Glossary


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Yarn count

Refers to the yarn and is equal to the ratio between weight and length. It is expressed in metric yarns, kilometres of yarn per kilogram of raw matter. A high-count yarn is obtained only from a fine fleece. If we talk of a count 100,000, it means that 100,000 metres of yarn were obtained from 1 kg of yarn.

Fineness

It’s the only unit of measurement of the raw material and is expressed in microns. The fineness is the average diameter of the fibre, the micron is the thousandth part of one millimetre. The official definitions were codified by the International Wool Textile Organisation and the American Wool Products Labelling Act. They are listed below in ascending order:

  • Super 100’s indicates that originally the wools measure 18.5 microns
  • Super 110’s weighted mean value of microns from 17.76 to 18.25
  • Super 120’s weighted mean value of microns from 17.26 to 17.75
  • Super 130’s weighted mean value of microns from 16.76 to 17.25
  • Super 140’s weighted mean value of microns from 16.26 to 16.75
  • Super 150’s weighted mean value of microns from 15.76 to 16.25
  • Super 160’s weighted mean value of microns from 15.26 to 15.75
  • Super 170’s weighted mean value of microns from 14.76 to 15.25
  • Super 180’s weighted mean value of microns from 14.26 to 14.75
  • Super 190’s weighted mean value of microns from 13.76 to 14.25
  • Super 200’s weighted mean value of microns from 13.26 to 13.75

Weight

Refers to the fabric and is expressed in grams or ounces per linear metre. 1 ounce is equal to 28.35 grams, 1 gram is equal to 0.0353 ounces. The weight depends on several factors such as density, which increases depending on warp tightness, the number of wefts per centimetre beaten in by the loom, and the possible fulling process that compacts the fabric.

Worsted fabrics

They are obtained from longer fibres which make it possible to produce thinner fabrics (i.e. with a higher count). These fabrics are also lighter, generally having a weight below 250 grams. Worsted fabrics feature a more nap-less and cooler look, and can be produced also with high-twist yarns that increase the fabrics’ non-crease quality. The fibres run parallel to each other, a factor that improves the lustre of the fabrics.

Wollen fabrics

They are obtained from shorter fibres that tend to stand up from the yarn surface giving the fabric a “hairier”, fuller, warm and cosy touch. The fibres are blended specifically to avoid their taking a predetermined direction. Fabrics are heavier and include the famous “beaver” qualities whose hair standing up from the surface is napped lengthwise featuring an even and elegant pile.

Weave

The way in which the warp and weft threads are interlaced. In very few words, one might say that all the weaves are produced through two methods of weaving: the plain weave, in which each thread passes one time over and one time under the warp wire; and the diagonal or twill weave, with two-up and two-down harnesses (batavia or casimir, herringbone) or with two-up and one-down (serge or levantine weave, like denim). In the latter case, the stepwise even staggering of the crossings produces surfaces with a diagonal pattern.

Flannel

Flannel is subjected to fulling, a special finishing phase. The grey flannel suit, especially if double-breasted, is among the great classics of a man’s wardrobe. If the fabric is carded, the garment is appropriate for the morning. Made of worsted fabric, it is better for evening events. The medium toned colours are particularly good for business meetings. Gianni Agnelli wore flannels quite frequently.

Gabardine

Without doubt its appearance in the famous film “Casablanca”, worn by Victor Laszlo, contributed to its becoming an archetype in menswear. In technical terms it is a worsted fabric. No other fabric drapes like wool gabardine, and its softness makes it one of the fabrics that men prefer.

Grisaille

The classic among classics: it comes in blue or green plus a thousand shades of grey. It is obtained from a worsted fabric with a batavia twill weave, in which the alternating light and dark threads produce a sort of micro stepping. One of its versions is called fil à fil, with a particularly enhanced chiaroscuro effect formed by the yarns.

Bird’s eye

Obtained by means of a special weave alternating two light and two dark yarns. This interlacing produces a mesh with tiny round points that look like little eyes. It is a formal worsted fabric for suits, which boasts a rich colour range.