Friday, December 7, 2007


Whipcord is a large-scale twill weave that is frequently used in (relatively) heavyweight wool for solid-color odd trousers. I say solid color; but because of the depth and size of the ridges in the weave, it lends itself to marled, variegated colors Mid-gray is particularly attractive. And, because whipcord is densely woven from high-twist yarns, it performs well -- resists wrinkles and such. If I could have no odd trousers except those made in whipcord, I would not be unhappy.

The last time I was up in Dallas to see Chris Despos, I spent a considerable amount of time trying to find a fabric to match my new Breanish tweed jacket. It's not the easiest fabric to match, and I was going back and forth among a number of different swatch books without finding anything that really grabbed my fancy. And then I started flipping through a Dormeuil book. Dormeuil is a fabric merchant, meaning that they commission or just buy their fabrics from the mills that actually weave them. They are known for flashy, luxury fabrics that are expensive for their quality. That's not to say that Dormeiul doesn't offer quality goods, just that there are others that are better, especially for the price. But the Dormeuil whipcord that I flipped to was something else. It was very heavy -- 450 grams, if I recall correctly, very dense and full of guts. But that wasn't what caught my attention. What caught my attention was the coloration. It has tan and brown and charcoal and taupe and black in a beautiful melange. It goes with everything and has the chameleon-like ability to change its appearance depending on what it's paired with. And Chris did a beautiful job making the cloth up into trousers, of course. The fabric looked good in the swatchbook, but it really pops in the finished trousers. I e-mailed Chris whether Dormeuil has the same fabric in different colorways. Yes, he responded. There are twelve. This might get a bit expensive.

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