Friday 18 April 2014

Fabric Friday - Cashmere tweed

This week on Fabric Friday I come to one of the most misunderstood tweeds to grace The Doctor’s back - the purple Cashmere.

This is really the one fabric that inspired my weekly sharing of Doctor Who materials, since it is the one I am asked about most often by readers.

Many come to me with alternatives or even thinking they have found the real thing at another outlet, but none have its distinctive weave, which unless you see it close-up you won’t appreciate.

For such a difficult fabric to match you’ll be surprised to find it is made from only two yarns: one is a deep purple colour, giving it the base hue; the other is an almost burgundy brownish colour, which criss-crosses in a grid.

It is the brown yarn only that is highlighted with sky blue flecks.
The fabric came in a full width 54 inches wide.

These images are directly scanned from fabric that was part of the bolt that was cut to make Matt’s screen-worn frock coats. They have then been colour-matched back to the material to give the best visual representation of the fabric.

Being a true 100% cashmere it is the softest fabric you’ll ever have the pleasure of touching and brings a smile of envy to anyone who gets to stroke it!

This fabric was an absolute exclusive to W Bills and is not available anywhere else. Only one bolt was woven in this colourway, and it sat on their storeroom shelf for a few years before it came to the attention of the BBC.

The scarify of the yarn - especially the brown with the sky blue flecks - has meant that weaving a perfect match is simply not possible, though W Bills did look into it knowing it would eventually sell out.

Sadly nothing came of it before W Bills was sold to a new owner.
Only time will tell if they have interest in taking it further.

Here is what one of my favourite archive books has to say about Cashmere.

CASHMERE is a fine, soft, silky hair obtained from a goat in Tibet. There is an all-wool cashmere made from worsted yarns. Coburgs, Henriettas, Jockey cloths, Paramattas, are all cashmeres.

Check back next week for the exclusive on another fabric from Matt’s wardrobe - something I bet you didn’t see coming!


  1. Very interesting blog, Steve. I'm thus assuming I wont be able to find any of this cloth anymore :( I am in touch with the marketing lady from Harrisons but it would seem I am chasing my tail. I don't suppose you have any of it left, do you?

    1. All I have is allocated to clients.
      I've discussed the cashmere with the top guy at Harrions who said if it did come back it would retail at £660 a metre.
      But that was just speculation as they can't match the weave again.

    2. Hi Steve, sorry to bother you again. I'm in touch with Carole from Harrisons who has taken an interest in my search. She has asked me who this 'top guy' at Harrisons is? Any chance you could PM me if you have a chance? My PM to you was from a ghastlybaz, I dont know if you got it or not.

  2. Do you know if there are any good look a like fabrics that would make a good frock coat?

  3. Shame that the fabric is gone, truly a valuable item.Small query,d you know of any fabrics that look similar to the one they used in making the frock?

  4. This fabric is absolutely beautiful. It's amazing how much you don't see from a distance. And I mean that for all the coat fabrics, not just this one. Thanks again for sharing the scans!

  5. Thank you for these photos. Somehow I had missed them earlier!


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