Waistcoats, Caps and Bow Ties - Tweed for Weddings (Yes, Even in Summer!)

20 Jul 2018
Craftsmanship | Artisan Production

When we launched Cock & Bull Tweed Collection, we had no idea just how popular it would be with men tying the knot. In retrospect, it makes a great deal of sense though - your wedding day is a time to invest in something very special for yourself and the family you’re starting.

Tweed has always been hugely popular at weddings for several reasons. Firstly, it is a dream to tailor. Tailoring is construction as much as it is sewing, which is why a well-tailored item looks so damn sharp. Layers of interfacing and tweed are built up with darts and vents to achieve that crisp, structured, tailored look. It’s like style on tap.

Detail of a Purple Herringbone Tailored Waistcoat by Cock & Bull Tweed Collection

Detail of a Purple Herringbone Tailored Waistcoat by Cock & Bull Tweed Collection

Secondly, tweed is so classy and there are so many great colours, patterns and textures to choose from. You can make a bold statement, an understated statement or anywhere in-between. You can match it with your wife-to-be’s dress, or the theme colour of the wedding. And of course for same-sex marriages, complementary tweed outfits have also proved very popular.

We have, in the past, tailored fully bespoke three-piece suits for grooms, a service we hope to reintroduce as our capacity grows. But in fact, we’ve found that our tweed waistcoats, sans a matching suit, have been a hugely popular choice for weddings. Paired with a crisp white shirt, a tweed waistcoat can look incredibly stylish when worn alone or with a contrasting suit jacket. And when celebrations start to swing it’s still possible to feel relaxed and look super smart - even while dancing.

A bespoke three-piece tweed suit in Ink Blue Herringbone by Cock & Bull Menswear, circa 2015

A Bespoke Three-Piece Tweed Suit in Ink Blue Herringbone by Cock & Bull Menswear, circa 2015

It’s hard to know exactly how many of our garments have been destined to walk down the aisle, but we often do special requests for weddings. We also send courtesy emails to a lot of our customers and often find out from their responses that they have dressed themselves in a tweed waistcoat for a wedding. Tweed bow ties are also popular. One customer bought eight Purple Herringbone tweed bow ties to kit out all the men from the inner circle of guests for the wedding. They matched his Purple Herringbone tweed waistcoat and created a theme which brought them all together visually. While one wouldn’t wear a tweed cap to walk down the aisle or when dining at the reception, there’s no reason not to arrive in one and wear it when outdoors after the ceremony - a matching or properly contrasting cap can really take an outfit to the next level! 

‘But isn’t it hot?’ I hear you ask. You’d be surprised. Cock & Bull Tweed Collection is a little different from traditional country-wear tweed. Country tweeds and Harris Tweeds are very heavy and made from coarse, rough virgin wool. Cock & Bull Tweed Collection, however, use tweed from the mills of Breanish Tweed. Like Harris tweed, it is woven by hand in the crofters’ homes on the Isle of Lewis. Unlike Harris Tweed, they use a softer, finer Shetland wool yarn from the mainland, resulting in a softer, lighter and more elegant tweed more suited to occasion wear than to hunting grouse on the moors. And it’s also significantly cooler (in temperature and in style). Also, handwoven tweed has a relatively loose weave and wool is naturally quite breathable, qualities that also help keep things cool. Our tweed waistcoats have handled many a hot summer wedding with grace!

Denim Blue Herringbone Tweed Waistcoat by Cock & Bull Tweed CollectionDenim Blue Herringbone Tweed Waistcoat by Cock & Bull Tweed Collection

 

Denim Blue Herringbone Waistcoat by Cock & Bull Tweed Collection

Remember, if what you’re interested in is out of stock, we can probably have it made for you. The process can take anywhere between 2 and 6 weeks, depending on the time of year and if we have the tweed in stock, or if we need to order it. And don’t forget we take special orders if you want something a bit different! Take a look at our Special Order Creations page for more information.

70:30 – Why We Use an Organic Hemp and Silk Blend for the Linings of Cock & Bull Tweed Collection

17 Jul 2018
Provenance

70:30 – Why We Use an Organic Hemp and Silk Blend for the Linings of Cock & Bull Tweed Collection

We use a very special organic hemp/silk blend textile for the linings of our caps and waistcoats, in either a royal purple or a rich chocolate brown. It’s woven from 30% organic silk on the warp and 70% hemp on the weft*. 

Hemp and silk are two very different materials in terms of their provenance and production, yet they’re perfectly complimentary when woven together.

Essentially, the silk in our organic hemp/silk blend offers luxurious texture, finish and comfort while the hemp brings strength and durability, as well as longevity.

* In the weaving process, the weft is the yarn that runs across the width of the fabric, while the warp runs the length of the fabric.

 

Luxurious Silk

Silk has been the gold standard for luxurious linings for centuries. Part of its lustrous quality stems from its naturally geometric structure, which refracts light variously depending on the angle it is seen from so that the material itself shimmers.

Durable, Sustainable Hemp

Hemp is an incredibly strong, versatile material made from a strain of the cannabis plant that has possibly the best environmentally friendly profile of any textile known to humanity. It grows to harvestable maturity very quickly and produces 250% more fibre than cotton and 600% more fibre than flax (for linen) on the same amount of land. Hemp plants can be used to extract zinc and mercury pollutants from soil and the crop is incredibly resistant to infestation from insects, moulds, weeds and bacteria. Because of this, it doesn't need spraying with chemicals, so it's generally considered organic by default. Another incredible quality of the hemp plant its efficiency in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. “Because of its unique properties for carbon bio-sequestration, as an export food crop in times of uncertainty to world food security, and as a contributor to eco-friendly building materials, science and bioenergy, it is clear that fast-growing industrial hemp is a major asset in the fight against climate change”.1  It has been cultivated in China for fabric continuously for at least 6000(!) years, from where it has spread throughout the globe.

The Blend - the Best of Both Worlds

By using an organic blend of hemp and silk, our intention is to create beautiful and luxurious clothing that will last, within a sustainable and ecological remit. And our hope and expectation is that the durability of hemp will see that Cock & Bull Tweed Collection garments will be loved for a lifetime, maybe even several. We would be thrilled if when purchasing one of our waistcoats, caps or accessories you were not investing only in yourself, but also in a family heirloom to be passed down the generations.

You could say this exquisite hemp and silk textile represents our entire ethos; high end, luxurious, durable, beautiful and sustainable.

Vibrant

A beautiful aspect of this material combination is that it can take on the most vibrant of colours. In fashion, hemp and silk have long been combined for high-end production and coloured with naturally occurring dyes for the most sumptuous and vivid shades. Our Royal Purple and Chocolate Brown linings are perfect examples of this capacity for vivid colour.

The silk aspect holds that recognisable glossy finish beautifully and the longevity of hemp material means it keeps its vibrancy for years, creating a product you could wear and wear, and then pass on.

The Alternative to...

There are many options available for linings in tailoring. The most common are polyester or cellulose blends (usually acetate and Rayon). Polyester is essentially plastic and between half million and a million tons of plastic microfibers are discharged into wastewater each year from the washing of synthetic (such as polyester) clothes. The vast and catastrophic ecological implications of this are only just being exposed.

And while the cellulose for cellulosic textiles such as acetate and Rayon is vegetable in origin, the processes of breaking wood pulp or bamboo down to a cellular level and then reconstructing them into yarn for weaving is hugely chemical and energy-intensive - far from an ethical or sustainable option.

It's useful to note here how cheap polyester and cellulose textiles are and to consider that end-use consumers rarely pay much attention to linings - as long as it looks ok and doesn't tear or fall apart prematurely, then a lining has fulfilled its purpose, right? So it's easy for a tailor to make the business decision to use something ok looking, functional and cheap.

Sustainability

We use this organic blend of 70% hemp and 30% silk – which we source from an American company who makes it to the highest possible environmental standards in China – in all our linings, and we offset each roll we import with Carbon Footprint Ltd so we remain carbon negative. We don’t do mass production, so each product we create is made by hand by our team. We only ever source materials from places we know and trust so we can guarantee the integrity of our supply chain. Sustainability is at the heart of what we do at Cock & Bull Tweed Collection. So when we found this organic, luxurious, beautiful and durable textile that has longevity, a great ecological profile AND is perfectly suited to luxury linings we knew that, along with our handwoven Hebridean tweeds, we had to make it the backbone of Cock & Bull Tweed Collection.

 

Cock & Bull Tweed Collection, Manufacturing in the United Kingdom

02 May 2018
Made In the UK

A short blog piece in which we explain a little about Cock & Bull Tweed collection's commitment to manufacturing exclusively in the United Kingdom and are proud to fly the Made in Britain flag.

 

Why Buy British?

The last few years have seen a major surge in the number of companies championing British manufacturing – and with all of our products proudly made in the UK, Cock & Bull Tweed Collection is one of them. This is a subject close to our heart and one we’re passionate about. In the wider retail landscape, there are many reasons for this shift towards UK manufacturing, perhaps most pertinently the increased emphasis on avoiding unethical processes in overworked and underfunded overseas factories and production lines. Many shoppers now consider it very important to buy British-made products whenever possible – but why should you buy British?

Support the Local Economy

There is no better way to show your support for the UK economy than by consciously seeking out British-made products wherever and whenever you can. By doing so, you’ll be helping to support not only the British economy, but the untold numbers of UK-based companies eager to prove that staying afloat and turning a profit is still possible while remaining ethical. By buying British, you’re supporting UK employment and entrepreneurship, which in turn helps drive future innovation for these companies and ensures a healthier outlook for the nation’s economy.

Benefit from Great Quality

As a way of safeguarding the quality of the products you buy, opting for British-made items is a superb option. Many UK companies carefully craft everything in-house or use trusted experts to create truly artisanal items – just like our tweed waistcoats, bow ties and caps.

Quality is an ever more pressing concern for UK audiences, with 60% believing if they buy British, they’ll get their hands on a well-made item. Buying from British manufacturers helps ensure your items are made by companies who are truly passionate about their products. It’s also fair to say that retailers happy to fly the Made in Britain flag are likely also invested in maintaining the highest standards of production and finish.

No More Fakes

UK patent law prohibits the creation and sale of fake or counterfeit goods, so if you buy a specific brand, you’ll be sure that’s what you’re getting. This not only helps you benefit from superior manufacturing – but also lessens the chance you’ll end up purchasing a pricey copy rather than the ‘real deal’.

Great Customer Service

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to get in touch with the manufacturer of your product quickly and easily? By buying locally, you can be sure that whether it’s a head office you’re seeking or a shop in your town or city, there’s a UK-based port of call.

Reduce Your Purchase Footprint

By buying British, you’ll reduce the amount of overseas shipping required and help preserve the environment for future generations. Anything you can do to help limit the product supply chain will prevent your goods racking up unnecessary mileage to reach you.

Quicker Delivery

This is a very important factor in choosing to buy British – faster turnaround times on purchases. If you buy locally, you can expect a speedy dispatch and arrival time as your product has to travel over a much shorter distance to reach you than some of the cheaper items you might purchase from overseas.

Supporting British manufacturing, companies and products is great for both consumers and local companies, ensuring customers get the items they want and local companies continue to grow and thrive.

 

 

Free delivery on all UK orders
Free delivery on all UK orders
 
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