Cloths from


During the 1950's when the first synthetic fibres were infesting the markets came a need to stand up for wools - a peculiar situation if you look at it from the current perspective. Back then, some fine words were written to advertise woollens.
Now - almost 70 years later - the points still stand strong. Read below.

Citation for uniform excellence

The British fighting man in his uniform of British worsted has seldom ever been bested. A quick look at the Webster shows that the verb “to best” means exactly the same thing as “to worst” does - to gain advantage over, to outmatch. By the same token “Bested” equals “Worsted”. Which brings us to the point of the story:

English Uniforms, cut accordingly to tradition (and from fine bolts of worsted), cut a mighty splendid figure. Both models of soldiery style and war-like practicality, their record is a proud one. Behind them is a habit of looking well in battle that goes back to the year 1066 and William the Conqueror.

No one knows any too clearly what the Normans wore when they fought the Saxons, but the East Anglian town of Worstead bears its name because of the Norman victory here. Its fame for manufacture of cloth named for like the battle has worn like worsted itself, long into peacetime, long after the center of the British worsted industry moved to the fresh, water-running West Riding of Yorkshire.

Worsted is staunch as any of the varieties of British wool cloths: strong and adaptable. Handsome and accommodating, too, ladies - if you’re following this discussion - with reference to either four yards of superfine dress length or to the Changing of the Guard.


GENTRY N.1 FALL 1951, page 34


1. Wool is an insulator: It recovers from compression beyond all other fibers. Wool entraps a wall of air between the body and the outer air, maintaining body heat at an even temperature, warding off chill and heat prostration alike.

2. Wool is absorbent: It absorbs up to 30 per cent of its weight without becoming appreciably damp. Wool’s absorbency makes it an unequalled, protective insulator by preventing cloths from clinging to the skin and robbing the body of its heat.

3. Wool is durable: Wool’s protein substances are arranged in an amazing complex structure which resists breakage to an astonishing degree. Wool can be twisted, turned and stretched. It always returns to its original shape without being deformed.

4. Wool is resilient: Wool’s complex inner structure is surrounded by a scale-like covering which quickly recovers from distortion when the fiber is stretched, thus preventing stretching and sagging of the fabric and of garments. That is why wool garments always keep their shape and retain their warmth.

5. Wool is wonderful to tailor: No other fiber can be woven into such an infinite variety of fabrics in different weights, textures and effects. No fabric tailors like a wool fabric. Its live, flexible character enables the tailor to shape it under the iron and through steaming. That is why wool garments can be altered so beautifully and succesfully.

6. Wool dyes magnificently: It is dyed in the fleece, in the yarn, in the top, and in the piece. Wool has more chemical groups anxious to blend with dyes than any other fiber. It resists acids, soils, and perspiration to a greater degree than any other fiber.

7. Wool is flame resistant: In intense heat, wool will char but will not support flame. That is an increasingly necessary insurance against the growing dangers of flammable fabrics, especially in the children’s apparel and blankets.


GENTRY N.4 FALL 1952, page 21