This is the most common fabric used for suits and refers to wool or wool-blend cloth with a smooth surface. It is woven from smooth, neatly twisted yarns that have been combed.

Prince Of Wales (POW)

It is also referred to generically as Glen plaid, as it is developed from the Glen Urquhart check worn by the gamekeepers of the Countess of Seafield’s Scottish estate. The pattern is composed of a fine black and white intersecting check, overlaid with a coloured check. King Edward VIII often wore suits in the pattern when he was Prince of Wales.


An evenly spaced, square check that resembles windowpanes.


A zigzag-like broken check, which supposedly looks like the cross-section of a dog’s tooth. It’s a fairly casual pattern and was traditionally worn only during daylight hours. The smaller, less common variation of the pattern is called puppy tooth.


A fine zigzag pattern runs throughout the cloth. It looks like numerous fish skeletons arranged together.


Cloth is woven with a small geometric dotted pattern, supposedly resembling a bird’s eye. This fabric is particularly popular for business suits, due to its sleek appearance.


A tough, thorn-proof, water-repellent wool fabric, which has its roots in the Scottish Highlands. The Scots originally called it tweel, but in 1826, a London clerk is said to have misspelt the word on an order, calling it “tweed”. The most prized tweed is woven on the Isle of Harris, but Cheviot, Irish, Yorkshire, Saxony, West of England and other Scottish tweeds are also well regarded and each has its own traits. Tweed is strictly a day fabric and was not normally worn after 6.00 pm. Needless to say, due to its robust, thick weave (and Scottish origins), it’s most suited to chilly weather.


A soft woollen cloth with a slightly napped finish in a plain or simple twill weave.


The textured, hair-like surface of a material, is created when the fibres are brushed up from the underlying weave during finishing.


A fabric with a diagonal weave.


Fabric is woven from the fleece of the Angora goat, which has a subtle lustrous sheen.


Thin stripes composed of fine dots run vertically through a cloth as if drawn by a pin.

Chalk stripe

Wider than the pinstripe, it is made using several threads that run vertically through a cloth in a slanted arrangement and it sometimes has a subtle “smudged” appearance.


Originating in India, seersucker has a vertical stripe weave and an uneven, lightly crinkled appearance. It’s usually made of cotton and is lightweight and breathable, making it a good option in warmer weather.


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Sharkskin can be defined as a woven blend of smooth wool. More correctly, it is a smooth worsted fabric that often has a soft texture and a two-toned woven appearance to the worsted fabric.


A fibre derived from the fleece of the cashmere goat, which is native to the southern Himalayas. It is prized for its super-soft texture and warmth.

Virgin wool

The wool is taken from a young sheep’s first shearing. It is sought-after owing to its soft, smooth quality.


Cloth is woven with a fine basketweave-like texture.

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