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.
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.