Craft / September 2017

The Woolmark Company x Scabal: Handling Perfection

The Woolmark Company and Scabal have collaborated on a video that celebrates craftsmanship in all its forms, highlighting just what it takes to achieve hand-crafted perfection.

The early 20th century marked a drastic shift in the clothes-making industry. Mechanisation rapidly spread, and companies swiftly learnt that they could produce more garments for less cost if they employed machines rather than people. There was never any doubt that mechanisation wasn’t the future. It revolutionised the way clothing was made in terms of speed, efficiency and reliability - even the simplest sewing machine could out-stitch a human being in both pace and accuracy. Yet something got lost along the way. The machines got out of hand, and now, with automation the next big step, less and less people have a part to play in the creation of clothing. Somewhere along the line, the human touch was lost. There are some companies that have never strayed from handmade however, and continue to proudly employ skilled artisans who approach their work like an artist would a blank canvas. For these brands, it is quality and execution that is emphasised rather than speed and volume. Founded in 1938, Scabal is one such entity, and to display dedication to the ‘heroes of handmade’, it has collaborated with The Woolmark Company to showcase just how a select number of craftspeople are harking back to the golden ages of artisanship, producing the finest goods of their respective fields.

Scabal is renowned for its innovative production of natural fabrics, which are crafted at the company’s English mill before being utilised by some of the world’s most prestigious tailors and high luxury brands. The Belgian brand also produces its own-label suits, which are noted for their contemporary cut and exemplary use of fabric. Partnering with The Woolmark Company on a collaborative video was a natural move, as both brands are incredibly passionate about high-grade wool, and the differences it can make to a garment. Merino wool is noted for its adaptable nature; it can effortlessly absorb water vapour from the skin, before evaporating it into the air, meaning it’s entirely breathable. It's also machine-washable and, perhaps most importantly for tailoring, it won’t crease thanks to the bouncy lustre of each Merino strand, which is comparable to a coiled spring that leaps back to life after being compressed.

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Charlie Thomas

Charlie Thomas is a former staffer at The Rake.