Tweed Pig Pin-Up - Edward Ebbern
Edward Ebbern - Wyvern TailoringWe got such a positive response from the piece on Wyvern Tailoring and the production of field to fitting alpaca tweed suits that it's thrilling being able to follow up with more intel from our new chum Edward Ebbern of Wyvern Tailoring. He has really delivered the goods. He also becomes our latest pin-up, rather reluctantly — a modest chap.
Here Edward offers a little bit of background on the foundation of Wyvern Tailoring.
Many thanks to Edward for his assistance in putting this together.
'Wyvern Tailoring was born out of two very different but complementary things, classic English tailoring and alpacas - obviously.
'My exposure to the first was during the ten years I worked in London and my time serving with the military. Both gave me access to the joys of wearing a garment that has been cut to your every physical quirk, although the military ones tended to come with about three layers of heavy wool and enough gold braid to make Liberace blush.
'The second came about when I moved to the beautiful Dorset countryside and bought my first three alpacas to start our small herd. Fast forward a few years and it was clear that this incredible fibre was being underutilised so I decided to combine the two.
'The challenge came from being able to produce a cloth that was 100% alpaca as many alpaca products are blended with other fibres like sheep's wool to add tensile strength. We scoured the UK to find a mill that could work with us to process our fibre in the exact way we wanted, blending natural colours and achieving the strength of fibre we needed without losing the silky soft feel. We only use fibre that is 23 microns or under which means you will never get that scratchy or rough feel that you can get with wool, which combined with the fact it is a dry fibre is something that can help those with allergies to wool. For a comparison of softness think cashmere or merino.
'The final pieces of the puzzle came with meeting an extremely talented young tweed designer and getting in touch with the last independent suit making workshop in the UK who hand cut and stitch with the exquisite attention to detail that you would expect from a handmade suit.
'The end result is a truly unique luxury garment made with an un-dyed natural cloth from the animals we raised or from breeders we know and trust. We are intimately involved with every part of the process from animal husbandry to the finished suit and it is all done here in the UK.
'We cut the first suit back in July and one of the things I've found from wearing it regularly is that it gets better with wear as you become far more conscious of just how soft the cloth is compared to normal tweed. I love the versatility of a 3 piece tweed suit, especially in our current grey as it offers so many options for wear, from formal to business casual to just a relaxed trousers and shirt look and doesn't look out of place in the city or countryside, which is something that is at the core of my own style. I believe good tailoring should be something you can wear and enjoy at every available opportunity. It's this philosophy that drives our suit making, so we don't dictate to clients but work with them finding out what they want to use their suit for and the kind of look they want to achieve, whether that's patch pockets, tab collars or smaller details like an inner ticket pocket (something I recommend to anyone who uses boarding passes regularly).
'Every year we will produce a limited run of cloth and only work in the 22 natural shades of alpaca or what we can blend using them. Once the cloth is gone then that's it till shearing again in May. We're looking at a natural black overcoat material and possibly another tweed weight natural brown for our next run. Likewise, we can work with clients who want to produce their own run of unique cloth.
'The luxury feel of the cloth and the limited availability mean that the we can offer a high end garment to those who get in early, but in a world of instant gratification we can also offer something to those with patience as we can respond to requests to develop cloth and I rather like that our process relies on the seasons and a limited supply of fibre, as the best things come to those who wait.'