Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Jacket story

I've been taking apart recycled wool clothing today. I don't usually get such strong emotional reactions to a piece as I had this morning. Some of the clothing came from Nelson and this man's jacket was one of those. It was a well-worn sports jacket made from an open-weave wool that my mother used to call hop-sacking. The background color is heathery moss green with gold and dark green tones. The tweed is a large (about 2 in) window-pane check of dark red. Given the colors and construction, I would estimate that it's over 35 years old. And it was prized and loved by someone.
I can imagine the fabric being woven in the mill; the bolts of cloth shipped off to tailoring establishments and finally someone buying the jacket. I don't think it was a very expensive jacket as the construction is not high quality. But, it was before the fusible interfacings and hair canvas were used. There is a lot of hand padding on the fronts. This jacket would have been available to be altered to fit several sizes and body types as the seams have very generous allowances. It was sold by Claymore Clothes on Hastings St in Vancouver.

As the jacket aged, a button fell off and a different one sewn on. Sort of the same color but nowhere near the same style, crudely sewn with brown thread. Hard to say when. The lining stitching had been repaired on the left shoulder - with bright blue thread! The stitching is smaller and neater here. I was imagining a wife sewing this part back together but due to aging eyes had misjusdged the color. or maybe had nothing but blue on hand? I think the gentleman of a certain age repaired his own button even though the coat was well past it's prime. He must have enjoyed it's lively striping.

This is my story for a jacket that will one day be part of a beautiful rug.

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