Saturday, 29 September 2012

Ultimate Six Frock Coat -
weaving the collar

Work is progressing apace now on my replica Six Frock Coat.
It’s all taken a lot longer than I planned – but I’m getting there!

Earlier this month I completed the solid colour phase of the fabric gathering, and now have fabrics for the Purple Felt (Fabric 2); the Green Felt (Fabric 3); the Peach Wool (Fabric 4); the Red Felt (Fabric 5);  the Yellow Lapel (Fabric 7); the Pink Lapel (Fabric 8); the Cuffs (Fabric 10); and the Pink Felt (Fabric 11).
Now it’s time to revisit and complete work I did on the Checked Collar.
Fabric 6
I’ve deliberately waited until a good number of the base fabrics were in-hand before moving up a gear and commissioning the final few fabrics, most of which need to be custom woven.

The first of these, the Checked Collar (fabric 6), isn’t used that much on the coat, (only the collar, the pocket flaps and the back button brace) so it cannot possibly justify a machine woven run at a fabric mill.
I’m not even going to bother to look for an off the shelf match for this, so my only option is to find a hand weaver to take it on.

Being the collar, which frames the wearer’s face, it is the one part of the coat that gets looked at the most, so I got to get this right.
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I’ve already done all the groundwork to work out the weave needed and the colours used – and it turns out to only be constructed from four colours (black, purple, green and cream).


I have also been able to measure the sizes of the squares and count the number of threads making up each panel.

Armed with all this I set about finding a weaver, and chanced upon a suitable chap on the Welsh boarders who specialises in short-run work.


After choosing the yarns, which were mainly sourced in London, we quickly moved to a series of small test weaves to check the thread density.

Three small patches were sent to me for approval, and it was very exciting to receive them in the post. The checks are half-scale, so they look a little coarser than how they will appear in the final fabric.

Approval given, it meant weaving could commence!




My weaver kindly agreed to take some photos while weaving, and we can see him here setting up the the warp (lengthwise) yarns, before weaving in the weft (the crossways) yarns.

After the fabric was all woven, there was a bit more work to be done before I could get my hands on it.


First the fabric was carefully hand washed – in the bath! – before it was dried and pressed with a modern form of mangle!


Once all this treatment was completed the fabric could be packed and sent out to me.





It arrived today, and I’ll show you tomorrow how it’s come out. I promise you’ll be impressed!

2 comments:

  1. I'm not very good with a needle and thread and was wondering how much it would cost if i asked you to make me a sixth doctor coat?

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    Replies
    1. Email me direct at tennantcoat@me.com to get full details of how you could get in on my very limited run.

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