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.

 

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Free delivery on all UK orders
 
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