Some Ventiles, pt. 5

The people at Ventile: they can’t see to stop pulling rabbits from that tightly woven long-staple cotton hat of theirs. Take the stuff you see here. It is the latest thing from their top-secret Lancashire laboratory — a new wünder-cloth so light you’ve written on paper thicker. So gossamer-like, indeed, that Flyweight is the only fitting name for it.

This new Ventile Flyweight, at just 4oz, is a third lighter than any Ventile that has gone before — even the previous lightest quality would, in the lingo of the squared circle, rank as a gym-shy bantamweight. This new cloth: it really is that fine. Now, the balmacaan, like other coats in the one-piece raglan family — see the car coat, the trench coat — is cut in a way such its weight is distributed evenly across the broadest parts of the shoulders, rather than the easily tired neck. Irrespective of how heavy they are on the scales, then, they never feel so on the back. Such pattern-work, plus the aforementioned ethereality of Ventile Flyweight, makes for a coat so light, that, when worn, is nigh-on imperceptible.

There are two colours of the material. One is as dark as night, no streetlights, and the other is charmingly Caramac-esque. Rest assured, both are as weather-proof as standard Ventile. No natural material on the market fares better on the Water Column Test. Indeed, in places where Flyweight is doubled up — across the back, for instance, where the half-lining is now also Ventile, in a little act of design-streamlining introduced since the last iteration of the balmacaan — it is officially, Trade-Description-approvingly, waterproof. It makes for what the technically-minded call a “soft shell” — a very good one, at that, suitable to be slinked over anything, from a vest to three layers of the thickest Shetland.

Like Ventile Canvas and Ventile Ripstop before it, the use of Flyweight here, today, is a world-first. Never been used before. Never seen light of day anywhere else. You saw it here first, etc. etc. This is testament to keeping your friends close, your enemies closer, and makers of the finest hydrophobic, all-natural, uncoated cotton in the world, closer still.