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December 5th 2017

Edition 9

Boiled wool

Traditionnally used to make warm clothing, boiled wool is a textile that is available in woven or knitted versions.

Having appeared in the Middle Ages, particularly in the European Alpine regions, this fabric, used to make coats or blankets, protected from freezing temperatures. It also was used for military garments, like many traditionnally masculine fabrics, particularly with British Army Duffle Coats, during the second World War.

Initially, as it names implies, the woven wool was boiled in order to loosen its fibers, and "fulled", meaning compressed, in order to felt it. The fibers mesh into one another, until the initial weave interweaves and fades, giving boiled wool the density and texture that defines it. The fabric was then softened then washed with a clay used as a natural soap.

We chose a knitted boiled wool for this edition, from a Japanese specialist. It is available in several styles : unstructured jackets, sweatshirt, and drawstring trousers. The knitting makes the wool stretchable and flexible ; used like a kind of fleece, it makes an elegant and relaxed alternative to suits that would otherwise be more formal.