While Chanel’s long history as a fashion superpower has yielded many iconic pieces – like the quilted-leather shoulder bag and the Little Black Jacket – there is nothing held in higher esteem than its tweed suits and separates. Coco Chanel first discovered the fashion potential of tweed when she decided to lift the fabric from the world of menswear and incorporate it into womenswear for the first time. Women loved the practicality of tweed and its flexibility, but most of all they loved how well the fabric held its shape, which supplied a wonderful silhouette to Chanel’s looks. Although Mademoiselle Chanel originally sourced her tweed from a Scottish textile company in the 1920s, the brand now uses the Maison Lesage Atelier in Paris, which is renowned for producing the highest quality tweed in the world.
Read on for five interesting facts about Chanel tweed, and watch the video below to discover the artisan craftwork of Lesage.
- Lesage tweed gets its iconic unfinished appearance from the alternating kinds of threads that are used in the weaving process.
- There can be up to 12 threads used in a single warp (vertical weave).
- The weft (horizontal weave) can be made of an unlimited amount of threads, which gives the tweed its unique look.
- Because of the infinite varieties of thread used for the weft, the finished product boasts a never-ending amount of textures, thickness, and twills, meaning every finished result is unique.
- Lesage is France’s oldest embroiderer and, since the passing of François Lesage, is now owned by Chanel.
Photo and Video: Courtesy of Chanel