Once again, we have Asia to thank for a prized textile. Cashmere is named for the Kashmir goats that inhabit the Himalayas and the mountainous regions of Central Asia that surround the Gobi desert. The harsh, extreme climate of the high desert plateaus are just right for producing the downy undercoat needed to make cashmere yarn. Cashmere was known to the Western world in ancient Roman times and it was the fabric of choice for Tibet’s royal family for centuries. Today, about 60% of the world’s cashmere, or approximately 3,000 tons, comes from Tibet and China.
The coat of a Kashmir goat consists of a coarse outer coat, sometimes referred to as guard hair, and the fine downy undercoat, which is used to make cashmere yarn. The goats grow this ultra-soft, insulating inner layer for protection from the wild drops in temperature at night in the mountains and plateaus. This superior fibre is collected annually, during the spring molting season, when the animals naturally shed their winter wool. It is traditionally removed with a comb and separated by hand. Each goat produces a mere four to six ounces of downy fibre a year.
As a knit, cashmere is lightweight and exceptionally warm. The yarn has a soft, silky finish and can be easily dyed. Like silk, cashmere’s exotic origins and sublime softness are timelessly appealing. Orvis is proud to bring you these handsome women’s cashmere sweaters. They are a great value, combining the ultimate in luxury with winter warmth and practicality—a wonderful gift for your friends, family or yourself.
Quality corduroy is all about quality yarn. Corduroy takes its name from "cloth of the king," or "cord du roi," fashioned for the sporting use of the French royal court in the 1600s.
Corduroy is well suited for rugged use. With more yarns per square inch than most fabrics and a distinctive corded nap, corduroy offers durability and protection by construction. Extra yarns in the weft, or horizontal component, pass over the warp yarns, skipping two or three vertical yarns before diving back under the weave. Held securely in the middle by the vertical yarns, the weft yarns are then snipped, freeing both ends, then trimmed and brushed to a fine, soft nap.
Orvis sources corduroy from the finest mills around the world, mills that weave high-quality yarns into cloths true to corduroy's sporting heritage. The cloth is then brushed to create the soft, sueded finish.
Historically, Donegal is salt and pepper pattern flecked with many-colored slubs, though there are many different versions and colour combinations. The term donegal now describes any tweed that has colorful thick slubs woven into the fabric. Authentic Donegal tweed is woven in Donegal County and is always clearly marked.
With all its beauty, tweed is a particularly rugged fabric. It's tight, warm weave resists wind, rain mist and even frost. The bold texture fends off wear and abrasion.
In the desert regions of Jaipur, artisans craft each one of our block-printed jackets by hand using centuries-old techniques that have been passed down for generations.
The process begins with the hand carving of a pattern’s design into wooden blocks. This laborious process must be repeated more often than one might imagine. Each block is used a mere 300 times before the precise lines become blurred. The old block is then discarded and a new block is carved. With the elaborate, delicate designs Orvis commissions for our jackets, the carvers are kept busy year-round.
Fabric is printed by hand using the same skill and precision. With a steady hand and even steadier patience, artists dip the block in dye and then apply the design to the fabric, taking care each time to line the patterns up. This is a skill few can master and the printers who excel in this talent are highly valued. The dyes are also made by hand, the dyers’ art being in the imaginative blends of earthen, vegetable and mineral contents they concoct to create the vivid reds, blues, greens, and yellows that are used for our fabrics.
Our jackets are then stitched, either by hand with a thread and needle in cross-stitch and embroidery patterns or by a single needle machine, with which another craftsman does the allover trapunto stitching that lends texture and a quilted effect to our jackets. The buttons of coconut shells or wood are then sewn on and the garment is complete.
Our block-printed jackets are truly works of art; every piece is unique, created by a cooperative of some of the most talented fabric artisans in the world. We are proud to share in this tradition of excellence by offering authentic hand block-printed clothing.
Woven from the fibers of the flax plant, linen is both stronger and more absorbent than cotton. The structure of the linen fiber is hollow, so it draws heat and moisture away from the body, keeping you cool and comfortable on even the hottest summer days.
It’s been the ultimate warm-weather fabric for more than 10,000 years; linen weaving even pre-dates the invention of the wheel.
Flax is one of nature’s most efficient fibers; it becomes even stronger when wet. Linen will get softer over time and with each washing, but it will not weaken. This makes linen clothing surprisingly durable. Linen is also naturally hypoallergenic.
Our breezy Shoreline Linen trousers, shorts and shirts are designed with a flattering style that’s perfect for warm weather—simple, comfortable, effortless.
Silk is one of the oldest textiles known to man, but the methods of silk production remained a mystery in the West for centuries. Legend has it that a Chinese empress discovered silk in the 27th century B.C. while bathing; a cocoon dropped into her steaming bath water and unraveled. The empress had her handmaidens weave the strands together, and so the first silk thread was made.
Whatever the truth to that story, silk was solely a Chinese product and the silk workers kept the harvesting process a well-guarded secret for almost 3,000 years. In Roman times silk was a valuable commodity, literally worth its weight in gold. The ever-increasing demand for the lustrous material led to the creation of the Silk Road, a trade route that connected Asia with Europe, around 200 B.C.
Silk fibre comes from the cocoon of the silk worm and it is extremely versatile. It’s comfortable to wear year-round, as it is naturally breathable and absorbs moisture. Silk takes dye very well, resulting in rich depth of colour; it is lustrous, reflecting light for that telltale sheen. Surprisingly, silk batting, commonly used as an insulation layer in coats, provides 20% more warmth than goose down.
Silk’s biggest secret, perhaps, might be its strength. Pressure tests have been done proving that a steel filament of the same diameter as a silk one will break before the silk does. Silk’s inherent elasticity insures that it can stretch up to 20% without damage. Silk, it turns out, may be the strongest natural fibre in the world.
Its strength, comfort and beauty make silk a practical luxury that's always a fabulous clothing value. Indulge yourself with something in silk today from Orvis!
Our Wrinkle-Resistant Cotton Shirts and Chinos offer all the superior comfort, softness, and good looks of cotton in a new wrinkle-resistant that requires no ironing. Available in a wide range of colours, they are ideal for travel and every day. No more expensive laundry bills, morning wardrobe scrambles, or rumpled appearances at important business meetings. Our wrinkle-resistant cotton apparel always look pressed and ready to go right out of the dryer or laundry basket.
100% cotton that’s wrinkle-resistant? We found the most innovative and effective treatment for creating wrinkle-resistant cotton fabric. And we use longer strands of cotton, for a smoother yarn, which in turn creates a less-easily creased fabric. We weave this superior fibre into a pinpoint oxford cloth, lightweight and comfortable year-round. Because cotton holds 15% of its weight in water, and moves that moisture naturally to the outside of the garment, cotton feels cooler on hot days and is more comfortable next to the skin. This cotton also takes colour extremely well, resulting in clean graphic patterns with punch that will stay bright throughout years of washings. When removed promptly from the dryer, they look freshly ironed.
Soft cotton apparel that won’t wrinkle or shrink. Patterns that keep their colours. Shirts and trousers that stay sharp looking through weeks of travel and re-packing. Fabrics that will save you hundreds of dollars in dry-cleaning costs without sacrificing style or comfort. Our wrinkle-resistant apparel is perfectly suited to the office, everyday errands, or travel. You’ll always look cool and crisp, no matter what the day brings.
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