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Thread: School me on tweed please

  1. #1

    School me on tweed please

    Over the past few years I've gone from my hill and hiking clothing being polyprop/synthetic to various Merino wool items (base and mid layers) and some heavier wool shirts & jumpers for outer. I've started to look at tweed as a possible addition to this now I'm shooting as I'm looking for quiet, breathable and water resistant. My Bison Bushcraft shirt has been a revelation, being windproof and warm while not requiring waterproofs for light showers.

    Looking at ads for tweed, there's such a vast range to choose from whether it's a simple tweed cap (I've a harris tweed cap I'm currently using) through to goretex lined tweed and prices from basement to 'bloody hell how much?'. What's the difference in the various tweeds and how do you know what's good and what's not. I'm sure it's not as simple as just buying expensive stuff so I'm interested to know what folks here think of tweed and how to go about choosing/evaluating what to buy.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Why not go for the best of both worlds and try one of the more modern technical tweeds? I have a Musto jacket and a Nomad jacket in their respective technical tweeds - they are light, silent and waterproof. Traditional tweed is fine, other than it gets heavy when wet, takes an eternity to dry out, chafes like bu**ery and, once wet, loses its shape and looks like a sack of spuds.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  3. #3
    I was trying to see the point of technical tweed. I thought the idea of tweed was to be mostly waterproof but more breathable than goretex. If I looked at goretex there are plenty of soft, quiet synthetic outer fabrics to pair with it.

  4. #4
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    Tweed is a cloth, no more, no less. Made from woven yarn. Like cotton cloth.

    Now go to Aldi, Asda, M & S, Etc., etc., and handle their plain basic white women's T-Shirt. You'll see different degrees of finishing and more importantly different weights of the what is initially just white cotton cloth. This is a combination of the thickness of the cotton yarn, its "ply" (number of single ply threads twisted together if you like so a two ply or a three ply) and the number of threads per inch. A "loose" weave...so cheap...or a tight weave.

    Tweed is the same. The key is the weight which is a factor of the thickness of the yarn and the number of threads per inch in the weave. It may be, I don't know, that some tweed, Harris tweed for example, has a set specified yarn weight and thread count. But most tweeds are denoted by weight. So a 20 ounce tweed, a 16 ounce tweed and etc. A 12 ounce tweed won't be much good at all other than for a nice business suit.

    The other cost is the making up. So is it made here or abroad. That may be a place of cheap labour such as Bulgaria. Indeed some Barbour items are "Made in Bukgaria" or at least the label inside my ten year old coat says so.

    Then the other extra cost is the number of optional extras like a car. So a button fly, lined plus fours, polyester lining of satin lining, how many buttons on the cuff and do they truly undo so that a cuff can be turned back or are they just show buttons.

    So whilst one tweed coat may look like another the devil is in the weight of the cloth, the place of manufacture and the optional extras. Lastly of course the make up of the actual yarn. Wool? Or a mixture of wool and another?

    Hope it helps. My family were originally worsted spinners. That is taking raw sheep's fleeces and carding, combing, washing, spinning, dying and finally spinning into yarn for the end user. Who may have been cloth weavers or as knitting yarns for home users.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 07-11-2014 at 04:32.

  5. #5
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_magicfingers View Post
    I was trying to see the point of technical tweed. I thought the idea of tweed was to be mostly waterproof but more breathable than goretex. If I looked at goretex there are plenty of soft, quiet synthetic outer fabrics to pair with it.
    The Musto is made from a material like Gore Tex but very effectively overprinted to look like tweed. It is for people's who want to retain the traditional look of tweed but stay dry as well.
    Last edited by willie_gunn; 07-11-2014 at 04:27.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  6. #6
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    Tweed is a cloth, no more, no less. Like cotton cloth. Now go to Aldi, Asda, M & S, Etc., etc., and handle their plain basic white women's T-Shirt.
    I tried that and the plain basic white woman slapped me!
    Last edited by willie_gunn; 07-11-2014 at 05:38.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_magicfingers View Post
    My Bison Bushcraft shirt has been a revelation.
    Quite why BB won't offer this garment with an integral hood rather than the less than ideal short collar and in so doing turn an excellent bit of kit into a truly great one is beyond me.

    K
    The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Klenchblaize View Post
    Quite why BB won't offer this garment with an integral hood rather than the less than ideal short collar and in so doing turn an excellent bit of kit into a truly great one is beyond me.

    K
    I rather like the lack of hood as I tend to wear hats most of the time. Shame they can't make a version with each.

  9. #9
    I've got two "modern" tweed coats. One is quite good quality tweed, nice tight weave, cost a fair bit. It's warm, waterproof and windproof. However, the wateproof membrane (between the outer tweed and the inner lining) makes a noise like I'm trying to climb out of a bin-bag full of dead leaves, so no good for stalking. Ok for driven game maybe, but I've downgraded it to general work coat, ideal for when I'm belting around the farm on the quad in winter.
    The second coat is much cheaper, warm, better fit, quiet, but not waterproof, so that one's no good for shooting either.
    Years ago I had a really old "traditional" tweed coat. Picked it up in a charity shop. It never claimed to be waterproof (I think it dated from before waterproof coats were invented!) but the sheer weight of the cloth enabled it to soak up the best part of a day's rain while I stayed relatively dry underneath. It was my "go to" coat for absolutely everything, but eventually it fell to bits. I wish I could find another like it!

    To get what you really want in tweed, suitable for all purposes, warm, windproof, waterproof, silent etc etc you're going to want a big budget. And somewhere that'll let you try it on, walk about a bit, mount a gun etc before you buy.

  10. #10
    Enfieldspares has explained tweed exceptionally well, with maybe one exception of what contributes to the price - the name. My keeper swears by Bob Parrett shooting suits, they are very good value for money, heavy fabric, warm and tough wearing - he does wear leggings and a light waterproof coat if it is raining heavily. I on the other hand felt the cut wasn't great and it was a bit itchy and heavy so sold my Bob Parrett suit. I now have 3 pairs of Schoffel and Musto breeks and whilst they are expensive, they are warm, waterproof, light, comfortable and washable. I feel they are value for money on the basis that I am wearing them 3-4 days per week every week of the game shooting season. Tweed isn't great in brambles or really heavy undergrowth though as the thorns will pull at the weave and soon make the tweed look scruffy.

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