Friday 4 April 2014

Fabric Friday - Donegal tweed

This week on Fabric Friday I’m bringing you the second of the jacket fabrics from Matt Smith’s wardrobe.

After shooting a handful of episodes with a single vintage Harris tweed, the costume department produced a number of jackets for Matt to wear, all made from Donegal tweed sourced from W Bills in London.

The hand-woven fabric was made on foot operated looms, and so was only a half-width 36 inches wide.

The weave is very simple: a light coffee colour in one direction in a plain or hopscotch weave with a dark chocolate colour in the other direction.
The lighter of the two colours has a flecking in the same shade, which gives the fabric the slightly corse appearance.

I have seen a number of very similar Donegal style fabrics, but their flecking has been in other colours such as red or green. These can ruin the appearance of the fabric.

With the very nature of the weave the fabric is reversible and looks the same from both sides, though it does need to be orientated consistently.

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

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

DONEGAL TWEED is another fabric of cheviot quality woven either in the plain or the two and two twill. The warp yarns usually spun from natural-coloured wool and the weft yarns from fibres of different colours dyed before spinning. The cloth has excellent tensile strength and good elasticity; the surface fibres are usually levelled by cutting in the finishing routine.

My book also has some information on the style of weave.

I’ll publish the next tweed from Matt’s wardrobe soon, so check back to see the ever popular Shetland Tweed.

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