Suiting Fabrics and Cloth: The Weaves and Designs: Pinhead

Pinhead, also known as pin-dot or nailhead is similar to the birdseye pattern, but smaller. It is a worsted wool suiting with a twill weave covered with small dots, that look like they have been hammered in with nails or pins. It has the appearance of tiny white or light coloured dots appearing in rows both vertically and horizontally. The fabric can hold a sharp crease, which makes it exeptionally well wearable, but also a good fabric to work with for the tailoring process. It is inclined to shine with wear. 

The Technique

Pinhead is a worsted wool fabric, but also made in cotton and rayon. It is a twill woven with a pattern of vertical and horizontal white dots. Genuine pinhead weave foresees that the warp and the weft alternate two light and two dark yarns which cross each other to form a grid filled with little dots.

The Effect of a Pinhead Suit

Somewhere between solids and stripes in formality is pinhead, which examined closely has the appearance of tiny dots of a lighter color on a darker background. A pinhead suit, generally appears as a solid somewhere in between the two colors, similar to the effect of an Oxford cloth shirt. Pinhead is appropriate in any occasion where stripes would be, and can be substituted for solids on all but the most formal of occasions.

The Windowpane

The windowpane worsted has always featured low among the rank and file, while its standing with the well-starched set has never been higher. Rarely found hanging around average retail climes, the windowpane suit, when it did make one of its rare appearances on a selling floor, tended to overstay its welcome. As a result of its commercial disabilities, most men remain unfamiliar with the windowpane’s insider charisma.

For the initiated, the pattern’s individuality and popular neglect are two of its main attractions, the third being its salutary effect on the male figure. Longer in length than width, its upright rectangular formation subtly elongates, unlike the stripe, which works its magic in more conspicuous ways. Another plus is its facility for harmoniously combining with a second or third pattern. The windowpane’s open-box setting encourages far more varied pattern mixes than the glen plaid’s multilinear ground. However, the windowpane’s clearly demarcated outline gives manufactures even less margin for error in matching.

Whether in a charcoal flannel enlivened with a chalk-toned windowpane or a tropical worsted embellished with a colored overcheck, this erudite pattern is, like Caesar’s wife, above suspicion.

Suiting Fabrics and Cloth: The Weaves and Designs: Herringbone

If you are looking for a proper business or city suit, think about having your garments tailored with the Herringbone fabrics available at De Oost. Then again if you are looking for a more heavy outdoor Tweed suit these are offered too in Herringbone. Technically Herringbone is not really a fabric, it is a method of weaving a fabric. Herringbone is a twill-weave with threads running alternately to left and right to form an inverted -V design that could be construed as the bones of a fish. This is a popular style for suits and sport jackets. Herringbone-patterned fabric is usually wool, and is one of the most popular cloths used for suits and outerwear. Tweed cloth is often woven with a herringbone pattern. 

History of the Herringbone pattern

The use of the Herringbone pattern is not limited to the weaving of fabric. Some say the V-shaped pattern was developed around 500 B.C. during the Roman Empire as they developed an expansive world-class road system called the Viae Publicae. The basic principle for the construction of this super road – which allowed for accelerated communication and rapid transport of people and materials throughout the empire – was called Opus spicatum, or “spiked work”. It was discovered that this simple pattern of interlocking bricks creates an intensely durable and stable  geometric matrix, perfect for roadways and infrastructure. 

In fashion design these patterns are also often used symbolically to connect a modern garment to it’s historical predecessors, since patterns are like flags; they have the potential to evoke a sense of identity and place. The fact that herringbone’s roots are in Rome make it a no-brainer that plenty of suits, sportcoats, and blazers have been done up in the pattern.  The Herringbone pattern can be found in Celtic history too; horsehair herringbone cloth has been found in Ireland from around 600 B.C., which explains why it’s also a traditional choice for tweed. That being said let us start by showing you some of the tailored tweed herringbone garments by De Oost. Following with a selection of the herringbone business and city suits tailored for our clients.

Herringbone pattern often seen in Tweed fabrics

Tweed is popular for equestrian, hunting and other outdoor activities.  The smaller details of having a Herringbone pattern in your tweed tailored garments give one a fast and dynamic look while coarsing or horse riding. The herringbone pattern is vibrant and alive.

Grey Herringbone from the Harris Tweed Collection from  Holland & Sherry - HS 1389, available at De Oost.

Rust Herringbone double breasted waistcoat and notch lapel. Click here to see the complete portfolio.

Light Grey Wool Herringbone Flanel 3 Piece Suit

Herringbone popular with Business Suits

As is seen on our Business Suits page, many clients have chosen  to have their business suits tailored with an herringbone weave fabric.  Today herringbone cloth can be found in just about any garment type, in an endless variety of sizes, scales, textures, weights, colors, blends, etc. It’s one if the easiest ways for a man to introduce pattern into his wardrobe, too, because it is  so subtle and monotone that you don’t really have to worry about it clashing with other patterns. 

Dress Wear with Herringbone pattern

 In our collection of bespoke tailored tuxedos, tailcoats, morning coats, waistcoats, dress wear and formal wear, the herringbone pattern appears too.  One of our eye-catchers in the atelier of De Oost is a morning coat and waistcoat with a strong visible herringbone pattern.

The Morning Coat: Coat, Waistcoat and Trousers with Morning stripe. Click to see complete portfolio here.