Some Ventiles, pt. 4

Some Ventiles are thicker than others. Okay — you may have heard that before. But, really, some Ventiles are really, really thicker than others; so much thicker they teeter, at least for coats, on the brink of preposterous.

Introducing, then, brand new Ventile Canvas. Ventile. Canvas. Two words which together conceive a phrase which seems as if written in scripture. Preordained to exist. To be anointed unchallenged as the king of heavyweight hydrophobic cotton from here on in.

A bruiser, then, this, made over years by the water-haters at Ventile in Lancashire as a luggage-weight variety of their classic weather-proof cotton, and honed and honed again until deemed fit to bear the company hallmark. What it is is a type of Ventile equivalent in heft to 15oz canvas — putting it above no. 5 — heavy work clothes and below no. 4 — sea bags on the duck canvas numerical scale — and woven with the same top percentile of extra-long-staple cotton fibres with which the Ventile name has, since the 1940s, been built.

Ventile Canvas makes for a garment nothing if not substantial. See the hood jut out in a commanding sort of way, the collar with its proud roll, the body hang without crease or fold. Reassuringly inanimate quality all round. Sure — the cloth isn’t so thick it can stand up all by itself. Nor, unlike the most stiff duck canvas, does Ventile Canvas abrade other things worn alongside it — though it certainly doesn’t do much for their confidence. Doesn’t do much for the hands of the person at the factory charged with cutting it, either, nor his 13-inch stainless-steel shears, and nor the sewing-needles of the machinist. It blisters the former, blunts the middle, and breaks on average eight per jacket the latter.

In the fabled but entirely factual Water Column Test — forever the litmus of hydrophobic performance testing, at least in the north-west — the Canvas actually comes up short versus Ventile Ventile. But, then, so does everything not Ventile Ventile. To attain that one-up-one-down duck texture, see, sacrifices must be made with regards to the density of the yarn. Every cloud, though. Canvas absorbs dye much better as a consequence, with uptake more than 50%. The outcome is a tremendous depth of colour: dark navy is as if saturated with the closest thing to black on the blue scale before Trade Descriptions could step in. It is here in hood jacket form, along with a warming copper-coloured counterpart.