25.11.2022

FLANNEL

Flannel is a loose, lightly brushed weave, now made from wool, cotton or synthetic fibres, formerly woven from carded wool or worsted yarn. It is characterised by a plain or twill weave, usually brushed in a single or double “fluff” (a technique using a wire brush to rub the fabric, lifting the fine fibres giving it a softer feel). Worsted flannel is a more wiry fabric, while plain weave flannel has a more mossy appearance due to the looser weave.

Flannel was developed by Fox Brothers in 1803, a spinning mill founded in 1772 in Somerset in southern England, which is the oldest spinning mill still in operation.

Initially intended as workwear for Scottish peasants and workers, the flannel production process was later refined into a more valuable fabric suitable for suiting.

Wool flannels offer a rich palette of deep greys. Scraping the fabric allows the patterns to blend in like chalk stripes. A fluffy, faded look that Francis Bacon reproduced in his paintings by mixing dust from his studio with oil paint.

Nowadays, if flannel is restricted to the winter wardrobe, it can be worn from autumn to spring by adapting its weight or composition. During the first part of the 20th century, spinners produced light pearl grey or off-white flannels for leisure suits for the seaside, tennis or cricket.

HUSBANDS

DOUBLE-BREASTED SUIT IN FLANNEL – OYSTER BEIGE
Arnaud de Rosnay, Paris, 1970

Arnaud de Rosnay, Paris, 1970

Mick Jagger, Paris, 1969

Mick Jagger, Paris, 1969

Robert Palmer, Presure Drop, 1975

Robert Palmer, Presure Drop, 1975

Jacques Dutronc and Romy Schneider, Paris, 1975

Jacques Dutronc and Romy Schneider, Paris, 1975

Love in the Afternoon , 1972

Love in the Afternoon , 1972

Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson, Los Angeles, 1978

Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson, Los Angeles, 1978