Are we really so old fashioned? Well you see, it is all to do with our raw material, pure new wool.
New, untreated wool not only retains its natural oils, the fibres encapsulate tiny air pockets and this enables the fabric to exchange heat and humidity in a way that other natural and synthetic materials cannot match. Wearing pure new wool is much healthier. You are less likely to catch cold and people suffering from problems such as gout or rheumatism feel much better if they wear wool. It helps against these problems in later life too. It is hard to believe but pure new wool can actually absorb 35% of its own weight in moisture before it feels wet.
Pure new wool clothes are comfortable and crease resistant. Because of its ability to compensate for changes in temperature it is warm in winter but also pleasant to wear in summer. The natural oils in wool dirt so to clean the clothes it is usually enough to brush and air them.
So now we come to the question of why we may seem a bit old fashioned. Wool, pure new quality wool, needs time. It has to be processed slowly. Modern mass production machines can simulate the process but they make the fibres brittle. The chemicals which the mass producers use to rectify this destroy much of the ability to compensate for temperature and humidity changes. You sweat and are more troubled by staic electricity in your clothes. That is why we still use old machines and processes. It lets us retain all the natural properties of the wool. It leads to outstanding quality.
The first step is to select the right wool or wools for the cloth, or “Loden” as we call it. A fine “Loden” will be warm in winter and light and comfortable in summer. Heavier “lodens” will be very warm and durable. The wool or blend of wools is combed by a carding machine and then spun into a fine yarn. Some of the yarns are sold as knitting wool. We make some of it into knitwear such as high Quality socks, gloves, mittens, sweaters, cardigans and pullovers. Some yarns are woven into a fabric which is then “Walked” (fulled in English).
“Fulling” is a process in which the cloth (“Loden”) is hammered in warm water (40-45C). This causes it to compact to 40% of its original size. It is then gently washed in mild soap suds.
The way we make clothes has several benefits. “Walked” cloth is very hard wearing. Traditional jackets have been known still to still be in wear after 20 years or more. Air held in the fabric lets it compensate for changes in temperature and humidity. A “Walked” (Fulled) garment is pretty near windproof and is very water resistant. Depending on the type our “Loden” will bear 2 to 6 hours of rain without soaking through.
The finishing involves dyeing and drying and the cloth is napped or shorn and ironed twice.
All our products are sold in our own “Lodenwalke” showrooms. We do not export or supply other stores.
Quality has always been our watchword. The 16 steps in our manufacture even include careful natural air drying of our cloths to give a soft and comfortable feel to them. Our blankets ares till napped with thistles which prevents the build up of static electricity. Pure new wool blankets are said to be best next to the skin.
Lodenwalke clothes are worn by satisfied customers in many distant parts of the world. They have found that our attitude to quality suits them just as well as our clothes do.
To find out more, please come and see us, Phone or fax. We will be pleased to hear from you.