Topcoat in hand-woven navy merino tweed

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£460.00 — ex VAT

Topcoat, made in London, with a navy merino tweed from the Mourne Mountains of Northern Ireland, a lining of grey wool from West Yorkshire, and horn buttons from the Midlands.


The coat fits true to size, and so the mannequin — the most standard 38 in the world — wears S. The body is fairly straight, with the waist pulled in slightly. The shoulders are soft and unstructured; the sleeves are an average width.

To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 19 20 21 22 23
Shoulder 17½ 18 18½ 19 19½
Sleeve length 25 25 25½ 26 26½
Back length 35½ 36 36 36½ 36½
The topcoat is a fairly long, tailored overcoat. This one is made from a heavy merino-wool twill, from Northern Ireland: a very soft and indecently luxurious material. It has a collar and lapel of moderate size, with a collar-latch on one side, which fastens across the neck with a small hidden button.
One of the most novel aspects of the topcoat can be found in its construction: an unusual hybrid of two different types of sleeve. It has a raglan sleeve at the back, see, which provides much more space and freedom of movement than a coat of this ilk would ordinarily be expected to provide.
The front of the coat, though, has an inset constructions (as seen here, or at the top of the page) — which means it retains the nice, crisp semi-formal lines of a classic overcoat. It means the best of most outerwear worlds — and with an extra benefit of a clean tramline running down the top-sleeve.
The coat has four buttons across its front, matte in finish and dark in colour. Each is a little different to the next: a consequence of being an individually made natural product, rather than an ersatz plastic copy. The buttons at the front each have a "backing button" (below-left) to give extra strength.
There are welt pockets on either side at the front of the coat. Just the right height and depth, these pockets, for plunging one's hands inside.
There's an in-breast pocket, with flap, on the left-side of the coat as worn. There's also a chest pocket on the outside (as can be seen in the image at the top of the page).
The coat is half-lined in the body with a mid-grey woollen twill from West Yorkshire — featuring a crisp a little pleat down its centre — while the sleeves are lined with a lightweight cotton.
Here's the merino-wool tweed, up close. It is a fairly heavy cloth, dense, with thick yarn making for a raised texture. But, since it is made with merino yarn, custom-spun in County Donegal, it is very soft to touch. The depth of its colour, meanwhile, and the variety of those flecks of colour: it all speaks for itself.

As worn

The gent here is 5'9", and he is wearing an S. He has a chest size of 38", and there are reports — neither confirmed nor denied — that he weighs in a touch over 11 stone.

Makers of

The coat is made in north-east London. It is a very specialised skill, assembling coats from heavy cloth, and every reasonable step — and the odd unreasonable step — is taken to ensure things are built to last, from the cutting of the pattern to the work on the machine, but without the results being stiff or bulky.
Mourne Textiles rests in the foothills the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland. It was established in 1949 by a textile designer of (appropriately) the mid-century school, and work and weaving there today is led by her daughter — herself a master-weaver — and the generations thereof.
They work with hand-operated looms — the first assembled half a century ago by the local coffin-maker. As is the way with such things, this imparts great character and pleasingly imperfect artisan qualities. Combined with their slubby custom yarn, you get some of the most eyebrow-raising materials in the Isles.
The wool lining hails from a mill founded in the Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire in the 1800s. Carding, blending, spinning, and weaving — it all happens on the same premises. This unique arrangement means that the fleece’s change into top-grade cloth could not be more tightly tuned.
The horn buttons were cut, shaped, and polished by the last such factory in Britain (now defunct). It was part of a tradition in the Midlands first linked to the meat industry of the 18th century. "It is no easy task," said William Hutton in 1780, "to enumerate the infinite diversity of buttons made in Birmingham."