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Superior Cloth Mills: Scabal

Continuing with our series on superior cloth mills, we’ll go elsewhere on the European continent: Belgium. Scabal, one of our favorite mills, is headquartered in Brussels, the capital city. Today, we’d like to give an overview of Scabal and why we’re so partial to their cloth.

Scabal: A Study In Innovation

mannequins wearing brown solid and plaid jacketsScabal is actually an acronym for Société Commerciale Anglo Belgo Allemande Luxembourgeoise. Founded in 1938 by Otto Hertz, the company has its headquarters in Belgium but makes nearly all of its cloth at its mill in Huddersfield, England (yes, they own their own mill).

In addition to creating cloth for tailors, Scabal operates retail locations in Europe and Asia – including 12 Savile Row. In addition to abiding by stricter standards for wool classification than the International Wool Textile Organization sets forth (a Scabal Super 100 is finer than a Super 100 from a less reputable mill), Scabal’s claim to fame is their breaking the Super 120’s barrier.

This helped to usher in a craze around the fineness in wool, which lingers in consumers’ heads today. This thirst for innovation is part of Scabal’s DNA.

What Makes Scabal A Superior Cloth Mill?

dark grey scabal custom suit clothScabal is an innovator that makes gorgeous cloth, but there are a few things that make them truly special.

Unique Designs

While Scabal has a multitude of basics to choose from, they really shine when it comes to non-standard weaves, textures, and colors. There are few other mills whose collections so consistently have us wondering, “How did they think of that?”

Outside Inspiration

unique luxury custom suit fabricThe tailored menswear canon is full of esoterically-named patterns and weaves – there’s over 150 years worth of inspiration to draw on. Still, Scabal goes even further, drawing inspiration from outside the sartorial world. Two of their more recent collections demonstrate this well:

Vision was a gorgeous cloth book whose designs were derived from a 1971 Scabal collaboration with Spanish artist Salvador Dalí. The artist created a series of paintings that depicted his vision of what tailored clothing would look like in the year 2000. The fabrics Scabal created as a result of this inspiration were truly stunning – and they didn’t last long.

Panorama is a current book whose fabrics are inspired by unique architectural structures throughout the world. Buildings such as the Sydney Opera House, Tokyo’s Skytree, and NYC’s Chrysler Building are all sources of design inspiration that have resulted in some of the most unique cloth in the world. That they’re a lush Super 120’s wool with a hint of cashmere makes the cloth all that much more sumptuous.


marlon brando the godfather tuxedoDo you remember Vito Corleone’s tuxedo at the beginning of The Godfather? That was Scabal. Almost every one of the 70-some-odd suits that Robert De Niro wore in Casino? Also Scabal.

Focus on Luxury

scabal custom cloth on 3 mannequinsThere’s something to be said about luxury for luxury’s sake, and Scabal has a lot to say about it in their highest-end collections. A few notable ones come to mind:

Diamond Chip is a collection of cloth that isn’t just 80% Super 150’s wool and 20% silk – it has miniscule crushed diamond fragments woven into the cloth itself. Say what you will about the diamond industry and inflated pricing – a gemstone in cloth is about as luxurious as luxury gets.

Private Label line is 98% wool and 2% cashmere for some softness, but that’s not what makes it special. It’s called “Private Line” because you can turn nearly any text you like into the stripes of the fabric. The cloth itself is made-to-order and takes four weeks to manufacture. We, of course, recommend using such cloth in a handmade bespoke option.

superfine custom tailored suit fabricSummit is made of some of the finest pure long staple wool on the market, period. A Super 220’s cloth in a satin weave for additional softness, this fiber is so fine that it was literally impossible to weave until the advent of modern technology. It’s a small collection made in small batches, and the wool is so fine, it feels almost like cashmere.

If you’re a guy who’s looking for the best of the best, this is a collection for you.

Parting Thoughts

Scabal is indeed a superior cloth mill, and we cordially invite you to stop in and take a look at their offerings. We’re their top seller in Pennsylvania, which means we carry the majority of their collection in our shop. Give us a call at 215-310-0219 or email info@henrydavidsen.com to get started.

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