Wool is the King of Suit Fabrics

Another good indicator of quality is the look and feel of the fabric. Rule No. I: Your starter suit (and most thereafter) should be 100 percent wool.

Why wool? There are many reasons. It resists wear and tear; soil, and wrinkles. It is most comfortable because it both insulates against told and wicks away perspiration—properties that help regulate the body's natural temperature. It conforms smoothly to the body's contours and absorbs up to one-third its weight in moisture before feeling wet to the touch. Perhaps most of all for your purposes, wool outlasts other fabrics.

Wool goes by many names—merino, worsted, tropical, gabardine, flannel, Super 100, etc., don’t let that throw you. What you want here is a midweight wool to serve year-round. Generally speaking, the fabric will be flat, not thick or coarse to the touch.

Of course, keep in mind what works year-round in Boston differs dramatically from what works year-round in Miami.

At this point, it's best to stay away from “wool blends.” Some of them are perfectly acceptable, desirable even. But some have heavy doses of synthetics you don’t want. Selecting this first suit is like ordering a strange dish in a foreign country.

You can’t be sure what’s in it. With 100 percent wool, you’re sure.

That said, you should also undemand that not all 100 percent wool suits are treated equally. The price tags will tell you that. What separates the several-hundred-dollar wool suit from those costing thousands begins with the quality of the fibers and how those fibers are milled and woven.

A short lesson: When sheep are sheared, wool fleeces are separated into classes, or “matchings, ” a term derived from the filet that fiber varies in length, diameter; and overall condition from one part of the sheep to another The finer the hair; the better the quality. The best typically comes from the protected underside. Fibers then go to be processed at a mill and are thereafter woven into fabric.

While we won't go into the intricacies of the milling and weaving processes, one term you should know is “two-ply wool.” This indicates two yarns have been twisted together, a good thing because it gives fabric strength to last.

You may not yet he ready for the luxurious underbelly fibers processed in the finest mills, but you still want the best quality you can afford. Try this: Before selecting and trying on a wool suit, crush the fabric gently in your hand. A good wool should bounce back to its original shape (or reasonable facsimile thereof). If it doesn’t, just think how you’ll look getting off the LA.-to-New York flight. Its a signal to move on to a better quality fabric.

The fabric should be rich in color and not reflect the light. We offer the finest wool fabrics in the super 120s, 140s, 160s, and 180s.


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