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The Clatteringford secrets of quality -

Secrets of Quality

1. Unique sourcing skills in natural fibres using innovative blends and high quality yarns.
2. Special selection and monitoring of production and quality from high quality niche suppliers.
3. Ensuring best quality raw materials and yarns are used in knitting and weaving of all products and that all products are handled with care from raw material sourcing to production and finishing.

The Fibres - Alpaca, Linen, Merino Wool, Cashmere

The Fibres

Alpaca

This beautiful alpaca knitwear is made from 100% pure alpaca fleece, long recognised as one of the finest fibres in the world with special insulating properties. Alpaca is warmer than wool, soft as cashmere yet more durable. To withstand the huge variation in temperature in the Andes the alpaca has developed a fleece the fibre of which is hollow giving better insulation and warmth in the cold nights and a better cooling in the heat of day. As the ultimate fibre is hollow the garments have a special light and soft feel. Alpaca fibre also has a smooth surface which eliminates the prickly effect associated with other coarse fibres and gives it the smooth lustrous feel. A resin also protects the wool from dirt, water and staining. Garments made from alpaca, in particular baby alpaca, are ideal for people allergic to wool as its lustrous smooth properties eliminate the itch factor of wool.

Alpaca's silky appearance and warmth made it a high fashion article amongst the wealthy in the nineteenth century. The alpaca, a cousin to the llama originates from South America. The alpaca fibre provides more thermal capacity than almost any other animal, which creates garments that offer featherweight warmth.

Linen

Our Linen Sheets and duvet covers are made from high quality linen fabric using top quality fine linen yarns. Linen is made from the flax plant. The fibres are removed from the straw in a retting process when flax is laid on fields allowing the long fibre to separate from the straw. The long fibre is hackled (combed) keeping the fibres parallel spun. Flax is then spun through hot water which releases the pectin in the fibre and allows the yarns to be spun to fine counts. Wet spinning also gives the real lustrous quality look to linen as lower quality garments are often made from dry spun linen which is more hairy. All our fabrics are selected using this wet spinning process which gives the highest quality finish as opposed to dry spinning which gives a more hairy, rough appearance. It is only through wet spinning that the finest quality yarns can be spun.

Best quality fabric comes from Western European sources. Belgium remains famous for growing and processing flax and Belgian linen is accredited with the Masters of Linen label as very little is now woven in Ireland. Using best quality fine flax yarns it is woven to a higher 1300 thread count than from other countries; with yarns more densely packed the higher thread count enables a smoother finish and gives a more superior quality. Many mail order companies are selling at around 1000/1100 from Eastern European sources which does not give same crisp cool quality feel as it is made from coarser flax.

Sleeping in pure linen sheets will give the allergy sufferer a more comfortable nights sleep. Made from pure flax these sheets are crisp and cool in the hot summer nights. Flax is a natural fibre and has particularly good absorbent qualities allowing absorption of perspiration during the night. It is also anti-static and resists dust. All these qualities are particularly good for asthma sufferers. Flax is the most ecological of natural fibres using few chemicals compared with cotton.

Properties of Linen
- Antistatic - resists dust
- Hypoallergenic - ideal for asthma sufferers
- Cooling due to natural absorbency of linen giving a cool fresh feel to linen sheets. Essential luxury for hot summer nights.
- Absorbent - most efficient fibre for drying due to ability to take in water. Ideal for kitchen and bathroom towels.

Merino Wool

Merino wool is tightly crimped and sprung. It is regarded as the finest and softest wool of any sheep. Merino sheep are bred for their superior fine wool. Superfine merino wool is regarded as best due to its ability to blend with other exclusive fibres like Cashmere and Silk.

Wool is an excellent insulator and great baselayer. It keeps heat close to the body by trapping still or dead air within the fibers. To a certain degree, wool is considered water repellent. Small amounts of liquid, such as spills, light rain or snow, will stay on the surface or run off the fabric. Wool fabrics also wick moisture away from the skin, keeping the wearer dryer when sweating and cooler when hot.

Wool garments do not soil easily and are not easily spotted by grease and oils. These characteristics decrease the need to clean wool garments after every use. Recommended care for most wool garments is dry cleaning or hand washing.

Cashmere

With the luxurious soft fleece of the cashmere goat we are offering real quality knitwear in new bright and subtle colours. Living in the extremely cold climate of Mongolia the cashmere goat evolved with the warmest fleece in the world.

We are offering ladies and gents Scottish and Irish designer cashmere jerseys knitted with special four-ply yarns spun from the best grades of Mongolian fibre. These sweaters are warm, but lightweight to wear offering a refreshing chic image to casual wear.

Unlike other mail order companies which often use a loose knit and lower grade fibre we use finest staple length fibre, giving best quality cashmere a tight knit and a long lasting sweater you will love.

The Clatteringford Story