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Sheep to shears with Dugdale Bros. and Benson & Clegg: WT Johnson Finishers

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As with many things the finishing touch can make the difference between the best and the banal, W.T Johnson is a family owned Business that specializes in fabric finishing, taking the woven and dyed product and refining its performance, hand, luster, resilience along with other aspects of the fabrics finish.

W.T Johnson’s works hand in hand with woolen merchants like Dugdale Bros and designers to create a finished product with the look, feel and performance desired. Or as they simply put it “We add value at every stage”

The machinery and process is far from arcane, boiling and bubbling images aside “the greatest piece of machinery we have is our minds, and we are always looking forward”. In line with massive drying conveyors, one of a kind permanent finish machines utilize wooden paddles, used to literally beat softness into cloth. Nearby is a ancient scouring machine, where the fine hairs of clothes are removed by a spinning wheel of needles, a minor concern when the lengths of clothes beneath it can run into hundreds of dollars a meter.

In the final room of the W.T Johnston facility lay immense bolts of the worlds finest cloth.   Towering racks suspend the suiting woolens, to expedite the settling of the cloth. This procedure, referred to as “London Hung” is essential in bespoke tailoring, if a fabrics dimensions shift after being cut entire suits can be ruined.

The finished cloths lay in the hand like a tailors dream, soft, rippling with life, imbued with a weight and coolness that gives the persistent illusion of being made of water. The beauty of the cloth and its performance for the wearer are primarily concerns of the wearer, but to a tailor the trust placed in woolen merchants like Dugdale Bro’s and the mill and finishers they work with, such as Taylor and Lodge or W.T Finishers is sacred, the stretch of the cloth will be even, the check will run straight, the return predictable, the cloth wont discolor with heat, and with a proper London hang it will cut like a dream.

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