 below was not uncommon 30 years ago - 17oz. may not be warm enough, unless you got several layers on. In the old days sitting upon a wagon, without even a wind break, 24oz. would be pretty nice.
 

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Sator your comments on heavier weights has me thinking I might just try a "Sator" weight cloth (20 oz and up)...especially since I live in warm climate similar to yours

I wear a 3 piece suit so am use to being warm...but not hot

I just go commando and don't wear an undershirt when it gets 90 degrees like today

But I echo your comments on the heavier flannels bespoke suits I own being my best looking

Sator weight should be the correct term for 20 oz and up...if you don't mind :crazy:
 
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