These are the most common. A woollen fabric is quite thin and its aspect can be irregular: this is where the fulling comes in.
It consists of immersing the cloth in a bath of water and soap, then compacting, rubbing and twisting the material. It will then shrink to become solid, compact and even more insulating.
Fuller wool sheet
More interstices and a felted texture, characteristic of the fulling technique.
Thus, the small interstices between the weft and warp threads will close, the epidermal scales of the wool fibers will interlock with each other. This is how the felt is formed on the surface.
The result is a very tight, soft fabric (depending on the quality of the material and the milling process) and, above all, capable of being waterproof and windproof!
Because of the high density of the material after this operation, neither rain nor wind will pass through.
3. RECOGNIZE A QUALITY WEAVE
Without mentioning the fluffy woollens, which are not very common among men 1, we can say that a sheet is beautiful if its texture is very tight and silky-looking.
On the other hand, it is very difficult to judge quality by touch. Some sheets are soft, others rough, but this does not indicate anything in particular. Chemical agents can be added to soften the material and, on the contrary, a sheet that is a little rough and stiff is often the result of a strong density.
Often, but not always! A rough coat can also be a coat made of a large part of synthetic. In short, keep in mind that the touch will not be a determining element.
What you need to do is first look at the composition on the label, then check the density of the fabric and its visual aspect.
We have a very tight and smooth fabric.
Finally, woollens can give more interesting shades than with cotton: they are better impregnated with pigments, the depth and reflections are more intense.
This is why a quality treaded sheet is striking in its color. Take advantage of this by choosing a variety of tones: don't rule out shades of green, orange and burgundy if you want a change from blue and gray. A beautiful wool sheet brings out the depth of the colors.
The color, intense, is shaded according to the light: a superb dyeing work! Wooyoungmi coat.
4. SYNTHETIC AND TECHNICAL MATERIALS
If we talk about down jackets or parkas, synthetic materials bring a superior resistance and other properties unlike wool or cotton. In this case, the synthetic can be interesting.
But be careful, I'm talking about technical garments made of high value-added synthetics like Norwegian Rain (microfibers, Teflon treatments, nanomaterials, micro cells and other exotic finishes), not low-end garments with polyester to break the cost.
Here, a Norwegian Rain jacket providing 20,000mm of waterproofing.
On this point, quality is largely determined by the brand used. Fabrics bearing the Gore-Tex® label are legion, since it is a reference in techwear, renowned for the waterproofing and windproof properties of its technology.
These are the only cases where synthetic materials can be of real interest. Because nobody likes to feel their underwear soaking in heavy rain. For more information on this topic, please read my article on how to dress for rain.
5. COATED AND WATERPROOF COTTONS
Raincoats like the trench and Mackintosh 2 are usually made of cotton. A cotton that is made waterproof by adding a coating composed of rubber.
In fact, the coating consists in waterproofing the material: we fill the small gaps between the warp and weft threads with a coating imperceptible to the eye. This process makes the cotton completely waterproof.
This is a technique that is not often used on wool, as it is more difficult to achieve, but it offers the same advantages.
6. LEATHER AND WOOLEN SKINS
What could be more pleasant, in cold weather, than to wrap yourself in a good leather jacket?
Woolen skin has always been known as the perfect material to stay warm in winter. Sheep have a curly fur, while lamb offers a fur of incomparable softness. This piece is noble, rare and a real investment.
zapa woolen leather jacket man
Jacket in sheepskin and slightly coated from Zapa. Fitted cut well done, beautiful material but expensive. The woolen skins are, anyway, more expensive than others.
Generally, the leather is suede on the outside: we must then have an extremely soft touch, a regular velvet aspect and, if possible, little or no traces of veins, stitches, etc..
This being the case, it is more and more common to have
That said, it is increasingly common to find lightly waxed leathers (like the Zapa above) or just plain smooth. Inside, the fur should be dense, soft AND even - definitely not rough, even if it's curly.
shearling ferragamo perfecto
Shearling is known for its dense, warm fur, with a grainy texture on the outside. Impeccable workmanship.
Finally, leather is sometimes used on coats, in inserts, to serve a creative purpose. + Here, you will have to make a choice:
You are looking for a noble leather, therefore in "plunged" / aniline finish, vegetable tanned, with an extremely soft touch that will patina... But in this case, forget rain and snow: it will not tolerate any of that!
Or you can opt for a less natural leather, coated, which will be able to withstand small showers.
plunged lambskin collar man coat
A plunged lambskin collar, a nice contrast between the shine of the skin and the matt of the wool.
THE QUALITY OF THE ASSEMBLY AND THE DETAILS
The seams must remain regular, with a thread that holds (no fraying). In any case, a quality garment can be seen quite quickly.
The fall must be impeccable and draw you a clean silhouette, for a perfectly symmetrical result. Also make sure that the armhole breaks cleanly at the shoulder.
Also look at the finishing touches:
are its buttons horn or plastic? 3
Are they cross-stitched?
Are the buttonholes cleanly made?
The buttoning line is perfectly straight and flat, the armhole breaks well on the shoulder, the buttons are horn. In short, the manufacture is of quality.
I just draw your attention to the case of the lining. Most of the time, if there is a lining (useless with a double sided sheet), it will be in polyester. You can also find some in viscose, imitating the properties of cotton. To learn more about the lining, David wrote about it here.
The must-have is silk, but you'll have noticed: it's rare and very expensive (and also fragile in the long run)
Etro coat lining
Etro is one of the very last brands to offer real luxury details, like their silk linings with their famous paisley pattern.
Constrained to polyester or rayon (synthetic silk), I advise you to look for a satin lining or any other smooth and slippery weave. Indeed, since you may be wearing a wool jacket or sweater, a satin lining will allow the coat to slide to position itself well.