INSIDE LOOKBREW'S DESIGN STUDIO
Lookbrew Tweed looks traditional but it has advanced technology woven into its core. It must fit in with typical country uniform to a degree, but its level of comfort and performance far surpasses that of historical tweeds. For example, our tweeds are significantly lighter than classically constructed tweeds, making them more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. They are fast-drying and can also go in the washing machine.
WHAT ENHANCED FUNCTIONALITY DOES THE TWEED PROVIDE FOR SHOOTERS OR HUNTERS?
Along with it being lightweight and durable, the tweed has a Teflon finish that adds to its external water repellence. It also features a GORE-TEX drop liner, which ensures the garment is fully waterproof, windproof and breathable, and provides additional comfort when undertaking active pursuits. Pocket placement is carefully considered for the gun and we’ve designed the cartridge pockets so that they can be easily accessed. There is often a lot of waiting around on a shoot, so we included hand warmer pockets and a high collar for extra weather protection. The Nylon we incorporated into the fabric also ensures that carrying a gunslip and a cartridge won’t cause wear and tear on the shoulders.
TELL US ABOUT THE DESIGN PROCESS.
I visit the mill in Hawick at the beginning of every year to discuss patterns and colour. I take the seasonal direction of the collection with me and look through the new design cards the mill have prepared. It’s a joint process between myself and their designers, looking at what pattern we are replacing and the new colour direction. There are so many stunning cloths and blankets of designs to go through so this takes a whole day. Once we have chosen a pattern, we confirm the colours. If a tweed has an over check, we can darn in colour checks from yarn bundles on a small swatch to get an idea of what works. We then record what we have chosen and order sample lengths. Once we receive these and make up protos, we can make any final amendments to the colours and pattern before ordering the fabric in bulk. One of the best things about designing the tweed in the mill is I have all the yarn colour bundles to hand, so I can pull colours from the chosen tweed to use for colour direction across the rest of the collection.
TELL US ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY.
We first launched this technical tweed cloth, in autumn winter 2014. High twist Cheviot and Worsted wools are combined with a fine nylon filament to increase strength and reduce water absorption. The machine washable version of this cloth was launched in 2010. We developed a new process with Lovat Mill that involves coating each individual yarn, so that the barbs don’t twist or felt when washed. This is much more environmentally friendly than using harsh chemicals to burn off the barbs and our method leaves the cloth looking and feeling much more vibrant and luxurious.
WHAT WOULD YOU PAIR THE JACKET WITH TO COMPLETE THE LOOK?
You would predominantly see our tweed jackets paired with matching breeks and waistcoat. However, when we introduced a herringbone tweed without an over check, we found that wearers started to pair their jackets and breeks with solid green products, or even other tweeds, as this pattern is far more versatile. We have knitwear and tattersall check shirts that compliment all our tweed colourways to complete the look.