We need a durable wool.
April 24, 2014 5:56 PM   Subscribe

I'm a rookie member of the Providence Grays, a vintage baseball team. This season, we are having a difficult time finding a source of wool that we can use for our baseball trousers. Can anyone help me find a source?

I've asked around in a few of my circles that might have been likely (re-enactors, fabric oriented archaeologists), but haven't had any luck. So, I'm turning to AskMe.

When I asked for specifics from the guy who's been dealing with uniform issues, this is what I was told: We need a durable wool. That can be accomplished with some combination of a tight weave and heavy weight. A good heavy weight would be greater than 14oz I think. Don’t know about the weave.

It needs to stand up to sliding multiple times during 35 games for at least 3 years.

Previous sources have dried up for various reasons, and none were ideal from what I can tell from the tales of ripped out seats after just a few games. We had a line on a slightly less than ideal wool earlier this month, but the provider wouldn't offer samples before we bought in bulk, so the deal was off.

If it's not clear from context, we're looking for a heavy weave wool fabric which we will then use to make our trousers. We're also looking for it to come in in a somewhat specific shade of gray, although there's wiggle room there. We're OK for other parts of the uniform at this time.
posted by ursus_comiter to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Have you looked at County Cloth? Their fabric is geared towards Civil War military reenacting. Their collection of Confederate fabrics has several different shades of gray, particularly in jean cloth which they say is a 72% wool/28% cotton mix.
posted by lharmon at 6:14 PM on April 24, 2014

I once made a CSA uniform for a friend who was a Civil War reenactor. He bought the pure gray wool from Amana woollen mills. It doesn't look like they sell wool fabric by the yard online, but it might be worth a call.
posted by caryatid at 7:30 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

The real deal would have played in a heavyweight wool flannel - 12+ oz. Depending on how hot it is when you play, that'd be really hot, though. And woolens are woolens. One of the reasons baseball teams switched to synthetics is because they're cheaper and cheaper to maintain (if uglier and scritchy-scratchier).

Try calling Tip Top Fabrics in NYC and asking them - probably the best menswear fabric shop in the US. Or post on the forum at The London Lounge or The Cutter and Tailor. It's a fun question, I think they'd enjoy it there.

I'll also send this over to the folks at Uni-Watch, they might have an idea for you.
posted by YoungAmerican at 7:52 PM on April 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

Along the same lines as caryatid's suggestion, maybe the Faribault Woolen Mill could do something for you? No fabric by the yard directly for sale either, but the link I gave says they do custom orders.
posted by sigmagalator at 8:58 PM on April 24, 2014

Have you contacted Ebbets Field Flannels in Portland?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:10 AM on April 25, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks all.

It turns out that the deal that was off is back on again, so it seems like we've got trousers coming our way soon.
posted by ursus_comiter at 11:10 AM on April 30, 2014

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