Saturday 8 January 2011

Ultimate Six Frock Coat - fuzzy felts and wools

I’ve had a bit of a lucky break with some of the fabrics I need to match on the coat, which going into 2011, is certainly welcome news!
Fabrics 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 11

Now, I had already found a supplier for a number of the key felt fabrics.

You can read about these under
The Easy Fabrics

Off the roll they could supply an excellent match for the Purple Felt (fabric 2); a fair match for the Red Felt (fabric 5); but by the time I got down to the Green Felt (fabric 3) it wasn’t so good (see above).

What I didn’t show at the time was a lack of match for the Yellow Lapel (fabric 7) and the complete abscence of the bright Pink Felt (fabric 11). The yellows they had in their range were either just a little too bright or way too dark (see left).

The company I had lined up was, however, able to dye-to-match if given a colour to use.
Great – but they wanted a minimum of 50 metres in  a single order to do it! Ouch!
For the Pink Felt that made it totally impractical, as I only need a single piece around 6 inches wide by 24 inches high!!!!!!

I have since done some searching around and have found a fabric mill in England who make and supply just the right type of felts.

I enquired about some swatches and they sent over a bang-on match for the Purple Felt – and costing half what I was due to be paying.
Impressed, I asked to see a complete shade card of the colours they can offer, only to be told they don’t officially have such a thing, as they manufacture and dye-to-match as required. I could therefore have any colour I wanted.

Still reeling from minimum order levels, I asked what the shortest run they wound do for me and they said five metres! Perfect!

I then worried about set-up fees, colour-matching fees, handling-fees etc etc - but was told it was simply a per-metre cost, but with a 30% surcharge for orders under 10 metres, which on their already low prices added nothing outrageously expensive.

It was time to reassess and revisit ALL the colours I was looking for, as now I could quite possible get a much better deal. As a reminder, here are the six colours in my sights.
Top row: (2) Purple Felt; (3) Green Felt; (4) Peach Wool
Bottom row: (5) Red Felt; (7) Yellow Lapel; (11) Pink Felt

I sent over detail and images of the fabric colours I was aiming for and after a couple of weeks received a set of swatches for my approval (see right).

I was very impressed with the yellow; a vastly improved red; and some options for the pink, peach and green.

I get the feeling I’ll be doing a lot of business with them over the coming months!

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