What Determines A Luxury Fiber
Luxury suits and jackets cannot be made without luxury cloth. Luxury cloth cannot be woven without luxury yarn. Luxury yarn cannot be spun without long filament luxury fiber. Any short-cut in this process deems the finished fabric to be outside of the luxury cloth arena and the finished garment, just another run-of-the-mill suit or jacket. In today’s blog, we are breaking down the elements that make the cloth we source from so special.
So what is luxury fiber?
Wool for suiting is just like a fine wine. The quality is determined by elemental and regional factors. A wine grape can vary year to year based on the amount of precipitation throughout the growing season, elements in the soil, and temperature. A sheep’s wool can vary by the breed and region obviously but also by the quality of grass the flock grazed from as well as the the minerals in the water they drank.
The wool fiber from a single sheep (the fleece) is often universal in diameter. A merino sheep that produces 18 micron fiber (this would be classed as Super 100’s) tends to produce that same diameter width of fiber all over the animal’s body. A human hair, by the way, is about 100 microns. When a professional wool grader (called a “Classer”) examines the wool from a single fleece or the wool from an entire flock (the clip), the Classer will measure the diameter width of the fiber to determine the Super count.
Super Count = Fibers Quality
This Super count classification is an important element in the determination of the fiber’s quality, but it’s not the be all and end all. The Classer also looks for fiber length, fiber strength, fiber crimp, and fiber color. The longest filament fibers come from the sides of the neck and the flank and rib region of the sheep. These fibers are also strong because they have not been subject to a lot of rain, and direct sunlight. The crimp is the number of bends (or “frizz” factor) of the fiber which determines the strength and spinning capacity of the fiber. Wool fiber is a product of environment and the wet or a dry season will influence the characteristics of the fiber that is grown each season.
As you can imagine, after the Classer examines the wool fiber from a particular flock (the clip) or a sub flock (called a mob) only a small portion of that is graded as long filament fiber that is strong, has high crimp, and is not discolored. This small percentage of the clip is luxury fiber.
Luxury Fabric Mills
A fabric or textile mill’s job is in its name. They complete a process called milling where the raw fibers are consolidated or compacted then woven & knitted into fabrics. The fibers are processed, colored and combined to develop different designs, patterns, and styles. While there are countless mills around the world Henry A. Davidsen takes pride in working with some of the oldest and most prestigious brands in the world to deliver the finest quality product possible to our clients here in Philadelphia.
Dormeuil, a 172 year old family owned and operated business, works with farmers in Australia and New Zealand to procure only the most luxurious fabric using only the longest filament luxury fibers. Henry Davidsen of Philadelphia is Dormeuil’s ambassador in Pennsylvania and offers the entire Dormeuil cloth collection for genuine exclusive luxury suits and jackets.
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. There are few other mills whose collections so consistently have us wondering, “How did they think of that?” Scabal sources some of the finest fibers to make the most luxurious cloth available in the world market. Henry A. Davidsen is a top seller in Pennsyvania so we are lucky to have a majority of cloth that the mill offers.
There are so many factors that go into making the luxury fibers that make up the fabrics we use in our suits. Still have questions for your next piece? Give us a call at 215-310-0219 or email email@example.com and we will be happy to help.