Let's talk about wool coats, jackets, and vests

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by TLW '90, Oct 16, 2021.

  1. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

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    Don't know about Woolrich, but the Filson jackets/coats are a lightweight version of the old stuff. If I remember correctly, their Mackinaws are in 24 oz. and 26 oz. That's as heavy as they get. By comparison, my old Woolrich is about 30 oz. It is a warm jacket. I can't say the same for my 24 oz. Filson. More fashion wear than cold weather wear.
     
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  2. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton One Too Many

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    I just looked at a little vintage advertising. You can hardly find a Woolrich ad without the inclusion of a shotgun, and in the few cases without a shotgun, they're backpacking a deer or dealing with a shot deer in some way. That's not the case for Filson advertisements. I'd be curious to see some laymen research on this. Did Filson never specifically hit the hunting market, or have they altered their marketing in the past couple of decades to be politically correct?

    Buffalo plaid has become the "it" thing. I don't know about this season, but the past couple of seasons, it's been huge in fashion and home decor. It's weird. Urban Farmgirl country motif.

    I don't believe any mill sells 100% wool anymore. I contacted Pendleton Woolen Mils a couple years ago, and they didn't sell any heavyweight/blanket weight 100% wool anymore. It was all a partially nylon blend, which isn't such a bad idea anyway, but finding fabric is probably very difficult.
     
  3. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton One Too Many

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    24 and 26 were the highest weights at Pendleton Mills, and I think they were either 10 or 15% nylon. I still have the swatches they sent me, but I'd have to dig them out to be certain.
     
  4. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

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    Off the top of my head i can think of 3 100% wool options from Johnson, maybe some hunting pants but I'm not sure.
    Their hunting jacket, the double caped Jac shirt in orange, and the double Cape jac shirt in Canadian plaid.
     
  5. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton One Too Many

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    I shouldn't have said something so definitive. Sorry about that. I believe Pendleton supplied Filson, and Filson said this in advertising? I know I have that notion from somewhere. Most likely a proprietary fabric for Filson only. My point is that when talking to Pendleton, because I was considering a small project of my own, they said they didn't make heavyweight/blanket 100% wool anymore. They also couldn't give me any leads on where to look for it. If it is still out there, I'm guessing these places are possibly making their own fabrics. I believe there were a couple wool mills in Minnesota and/or Wisconsin, but I didn't look into it once I talked to Pendleton. I'd love to know where 24oz+ 100% wool fabric is still made.
     
  6. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

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    Johnson woolen mills offers their hunting coat in a 24oz 100% wool, so they apparently are making it.

    You weren't all that wrong, Johnson woolen mills offers some 100% wool pieces but barely, and I wouldn't be surprised if nobody else in the US does.
     
  7. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

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    Filson is advertising their Mackinaws as 100% virgin wool. In one of the comments, they mention the wool is sourced through Pendleton Mills.

    Interestingly, the Double Mackinaw is no longer in the catalog. So, now all we have through Filson are overpriced and lightweight fashion wool jackets.
     
  8. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

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    I don't think a lightweight wool necessarily makes a less functional and practical tool to keep you warm in the outdoors, I think it can have it's own place and practical purpose but yes it is certainly less than it could be.
    I am positive it costs much more than it has to as well.
     
  9. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton One Too Many

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    If I was a jerk, I'd call Pendleton again and push a little harder this time. I'd still be interested in working on my project. Then again, it might be cheaper to find some vintage wool blankets and use that material.

    I just looked at https://johnsonwoolenmills.com They sure do like their zippers and linings. Am I seeing it right and they only have a single photo for each jacket? At those prices, I want to see about ten different angles and closeups of details. I particularly want to see what they do with the pockets, because I've seen some smart ideas on pockets. One of mine has has the obvious use of a storage area underneath the flap, but then they added another layer of material and left the side open to use as a handwarmer separate from that storage. Not revolutionary or anything, but it's something I almost demand after using them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
  10. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

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    I went to the Woolrich website to see the weight of their jackets. No joy. They don't even offer a wool, lightweight or otherwise, jacket, coat or parka. Plenty of other materials and a wool shirt, but no outerwear.
     
  11. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 I'll Lock Up

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    I like Wool. So many affordable choices on ebay. I often have to turn away and limit what I will buy. This is a Hercules form around 1946.

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  12. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 I'll Lock Up

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    I like Old and New. I would never part with this jacket. I can't say that about many jackets. Freewheelers Wigwam jacket

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  13. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

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    Just in the fold of the collar alone you can see that this is a nice heavy weight wool.
     
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  14. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

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    The woolrich Cape coat arrived, and I like it but it's definitely a lighter weight.
    I thought my barn jacket was possibly towards the lighter side ( no point of reference) and this has gotta be 1/3-1/2 the weight.
    Still this beats the heck out of a hateful cotton or fleece hoodie ( fleece makes my skin crawl and I cannot wear it ).
    This will be perfect for early fall and very early spring.

    It has YKK zippers BTW.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

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    Johnson's Mackinaw is 24 oz. 100% wool. In my opinion that is light for a Mac. I think 26 oz. is light also, but that is the heaviest they are made these days.
     
  16. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

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    Nothing to add except that I never thought I would ever follow with such interest a random conversation about wool jackets.
     
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  17. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

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    That's probably perfectly fine for me.
    I'm going to get the cruiser.
     
  18. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    I live in very temperate west coast climate and the Filson is perfect for our winters save for a few odd cold days. My 85/15 Woolrich is a little heavier and works on those real cold days....the few we have.
     
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  19. Cornelius

    Cornelius Practically Family

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    I can't recall where I came across it, but some years ago I read that making 100% wool fabric heavier than ~26oz in the USA was now going to be impossible essentially due to the fact that the last machines capable of looming this weight were being "retired." I don't know if it's true. But I have searched for 100% virgin wool fabric heavier than 26oz since with zero success.

    Bemidji might've been a mill someone had in mind in an earlier post here - north central Minnesota. They offer 30 oz but only as an 85/15 wool/nylon blend. Their 100% wool cruiser only comes in 24 oz, and this is the fabric supplied to Filson.

    While the patterns for Capotes are certainly centuries old and the Filson-style cruiser/mackinaw more than a century, there's absolutely no way that design would cut it along Lake Huron or Superior during the winter when executed in a 24 or 26 oz fabric. The wool used for these coats in 1800 or 1900 surely must have been much, much heavier. A shame it no longer exists.

    Curious if we could leverage the power of this board to commission some, say, 32 oz wool from some mill or another, in the way some other threads have commissioned special leather runs...
     
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  20. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

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    So far I'm quite liking this woolrich I just received.
    Paired with a henley under a flannel it's just enough enough for cool ( say low 60's ) and allows for good mobility in my arms when I'm out back plinking.

    I've been an airgunner since I was 7 and it's mostly vintage or just traditional American multi stroke pneumatics, so leather is a no go because it makes pumping difficult .
    the old Woolrich barn jacket is perfect when it's in the 40's-50's becsuse it's much thicker but this is perfect for low-mid 60's days like today.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
    tmitchell59 likes this.

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