Loden is a traditional fabric from Tirol that is also known as boiled wool. It could be the new super fabric that the world has been waiting for a long time.
After a hard day of work in the fields a farmer in Tirol in the 11th century had to clean his woolen clothes. He put them into warm water and treated them with his feet. To his surprise he finds his clothes dry the next day, but matted looking and much more water repellent than before. This discovery was pretty much the beginning of the production of Loden.
In the 500 years of Loden production, the material has certainly changed from a rough woven fabric into a soft and universally used product. From thick to thin, from comparatively smooth to rather course, there are numerous variants. Finer Loden is made with merino wool. Other types are made with mixtures of cashmere, alpaca or mohair.
Why is Loden special?
Today, the term Loden is a general name for dense, yarn fabrics which are predominantly made of sheep’s wool. They are always densely milled and differ in surface qualities.
Loden requires a specific fulling process that makes the wool thicker and more robust. The fabric is kneaded in warm water until a surface felt is created. This entangles the fibers, the fabric shrinks by around 30-40% and the result is a fabric that is very dense and therefore weatherproof. This gives Loden a pleasant grip with good strength and positive properties.
Jazzy jobber offers Loden from our partnering company in Tirol. We have a variety of Loden fabrics in different weights and configurations. We also offer different Loden products including wool blankets and shawls. Our core strength is the design and production of customer specific projects.
Unlike most manufacturers today, our Loden fabrics are roughened with a thistle instead of metal scratchers. Roughening gives the fabric on the one hand a soft, voluminous surface and on the other hand lays the roughened fibers in one direction. This way rainwater can roll off the overlapped fibers. Depending on the desired purpose of the Loden, various finishes and applications can be applied to make the fabric water repellent, oil-repellent, flame retardant, mothproof, slip proof, anti-static or washable.
Uses of Loden
Loden is traditionally used wherever robust and weatherproof clothing is required. In the past it was mainly used for work and hunting clothes. It is also a staple in the traditional Alpine costumes and livery. Recently loden fabrics have increasingly been used in the field of leisure and sportswear. Very often Loden fabrics are combined with other materials in the outdoor area, which creates modern and functional clothing that is suited for tougher conditions.
Loden is used for coats, jackets and sweaters, because it is windproof and water repellant. It’s also used for blankets, scarves, vests and cardigans and upholstery fabrics. Some manufacturers even design shoes with Loden.
Loden is a natural product. Wool is naturally warming. Thanks to the tightly woven structure and the ability of wool to absorb moisture without feeling wet, the body is warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
It is also becoming more and more evident that old natural materials are also finding their way into modern clothing, which is generally a good trend in regards to sustainability and eco friendliness. So, is Loden the new super fabric that the world has been waiting for a long time?
To learn more about our Loden offer and the different design options, please contact us for details.