Men's Clothing Forums banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
3,539 Posts
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.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,539 Posts
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.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,539 Posts
Today's predicated maximal temperature will be 24 C (75 F). I will be wearing a 16 Oz coat, and waistcoat, with 13 Oz striped morning trousers.

I have been to NYC during one of these so-called "record heatwaves". It was basically no different to what Sydney is like all summer long. It wasn't that long ago that nearly everyone in Sydney and NYC went to work wearing 16-18 Oz cloth. Nobody died.

The reactions across the internet to my recent advocacy of heavier weighted cloths have been verging on hysteria, mostly from people who have never worn anything heavier than 13 Oz cloth. I think Michael Alden is quite right when he said that people who react initially with horror to the idea are often surprise at how effortless, luxurious, and comfortable these heavier cloths are.

I find they represent true old world luxury.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,539 Posts
Sator is right.

But the true reason for clothiers pushing lighter cloths has not yet been revealed in this thread:

They wear out faster, and use less raw material, therefore the profit factor is greater.

In fact, if they could, cloth merchants would sell you Emperor's-new-clothes weight fabrics.
Cloth merchants are mostly responding to the demands of makers but from the mills point of view being able to charge just as much for cloth that needs less wool to make is probably seen as a blessing. Pay the same get less. To put it another way we are being ripped off by marketing telling us that tissue paper cloth is "luxurious".

Those who are interested would probably like to know that H Lesser has an excellent 16 Oz book and Harrisons has a book of 18-20 Oz weighted city suitings. A good way to try out heavy cloth for the first time is to try heavy cavalry twill such as those found in the Minnis overcoating book as trousering - the front crease will be so sharp you could shave with it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,539 Posts
Won't heavier fabrics actually keep you cooler? I mean, if it keeps you warmer when it is cold, then it should insulate your body from the warm weather as well.

So it should trap the warm air out on a hot day, like it traps the warm air near your body in on a cold day, as thanks to that fun law of thermodynamics, thermal energy always flows from hot to cold.
Yes, it can get so hot that it reaches the point when that is the case. Then, the medium-light weighted worsteds 9-14 Oz (solid weaves - not fresco or mohair) are the worst possible cloths to wear because they trap in heat but aren't stout enough to shut heat out.

Similarly, when it really gets stinking hot in Sydney, I shut all my windows to stop the hot air coming into the house (even when I have the air-con off) and open them only after sunset. It's only in moderate heat that opening windows works. Likewise frescos and other open weaves start to fail when the going truly gets tough because it is like leaving my window open in really severe heat.

This is why I am considering a 22 Oz cloth as a summer suiting. There are cloths that feel so solid they are like iron and when you touch them they feel ice cold.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top