Saturday, 7 October 2017

A British Wool Tweed Suit: A Collaboration with Woven In The Bone & McCann Bespoke

Sam Goates of Woven in the Bone weaves cloth in Scotland. She has wide experience of the industry and designed merino wool products in Australia before returning in 2007 to Scotland, where she was born. While developing training for Harris tweed weavers, she experienced at first hand the Hattersley looms (see last week's blog feature on Harris tweed) which, despite (or perhaps thanks to) their Victorian engineering, enable craftsmen to weave high quality cloth at home. She decided to bring together all her experience to weave cloth herself.

Above Sam Goates at her loom and the British wool tweed

I was lucky enough to meet Sam and we decided to collaborate to produce a British suit, made from wool produced from British sheep. Originally the plan was to have the suit entirely made in this country. In the event it was beautifully tailored by McCann Bespoke (see below), albeit not in the UK, giving me a suit that represents the multiple skills that go to make a suit, from the farmer who raises the sheep, the shearer, the industries that wash, dye, blend, card and spin the yarn to prepare it for weaving to, finally, the skilled weaver, warping the yarn and then, in the spinning process, adding the weft and producing a cloth of beauty and character for clothes, interiors or other uses. (All links are at the end of this feature).

A suit from British wool, woven by Woven in the Bone, tailored by McCann Bespoke

Sam, who still spends some of her time at Harris Tweed Hebrides, is a master of her craft. Her cloths are being discovered all over the UK, and from Savile Row to the provinces, tailors are discovering her products. She also offers bespoke design and manufacture and the rich colours and patterns of her clothes give the possibility of owning a suit made from a cloth made to your specifications - a novel and unique side to suit ownership.

I asked Sam to tell me more about marketing her cloths: 
"From my perspective, I hope that what I am offering to tailors and ultimately their clients, is complimentary to the traditional cloth offering from the British cloth merchants, encouraging clients to explore options for bespoke tailoring outside of traditional city suits.
"My cloth is handcrafted using traditional, artisan skills and production mthods, but provides a contemporary alternative, offering a softer, more relaxed Saxony tweed reflecting the trend towards more flexible office/social wear.  
With personalised and transparent small batch production, it is ‘cloth to connect with’…. for added value to a truly bespoke experience. I offer a design service to tailors & their clients and custom-design cloths in lengths from 6m-60m can be commissioned for those looking for a truly unique and individual piece or for a business wanting to develop their own house cloth".
I selected a beautiful oatmeal herringbone tweed for my suit (pictured above). Undyed, its colours are from the natural colours of the fleece. As Sam describes it:
"I think the “Native” quality cloth that David selected works particularly well for promotion of bespoke suits for the huge market in more rustic, ‘field weddings’... Its made from 100% naturally coloured British wool and in an authentic British classic herringbone tweed that comes straight from the land (I’m tempted to sa, with no artificial colours or preservatives!)"

McCann Bespoke (link below) is on Shaftesbury Avenue London and Neil McCann has a healthy clientele among professional sportsmen, who appreciate quality when they see it. As with many tailors, they offer different grades of tailoring, with the higher end, fully bespoke, involving a very high percentage of hand stitching. 

Images taken at the basted fitting of the suit at McCann Bespoke

They made my suit beautifully, the quality of construction, fit and stitching is very high. Their shop is a lively and fascinating place and at each fitting I bumped into a well-known sportsman. Tweed suits are becoming popular for weddings in particular and McCann's enthusiasm for my slightly unusual request - a suit made from Sam Goates's artisan tweed - was positive and genuine. I can't recommend McCann Bespoke more highly and their flexible pricing enables you to have a suit made at a variety of price points.

Tailoring detail and the finished suit
This feature was a collaboration with Woven in the Bone and McCann Bespoke. All views are mine alone.


Tony Lupton said...

What weight is the fabric, David?

grey fox said...

I have to confess I don't know Tony. On the heavier side.


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