Friday 9 May 2014

Fabric Friday - the Crombie coat

The past few weeks over on my Eleventh Doctor Blog, I have been running a series called Fabric Friday where I showcase the screen-worn materials used to make Matt Smith’s costumes.

This week my attentions turn for the first time to the Twelfth Doctor’s costume - and this posting will shake things up a bit!

As well as showing you a fabric, I first have a little tale of serendipity to share with you. It’s worth hearing, so stick with me.

When news came out that W Bills, the supplier of the Matt Smith tweeds was closing, I went in and panic-bought the last of their stock of Shetland tweed!

A week or so later, with only a day left, I dropped by again to say goodbye to Ray Hammett, who I had been dealing with for a number of years.
While I was there someone else was panic-buying the last of W Bill stock - this time it was none other than Howard Burden THE Doctor Who costume designer!

He was there to do a deal and buy the last of a dark navy blue wool coating fabric. Yes, this is the fabric for Peter Capaldi’s Crombie-style coat.

Talking to him about it, he revealed that Crombie (the company) did NOT make the screen-worn coats - they were actually made by a bespoke tailor, and this was the stuff used.

So not only can I definitively say the coat is not a off the peg, or even bespoke made Crombie, the fabric used, yet again, came from W Bill.

Since the take over of W Bill by Harrisons, I have now found out a bit more about this particular cloth.

Unlike the preceding Doctor Who tweeds, this fabric was not a W Bill exclusive.

The mill weaves it as part of a basic range of cloth for coat making, and provide it to a number fabric merchants, such as W Bill. Each have their corporate name woven into the selvage.

Harrisons also stocked the very same cloth, with their own branding in the selvage.
This means that although the W Bill stock was bought out by Howard, the fabric is still easily available through Harrisons.

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