WeatherWool Exclusive FullWeight and MidWeight 100% Merino Jacquard Fabric
WeatherWool is all about our Fabric, and naturally, many people have asked us what makes it better than other woolens. Our FullWeight fabric is 19,5 ounces per square yard. Our MidWeight fabric is 14 ounces per square yard.
We needed a fabric that would be good in warm weather, great in the cold, a pleasure to wear, soft and silky, tough and dead quiet, beautiful but inconspicuous, non-reflective, and highly resistant to rain, snow, sleet, hail, wind, dirt, odor, fire and electricity. And, we wanted our fabric to provide a 50-degree range of comfort. The WeatherWool outfit that is warm enough for 20F/-7C is cool enough for 70F/21C. The WeatherWool garment that cuts the mustard in serious outdoor conditions can also be worn to church ... we have customers who do exactly that.
Many people believe wool is itchy, and it can be. The thicker a strand of wool, the stiffer it is. When the end of a thick strand of wool contacts human skin the jabbing that creates the itch. Thinner strands bend more, and therefore itch less. So, if you want to make a soft fabric, you must use fiber that is thin. Merino is famously itch-free because it is a thin fiber, about 19 microns (a micron is one millionth of a meter) in thickness.
Another way to enhance the softness of a fabric (and strength!) is to use longer fibers. Longer fibers means fewer ends to create the itch in the first place, also fabric made from longer fibers is stronger. Long-fiber yarn is stronger (our fiber is 4 inches/10 cm long, which is very long) because the fibers twist together and hold each other in place better than do shorter fibers. Longer fibers also pill and migrate less. So for WeatherWool, fiber length is critical.
Because our need for soft fiber is somewhat at odds with our need for a tough fabric, it is necessary to find additional ways of increasing the durability and strength of our yarn without decreasing the softness. Our somewhat contradictory need for softness and strength brought us directly to the Rambouillet (French Merino) Sheep.
Our Rambouillet Merino fiber averages 21 microns in thickness ... just a little thicker than Spanish Merino, still plenty soft on the skin, but also quite a bit more durable. We selected the best Rambouillet from laboratory tested evaluation of wool according to many factors: length, strength of fiber, thickness, uniformity of thickness, location of the weakest parts of the fiber, crimp, presence of paint and polypropylene, and more.
We buy the strongest, finest and longest fleeces available. All non-prime parts of the sheep's fleece (legs, face, belly) never make it into the bale. Needless to say, these fleeces are also the most expensive.
All that is just the beginning of the long road to making our fabric. Every step along the way to becoming "the best" is done with only quality in mind.
We use a Jacquard loom for all our weaving. Usually used only the most complex of patterns, the Jacquard loom creates a 3-D fabric, rather than the standard straight warp and weft grid.
The road from sheep to fabric brings together a community of craftsmen who take great pride in their work. Thank you to all the people who helped make our vision a reality. But it all starts with American sheep eating American grass!