Summer is going to be letting up soon. The time to say goodbye to lightweight linens and open cotton weaves is getting close. Not sure how you should transition your wardrobe appropriately? Consider this Original Stitch guide to fall and winter fabrics. Keep reading to learn the different use cases for suede and nubuck or how to properly incorporate cotton into cold weather ensembles.
Fall Fabric #1 - The Case for Cotton
Cotton is really good at wicking and evaporating moisture when it’s warm, but does it keep you warm when it’s cold out? Yes… when it’s dry. The mistake most often made with cotton is using it as a base layer in warm and cool weather. Wicking and absorption will happen as intended in cold weather, but evaporation is what makes cotton work. Cotton will absorb moisture just fine when placed as a base layer in any weather, but that moisture won’t evaporate when it’s cold out. Use cotton, instead, as an outer layer (jacket) or middle layer (dress shirt) and give it ample room to stay dry and lock down escaping body heat. Here are a few traditional cotton fabrics to get you started.
- Gabardine: Gabardine used to be made from wool but has been modernized by cotton. It’s a super tight weave – the original Burberry Trench used it – that results in a dense, waterproof, finish.
- Corduroy: Cotton corduroy is thick and heat retaining. It’s best when used in cold, dry climates as an outer layer such as pants or jackets.
- Denim: We all know the benefits of denim, right? It’s made of cotton so it’s lightweight and breathable, but it utilizes a tight-knit twill weave so its durable to boot.
- Flannel: Flannel, much like Gabardine, has its roots in wool. It’s a soft and durable fabric that regulates body heat when used as an outer layer.
This Navy Blue Plaid Flannel is 100% cotton, thick woven, and ready to get active. It’s an attractive weekend wear no matter where the weekend takes you.
Fall Fabric #2 – Let the Leather Out
Leather has a rep of being stylish, versatile, and remarkably durable for good reason. Most forms will stick with you for years with little to no maintenance on your part. There is no better investment when it comes to fall styles. Leather starts off supple – brimming with youthful energy – and ends up dignified, weathered, and elegant. Here are a few types worthy of a spot in your cool weather collection.
- Shearling: Shearling leather is sheepskin that has been tanned with the wool left on. Jackets made from shearling leather offer 100% protection from the elements and is a stylish outer layer that works with many looks.
- Suede: Suede is a leather made from the underside of an animal. It produces a fuzzy, or napped, garment that should avoid rainy days. Suede shoes are surprisingly low maintenance, even with its aversion to submersion. Applying a water repellent treatment and brushing them every once in a while go a long way to keep them looking their best.
- Nubuck: Nubuck is a lot like suede, except it is a top-grain leather. It produces shoes and jackets that feature a more pronounced nap and resilient finish than its underbelly counterpart. Nubuck deals with water a bit better but will still benefit from a routine repellent treatment and periodic brushing.
Fall Fabric #3 – Wool Will Warm What Ails Ya
Wool is a fantastic temperature regulator. In warm weather it pulls moisture away from the body, keeping a layer of dry air next to the skin. When that moisture evaporates the body is cooled. In cool, wet weather, wool absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. This action generates – and retains – escaping heat. Wet or dry, wool performs up to snuff. Here are a few styles you’ll want to look out for come fall.
- Mohair: The luxury wool. Mohair is to fabric what diamonds are to jewelry. It’s sheared from the Angora goat and produces soft, durable, and waterproof clothing.
- Tweed: The ‘all in a day’s work’ wool. Tweed is a hard wearing, beat ‘em up, fabric that is extremely good at keeping in body heat. It is stiff and thick and usually woven using different color threads to create a dynamic “V” pattern.
- Merino: The intimate wool. Merino is lightweight and moisture wicking. It works incredibly well as base layer underwear or a mid/outer layer date night sweater.
- Wosrted: The suit’s wool. Worsted wool is a tightly-weaved, brushed, fabric that boasts a smooth finish uncharacteristic to other wools.
- Cashmere: The finest wool. Cashmere, also known as Pashmina, is one of the softest wools available. It is a must for knitted accessories like gloves, scarves, and hats.
- Lambswool: The youngest wool. Lambswool is an exceptionally soft wool shorn from lambs 7 months or younger. It’s moisture wicking, breathable, and hypoallergenic.
Our Cordura Stretch Check is the perfect year-round, wool-blend, fabric for suit jackets and pants.
Fall Fabric #4 – Fall Back on Fleece
Fleece is a synthetic fiber made from polyethylene terephthalate. It’s lightweight and has anti-perspirant qualities that allow sweat to pass through easily, keeping the body warm and dry. But because fleece is a synthetic fiber it takes chemicals – which are harmful to the environment – to produce. Eco-fleece uses recycled polyester as an ethical alternative, but chemicals are still involved in the process. So, yeah, maybe fall back on fleece. If you want a natural alternative, try the fiber it was made imitate. Wool.
At Original Stitch we offer a fully customizable collection of premium quality dress shirt, suit blazer, and pant fabrics. Use them to create a wardrobe that is completely unique to YOU. Our high-quality yarns are hand-selected from – and tailored in – Japan to be extra resistant to wear and tear while maintaining a softer feel than their off-the-rack counterparts.