How to choose between English or Italian wool?

When it comes to choosing the fabric for your next suit it really comes down to two choices, English or Italian. Both of these countries have been weaving wool since the middle ages so they have the process down pretty damn well.

When it comes down to it, the basic difference between the two is thickness. When you think about the climates each is made it makes sense that English wools are typically thicker than Italian. As in the image below the Italian darker wool is thin and has a smooth texture. Where as the English tan fabric has a thicker look and feel that makes it more durable.(There are plenty of English wools that also have this refined smooth look but we will get to those in another post).

photo (1)

The English weave both vertically and horizontally (<--warp and weft are the actual technical terms) while the Italians just use one direction (Probably so they still have time for a siesta).

When picking out a fabric for your next suit, jacket, or pants think about what weather you would typically wear it in. If for instance you, live in northern California, you probably want to select a English wool. It will keep you warm on when you are out on the town but is also rugged enough to keep up with the unpredictable weather.

For southern California, the Italian wools will probably be your best year round option. It is lightweight so it will not be hot when the sun is out (most of the time) and it will provide just enough warmth when the pesky marine layer moves in.

Choosing the right wool will help the garment last longer and will also make you enjoy wearing it.

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