Jump to content


Photo

Vintage Haircloth


  • Please log in to reply
64 replies to this topic

#1 Sator

Sator

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,998 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 07 September 2009 - 04:15 PM

Here is something unusual that I picked on eBay.de:



It is a piece of vintage haircloth from an old German maker often advertised in vintage issues of die Schneidermeister and Rundschau.



I wanted to see what it was like, and whether it might be much stouter and springier than modern haircloth. I must say it wasn't the revelation I had been secretly hoping for. For a start, vintage haircloth is much scratchier and less tightly woven than modern versions. It made me realise why it is that some texts such as Cabrera instruct you to place a layer of domette over the chest piece to avoid a stray strand of hair scratching the wearer. This isn't necessary on modern haircloth. There are a couple of examples of haircloth in the books I have from Richard James Weldon that are both much smoother, more tightly woven and springier than this vintage Hänsel stuff. The Fachrosshaar from Orag that I have is also much smoother, although also significantly lighter.

Interestingly, I came across a defense of haircloth in the 1927 edition of die Zuschneidekunst that says that some older tailors were prejudiced against haircloth because of experiences with stray strands scratching the wearer, but that modern weaving technology had overcome these problems. Since 1927 weaving technology has obviously progressed even further.

While it is interesting to see what vintage haircloth is like, I am not sure I am in a big hurry to use this piece of haircloth in a coat.

#2 jefferyd

jefferyd

    Guru

  • Super Pro
  • PipPip
  • 281 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 September 2009 - 11:48 PM

The same problems exist with modern haircloth, though they have improved with better weaving and crimping. The distinction should be made between regular hymo and haircloth, the hymo being fairly soft and using horse mane and usually full width, and the haircloth being narrow width (no more than 36") and being stiff and springy, made from horse tail. The vintage piece looks like a wrapped horsehair and not a proper hairlcoth- you'd need to take a very close look to tell the difference (it could also be a tight hym0); the one in the ad in certainly hymo and not haircloth- haircloth would not roll like that. The way the pieces are cut and sewn into the canvas will affect migration (poking out) and especially the crimping of the fibers. If you grab the cotton warp and try to separate it, bad haircloth will open easily- good stuff, whose hair has been crimped and will prevent this grin, will help prevent migration and fibers poking through. All that being said, it produces a nice, clean chest and shoulder and I use tons of it.

Hymo is another matter and we have yet to see a product which does not require any felt or domette at all (though Kufner is working on it). The scratchiness is the ends of the hair that protrude from the canvas- many feel that leaving this scratchiness is good because it grips the cloth and holds all layers together better. More modern hymo is singed during finishing- run through big machines with open flames that burn off these hair ends which makes a smoother finish which does not grip- this was done mostly because of modern applications where hymo chest pieces were gripping fused fronts way too much and causing trouble.

Common modern applications are to user one (or more) large pieces of hymo (usually a wrapped hair with 2 to four picks per inch) in the chest, with haircloth in the shoulder only, some makers, such as Canali, Zegna, Samuelsohn, etc. use a large piece of haircloth (sometimes two) in the chest, and a piece in the shoulder on a partial bias. In manufacturing the decision is usually based on cost because haircloth is MUCH more expensive than hymo.

#3 Sator

Sator

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,998 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 08 September 2009 - 01:24 AM

Actually, you are right this stuff (Hänsel Orange) is almost certainly hair canvas. It has the same texture as modern hair canvas, only much coarser, bristly and so springy that I mistook it for some strange ancient haircloth. The other confusing thing is the narrow width of 80cm (31.5"). In which case, it really is significantly stouter than modern hair canvas. This Hänsel hair canvas feels like heavy sandpaper.

#4 Schneidergott

Schneidergott

    Master

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 08 September 2009 - 01:56 AM

I have bought several metres of this a while back (it's not vintage, just around for a long time) and I don't think it is haircloth, but horsehair canvas (like jefferyd said). It was one of the most popular canvas materials, but Hänsel had different "labels", each one representing a different type and strength. I do remember a text in a German magazine giving instructions which one to use for body, chest and shoulder piece. The "Orange" was for the body.
One instruction for making a canvas said not to press the material before using it. The tiny hairs sticking out would have the effect of connecting with the cloth.
Hänsel (and other producers of this type of material like Kufner and others) claim(ed) that it is "krumpffrei", which means it doesn't shrink in the water.

This is a close up of the Hänsel:



The weft has the horsehair, which provides the materials springiness, the warp is made either of cotton or viscose fibres (hard to tell from the burn test). Could be linen as well. The reason why it has only a 80cm width is probably based on it's origin and the technology in those days (restricted width of the looms).
I have a description of the making process, just cannot find it right now.

This is a close up of the haircloth from the Orag:



The dark threads are either synthetic or horsehairs which have been treated with some sort of metal (?) coating. At least it makes a crackling noise when burned. The finer white fibres are again cotton or viscose.

"Nur der ist Meister seiner Kunst, der immer sucht, das Gute zu verbessern und niemals glaubt, das Beste schon zu haben."
"Only he is a master of his art who always seeks to improve the good and never believes to have the best already"

http://www.dressedwell.net/ It's snarky, but fun.


#5 Sator

Sator

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,998 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 08 September 2009 - 02:09 AM

Hänsel (and other producers of this type of material like Kufner and others) claim(ed) that it is "krumpffrei", which means it doesn't shrink in the water.


That is certainly what they claim here (inside cover of 1927 die Zuschneidekunst):

Posted Image

Or at least they say that it is "meticulously pre-shrunk". I wonder when the company stopped making this stuff, because I've never seen modern hair canvas like this.

#6 Sator

Sator

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,998 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 08 September 2009 - 02:30 AM

I just found this on the internet:

http://www.haensel-t...eiche/einlagen/

Does Haensel still make this same hair canvas???

#7 Schneidergott

Schneidergott

    Master

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 08 September 2009 - 02:55 AM

I just found this on the internet:

http://www.haensel-t...eiche/einlagen/

Does Haensel still make this same hair canvas???


I bought mine from a commercial seller on Ebay.de and in the item description it said " available again", so I'd guess it must be in their official products line.

http://www.haensel-t...produkte/plack/

I think I spotted "our" haircloth, too.

I cannot tell if my or the actual Hänsel Orange is equal to the old version from times when production methods and fibres used were different.

"Nur der ist Meister seiner Kunst, der immer sucht, das Gute zu verbessern und niemals glaubt, das Beste schon zu haben."
"Only he is a master of his art who always seeks to improve the good and never believes to have the best already"

http://www.dressedwell.net/ It's snarky, but fun.


#8 Els

Els

    Umsie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 43 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:The Netherlands

Posted 08 September 2009 - 10:25 AM

I used Hänsel interfacing which is specially made for use in leather, when I made some leather bags. This interfacing canvas for leather can be fused at a low temperature and is not scratchy.



#9 Sator

Sator

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,998 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 08 September 2009 - 10:25 AM

Doesn't "Plack" mean haircloth for the chest piece? In which case, could these be current production versions of their haircloth? The weights they quote are 155 bis 235 g/qm, which seems a bit lighter than my piece of Hänsel Orange, which was sold to me as being older stuff, no longer in production. It is very heavy - the heaviest hair canvas I have ever come across. I would guess that it was about 30% heavier than the heaviest hair canvas in the Richard James Weldon canvas books.

#10 Sator

Sator

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,998 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 08 September 2009 - 05:04 PM

This is a close up of the haircloth from the Orag:

Posted Image

The dark threads are either synthetic or horsehairs which have been treated with some sort of metal (?) coating. At least it makes a crackling noise when burned. The finer white fibres are again cotton or viscose.


BTW, how are you finding the Orag haircloth? Compared to many of the haircloths in the Richard James Weldon books, I find it fairly light. I'd be interested to know what percentage is horsehair. Otherwise, it is quite springy for the weight. I would think it light enough to layer.

#11 Schneidergott

Schneidergott

    Master

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 08 September 2009 - 06:16 PM

The Orag catalogue doesn't say anything about the components and their percentages. The weight for this haircloth is 165g/ sq.m.
I hadn't seen haircloth until I found that sort of material in a vintage SR coat.
This one is very nice and tightly woven, with fibres not coming out easily, but I have no comparison to other versions of perhaps different makers. This weight is almost perfect and although I haven't tried heavier versions, those might be too stiff.
I first found haircloth in an old SR coat I got on Ebay.uk. That version had already lost some fibres (the stiffer fibres could be removed easily) and was definitely of minor quality.

"Nur der ist Meister seiner Kunst, der immer sucht, das Gute zu verbessern und niemals glaubt, das Beste schon zu haben."
"Only he is a master of his art who always seeks to improve the good and never believes to have the best already"

http://www.dressedwell.net/ It's snarky, but fun.


#12 Sator

Sator

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,998 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 08 September 2009 - 06:28 PM

Richard James Weldon sent me a couple of books of canvas. The book with the haircloth contains information on the fibre composition but sadly not the weights. You might like to take a look at them for yourself. Some of them are of a similar weight to the stuff from Orag, which is definitely not in the RJW book, others are heavier - and springier yes.gif . I personally would think it a mismatch to use such the light Orag haircloth with the heavy Haensel Orange hair canvas.

#13 Schneidergott

Schneidergott

    Master

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 08 September 2009 - 06:49 PM

I personally would think it a mismatch to use such the light Orag haircloth with the heavy Haensel Orange hair canvas.


I haven't used the haircloth that much so far, only recently as shoulder support since the main canvas and the chest piece are made of really light weight canvas (Italian canvas with a weight of 150g/ sq.m, the chest piece or Plack slightly heavier).
But I found this while scrolling through my pictures. It shows a Brioni still life from their tailoring school:

Posted Image

At a closer look I saw that the chest piece is most likely made of haircloth, which is pad stitched onto the body canvas. At the shoulder is another (additional layer, perhaps) piece of canvas or haircloth, cut on the bias.

Posted Image

I actually like that light Italian canvas, although at first I was a bit suspicious. Of course it cannot be as springy as the heavier horse or goat hair canvasses, but with a little support in chest and shoulder it makes a nice front, especially when the cloth is already on the heavier side (which, by modern standards would be more than 10 oz.)

"Nur der ist Meister seiner Kunst, der immer sucht, das Gute zu verbessern und niemals glaubt, das Beste schon zu haben."
"Only he is a master of his art who always seeks to improve the good and never believes to have the best already"

http://www.dressedwell.net/ It's snarky, but fun.


#14 Sator

Sator

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,998 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 09 September 2009 - 02:05 PM

I've just been in touch with the following eBay.de seller:

http://stores.shop.e...n__W0QQ_armrsZ1
Contact person: Klaus Neumann
Nähwelt - Die Welt des Nähens
- Tel/Fax: 02366 - 88 55 65
- Post :
Nähwelt - Die Welt des Nähens
Reitkamp 53
45699 Herten
Germany
- email: naehwelt@aol.com

Although not listed at the moment, they sell Haensel Orange. I asked if it was new stock and they replied it was available "as always" (immer noch). I brought out the small length they had remaining, so they've just placed an order for another 100m. The tiny length I brought from another seller was sold to me as vintage stock and leftover tailoring supplies. I would be interested in comparing the contemporary Haensel Orange with it. The old stuff I have is the stoutest, bristliest hair canvas I have ever seen. I hope they haven't lightened up the weave.

I also brought one of their horsehair tailor's hams. The ones I see here are usually cheap and nasty Chinese things.

They were very prompt and efficient in replying to questions (in German). I don't know if they speak English, but I'm sure they could manage it.

#15 Schneidergott

Schneidergott

    Master

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 09 September 2009 - 05:46 PM

If I remember correctly, that's the shop where I bought my Hänsel Orange, too. It was for auction and I paid a ridiculous sum per metre.
I'm afraid the "new" Orange is much softer than your vintage version.
I actually doubt that such heavy and stiff canvas material is available in Germany, since the tendency is towards lighter and softer interiors.
The highest canvas weight available from Orag is 230g and I'd hesitate to call that heavy.
But honesrly, if you use heavy cloth (and I mean really heavy cloth like 14oz. and up) there is no need for a heavy canvas, since the cloth has sufficient structure already.
So rather than using heavy canvas and cutting the layers on the bias to give it "softness" I'd go for a selection of lighter canvasses plus haircloth.
There is no need to make a garment "bulletproof"!

"Nur der ist Meister seiner Kunst, der immer sucht, das Gute zu verbessern und niemals glaubt, das Beste schon zu haben."
"Only he is a master of his art who always seeks to improve the good and never believes to have the best already"

http://www.dressedwell.net/ It's snarky, but fun.


#16 jefferyd

jefferyd

    Guru

  • Super Pro
  • PipPip
  • 281 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:35 PM

But honesrly, if you use heavy cloth (and I mean really heavy cloth like 14oz. and up) there is no need for a heavy canvas, since the cloth has sufficient structure already.


Au contraire! That would be like building a heavy house on a light foundation! The canvas weight should be matched to the cloth weight. Unless, of course, you are into the "limp look".

#17 Sator

Sator

    Administrator

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,998 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 09 September 2009 - 10:27 PM

Au contraire! That would be like building a heavy house on a light foundation! The canvas weight should be matched to the cloth weight.


This was what I was taught as well.

Unless, of course, you are into the "limp look".


You mean like a drape cut coat of 18 Oz cloth but with a linen canvas underneath it :ike:

#18 Schneidergott

Schneidergott

    Master

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 09 September 2009 - 10:33 PM

>Au contraire! That would be like building a heavy house on a light foundation! The canvas weight should be matched to the cloth weight. Unless, of course, you are into the "limp look".


So following that logic, it would mean that you take a heavy cloth with already some structure and give it even more structure (and weight) by using a heavy interior, right?
And with those lightweight cloths with hardly any structure of their own it would mean that you use a light interior . Would that not make them look limp?
And doesn't it depend more on whether a cloth is stiff or soft, rather than on weight alone?

In case I'm totally wrong: :im Not Worthy: :im Not Worthy: :im Not Worthy:

"Nur der ist Meister seiner Kunst, der immer sucht, das Gute zu verbessern und niemals glaubt, das Beste schon zu haben."
"Only he is a master of his art who always seeks to improve the good and never believes to have the best already"

http://www.dressedwell.net/ It's snarky, but fun.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users