Substantial in Flannel

One of the most adaptable yet forgotten about cloths, flannel is always a real hit in winter.

Gregory Peck and Arthur O'Connell in The Man in The Grey Flannel Suit, 1956. Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp and courtesy of Alamy

In the likelihood of your wardrobe teetering on the brink of cloth imbalance this winter, there is one ubiquitous material that might just restore the deficiency in equilibrium. Striking the perfect balance between being snug, smart and comfortable, flannel will certainly fill that void in your wardrobe and more. Soft, fuzzy and hard-wearing yet somehow still sharp as a tack, flannel is the well-dressed man’s best friend, when the mercury drops this winter.

Bordering on being a judicial authority on the fabric is Douglas Cordeaux, MD of the eponymous Somerset-based mill, Fox Brothers & Co. Describing the cloth he says: “Flannel is a heavily milled cloth that essentially, once woven, is smashed against wood for several hours, which allows the fibres to bust. Metal brushes may also be used to give the cloth its soft, furry finish, and one or both sides of the material can be mellowed in this manner.”

The origins of flannel can be traced back to 17th century Wales, where farmers wore flannel shirts to protect themselves from the elements. The word “flannel” most likely comes from the Welsh word ‘gwlanen’, meaning “woollen article.” Even after all of this time, menswear dilettantes remain woefully unaware of its merits, which is no criticism, but a paradigm of its elusiveness in wider society. One place where flannel is the antithesis of a snow leopard is on TheRake.com. Even our very own designs in flannel can be surveyed with excitement.

Contributor

Freddie Anderson

Published

December 2020

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