Flocks of sheep were not the white fluffy animals we typically think of today. Instead, sheep were predominately the darker “black” color with a few genetic outliers that were white.
Once wool fibers began to be used in clothing, it was discovered that the fleece from white sheep could be easily dyed to take on a wide variety of hues. This led to the selective breeding of sheep to create flocks that were predominately white, while fleeces from black sheep were discarded. Hence the popularity of the term “black sheep” regarding an unwanted animal.
This “black” wool hasn’t been used — let alone bred — for production. While these fibers aren't truly "black," they are a range of darker browns that are difficult to dye. With prized merino flocks being sought after in white wool that can be dyed, the diversity of black flocks diminished greatly until Loro Piana decided to re-breed an exclusive black flock in New Zealand.
Loro Piana is the exclusive producer of black merino from New Zealand and has worked with a farmer to raise these black sheep in a unique flock that’s brought back the incredible richness of these natural fibers that haven’t been available in this level of quality.
Three categories of fabrics are available at Hall Madden for garments. These fabrics are all completely undyed, using only the natural color of the fleece available. Colors range from a natural “cream” tone to a hearty dark chocolate brown. Fabrics in collections of suiting, blazers and overcoats are available and we love their unique and earthy tones.
First, suiting in open-weave “fresco” style wools with great crease resistance and a dry hand. Plus a series of wonderful rich flannels. Especially of note are the patterned “fresco” weaves — which are quite rare to find — in houndstooth and windowpane.
The blazers mix melange and boucle style weaves into heavier fall-winter weights and also year-round weights that would be business-casual appropriate.
Finally, the overcoats bring a luxurious drape to these natural merinos. While the doeskin brushed fabrics offer a rich hand, the oversized herringbone and houndstooth patterns would make ideal “statement” overcoats for the colder weather.
To see these swatches, we’ve posted them online in galleries for suiting, blazers and overcoats and also have them at our fit studio locations for you to view in person to commission your next garment with us. We think you’ll enjoy wearing these unique fabrics.
Since 1876, Albini Group has been employing the best methods of creating the most beautiful fabrics in the world. Our current Albini shirting offerings include the following collection books:
- Business a Milano - Primarily business formal shirting, from midweight to heavyweight in classic white, light blue and a few pinks and lavenders with subtle stripes and patterns.
- L'aperitivo in Piazetta - Slightly more casual shirting, meant to be worn alongside casual suits and sport coats in more informal settings.
- L'opera Alla Scala - Formal black tie shirting to be worn with tuxedos and dinner jackets. Predominately white shirting and some in midnight navy and black.
- In barca a Portofino - The vacation warm-weather collection of linen and linen-cotton blends full of bold patterns and colors for when on holiday.
- Nel fine settimana - An autumnal collection with darker tones and more casual stripes and checks, inspired by roadtrips along the Italian countryside.
- Moda Italiana - A fashion print collection that's creatively inspired by art, design and painting. Unique fabrics you won't find anywhere else made with modernity in mind.
For returning clients who have not yet been fitted for our new dress shirt program please us the link below to book a new fitting in seconds. Our team looks forward to seeing you again.
A shirt made with Thomas Cloth fabric feels substantial. It is a dynamic cloth that instantly looks upscale to the eye. It is for this reason we have decided to partner with one of Europe's elite mills.
Founded more than two-and-a-half centuries ago, Thomas Mason is one of the most recognizable names in luxury shirting. While Thomas Mason today is milled under the Italian Albini Group, it still remains a distinct British identity with bold checks sitting in collections alongside a variety of crisply-woven business solids in various weaves.
Explore the collection online and come experience it in person at your next appointment. Pricing is 4 shirts/$1000. Expect an expanded offering for 2018.