Herringbone plus barleycorn
Wednesday, 14th November 2012
It is often though not always true that the more charismatic the cloth, the more introverted the garment made from it. It is certainly the case with the new seam jacket — made from cloth that’s part-barleycorn pattern, part-herringbone, on the face of it it couldn’t be much simpler.
A word first, then, on the cloth. Previously the maker of the wool-cashmere pin-dot and last year’s terrific birdseye cloth, the cashmere mill of West Yorkshire has this time surpassed itself. The black and white cloth has the same handle and finish as both those fabrics; draping fantastically well and tremendously smooth to the touch. But the pattern — two parts herringbone to one sharp, intricate, barleycorn — is a weaving tour de force.
No small amount of effort has also been put into the garment. The collar is the first result of a collar revolution: designed and cut to stand neatly around the neck, to navigate what the pattern-cutter calls the neck gristle, and to curve and dip in just the right way. Its underside is faced with nearly-black corduroy; a detail rather than a structural necessity.
The other notable aspect of the seam jacket is the seam from which it takes its name. This runs all the way around the garment just below chest height, and beneath it at the front are two large but barely visible patch pockets, which also have side-access “warmer” pockets. Also just visible is the horn-button placket, which is hidden but for the top one.
The seam jacket is in the workshop and right here in count-them-on-two-hands numbers, and it will be joined very soon by a second garment cut from the same cloth.