When wales run widthways
Monday, 24th September 2012
Has a reputation, for better or for worse, of being the cloth of the thinking man does corduroy. “The staple fabric for those who deal with the brain” as someone once said. And with its wales running widthways rather than the usual up and down, the horizontal cord blazer asks the thinking man to try some lateral thinking out for size.
The cord here is made by a mill in Lancashire, north-weset England — which might prompt the thinking man into giving himself a slap on the back, knowing Lancashire as he does as the part of the world where cord was invented (that half the world still call corduroy “Manchester” is a fact neither he nor by extension people around him are strangers to). Though breaking with local tradition by being cut crossways, the corduroy here is otherwise the same exceptional cloth the mill has made for generations. Its soft and supple appearance and handle bely its close family ties with velvet — and thanks to the the top-grade cotton that goes into the making of it, it wears well and ages gracefully.
Then there are the buttons. What the thinking man might like about real horn buttons, as opposed to plastic ones that have been made to look like horn, is that they are real. They are what they say they are. No shortcuts taken in the making of them. Every stage of the making of these particular horn buttons, indeed — from top-quality antler, and through cutting, dying, and polishing — takes place under one roof in the Midlands; that roof being the roof of a firm that’s been in the button-making trade since the mid-1800s.
Talk of history is all well and good, but it won’t do to be stuck in the past. And so the corduroy blazer is made with the present day in mind: short, with a neat but casual fit, and narrow arms. Given the present day is quite a bit colder and wetter than the day before, the blazer has an all-round warm, thick, and sturdy construction. Fully lined with same-colour cotton and with all seams bound, it looks almost as tidy inside as out.