A few years ago, Alice spotted Miley Cyrus in a pair of checked, *very* fitted trousers at the One Love concert in Manchester with Ariana Grande (on the TV we might add). Miley was wearing a pair of cropped trousers in a fabric very similar to this monochrome checked stretch wool fabric, except we suspect her pair were more likely cotton. However when this exceptional and very unusual wool passed under Alice’s eyes she snapped it up in an instant. Checks are very much part of the 2021 style story and a proper, substantial stretch wool like this is a rare beast. She didn’t hesitate.
What kind of fabric is this?
This is a twill-woven 94% wool fabric with elastane to provide ease of fitting. As wools go, it’s definitely a solid medium-weight suiting. Because it’s been woven in a twill pattern, the areas where the black lines intersect are heavier and darker than the upward and downward lines.The check repeats are 1.9cm across the width and 2.3cm down the length.
What does this fabric feel like?
Our monochrome checked stretch wool fabric is what we’d call a ‘warm’ wool in its feel, rather than a cool wool suiting. It’s soft and will be comfortable next to the skin, but it’s a winter warmer; we don’t think Miley would have been strutting her stuff in this fabric on the stage.
How does this fabric move?
This is a fabric with structure. It’s not stiff, but it holds its own. The stretch across its width is about 20%; down the length is a good 30%. It also stretches well across the bias. We’ve had a discussion as to whether that’s a ‘2-way stretch'(i.e. horizontal and vertical) or a ‘4-way stretch’ (as in, points of the compass). The consensus is ‘4-way’ although Alice is still arguing the toss. Either way, you can see how it moves and stretches in this video.
NOTE: Our videos are intended to show the movement of a fabric. For accurate colour and pattern detail, please refer to our still images.
Will I need to line this fabric?
You won’t need to line trousers made from this monochrome checked stretch wool fabric; certainly not for purposes of modesty, since it’s a fabric with excellent opacity. No underwear on show here. Equally, a jacket or coat could be constructed without a lining providing you finished the seams well. However a more fitted jacket would benefit from a lining to help with structure. A skirt or dress may also need lining in order to help with movement across the body, especially over hosiery.
What can I make with this fabric?
A casual bomber- or lumberjack-style jacket would be an option for this monochrome checked stretch wool fabric; also sharp skirts over tights and warm winter tunics. However we’re definitely in the trousers corner – for which we’d be inclined to look for a pattern that specified stretch fabric. Style Arc are pretty much unbeatable in that department; we’ve got our eyes on their ‘Luna’ Stretch Pant pattern – a simple, cropped design which will let the fabric do the talking, as well as the walking. Miley, eat your heart out.
94% wool, 6% elastane
Steam gently before cutting, holding a steam iron 1 inch away from the fabric and working down the length. Use a steam iron and a pressing cloth to press areas of the garment during construction where necessary.
We recommend spot- and dry-cleaning wool-rich garments, particularly if they’re lined. Find out more on our About our fabric pages