A wool fabric from the Alps
View from the Loden Steiner weaver with a Mai Baum tree
Our Loden is woven in either Austria or Italy. Authentic Loden can last a lifetime and even be passed down to the next generation. The pictures here are from the Loden Steiner weaver in Austria and show the carding, spinning, preparation of the warp, weaving, fulling and finishing steps. The Edelmann jacket is woven here.
1. Dyed wool ready to be carded
2. Metal 'combs' carding the raw wool
3. Carded wool makes a fleece ready to be separated into filaments
4. Carded wool separated into filaments and coiled on spools - still no strength yet
5. The spinning process spins and spools the coiled filament - now it's thread
Loden is like the Rolls Royce of fabrics. It's made from one of nature's greatest gifts to man: good old natural wool. Wool and Loden wool even more so, is renowned for its durability and temperature regulating properties which are a result of the wool fibers binding together during a special post-weaving fulling and finishing process. In brief, the woven fabric is shrunk with heat, tension and soapy water. Then the surface is brushed in order to fluff up the fiber ends making an incredibly soft and breathable fabric.
Loden is a traditional fabric from Austria and the Alps. The fabric is mentioned in texts over 1000 years ago. Even though modern weaving machinery has improved the quality, it is still a labor intensive and long process to make authentic Loden.
6. Preparing the warp (threads that run the length of the fabric) for weaving - every warp thread has to be individually attached
7. Preparing the loom
8. Tying each individual warp thread to the loom
9. Old fashioned fulling machine pounding the woven wool with wooden hammers
10. Removing fulled wool fabric from traditional hammer 'valker'
The hours of pounding hooks the microscopic barbs on the wool fibers to each other like velcro, making the fabric dense and strong.
11. A modern fulling machine
12. Operating the modern fulling machine
13. Every inch of fabric must be carefully inspected
14. Tiny knots or fiber clumps are removed
15. Tiny metal brushes brush up fiber ends on fabric surface
Loden can also be brushed specifically for water resistance by brushing all the fibers ends in one direction resulting in something like short fur. This method is used in our overcoats.
16. Finished Loden wool fabrics