Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Beauty of Boiled Wool

I am never normally one to rush into Wintery thoughts whilst the Summer is still thriving, but with a dress project finished and a wardrobe that I realise is now rather well stocked with homemade Summer attire, I decided it may be time to turn my attention to the creation of some winter wearable items - and now would be a good time to start!

I think my fixation with gorgeous florals and pretty textile designs always see me falling to summer patterns, but there are a host of divine wool jerseys and other slightly heavier fabrics that play favourably to an English Winter. Boiled wool is a favourite and amongst my sewing circle. innumerous, fabulous boiled wool jackets and coats have been crafted over the years, including this one that I made for my gorgeous Mum.
Boiled wool is basically shrunken wool or wool blend fabric, which compresses it into a denser, more tightly woven fabric ~ a process that dates back to the Middle Ages, when it paid to keep warm ! In fact most of us at some point will have unwittingly created our own boiled wool by shrinking a jumper in the wash!

Boiled wool works fabulously well for  cardigans, coats, jackets and hats and is comfortable and wearable. Another part of its appeal for the clothesmaker is that you can leave the edges raw without risk of fraying, also giving it a wonderfully organic, 'honest' look and feel. The above loose fitting coat is from a now out of print, but enduringly popular Issey Miyake pattern (2038), and I have seen it created several times over with fabulous results every time. Other patterns that work well with boiled wool include Vogue 8696. So, all hail to boiled wool season, but first of course, the rest of a splendid Summer.
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