Inspired by a great American theme, this cloth is made from Australia’s finest merino wool, using skills passed down through generations of Britain’s clothmakers. Understated and elegant, it nevertheless has a bold, expressive streak with its name marked in red, white and blue on the selvedge.
“This cloth combines the lustre and wearability of a super fine two ply merino worsted wool and the depth and kind hand of cashmere with the luxury of one of nature’s rarest fibres,” Ed Turco, Huntsman’s US Director, explains.
Its origins are to be traced to the north of England and Huddersfield’s famous Broadfield Mill on Albert Street. It was there in the 1960s that the first version of the cloth was made. Now, in this unique collaboration between Huntsman and Dugdale Bros, it has been further enhanced with the addition of extra picks and ends, which make the fabric firmer so that it will hold its shape. For the wearer, this brings that quiet pleasure of always looking impeccable, no matter how hectic the schedule or long the journey.
The wool used is sourced from sheep stations like Hillcreston in Australia, which can trace its flock back to some of the first merino sheep that arrived on the continent. Fleeces are handsorted to ensure that only the finest sections are used in preparing the yarn. This is then dyed and spun to exacting levels of colour and strength, in order to guarantee consistency.
On arrival in Huddersfield, the yarn is put on to modern dornier looms, which add a density and tightness to the weave, without adding too much weight. The cloth is then scoured in the area’s famous soft water, using natural palm oil.
To finish, it goes through a process dating back to the 1600s, known as the London shrunk. This is a time-consuming and skilled craft, which sees the cloth folded between layers of damp fabric, before being dried. As a result, it will neither twist nor wrinkle as it passes through the cutter’s scissors and the tailor’s needle.