This week we are launching another big project for Permanent Style: The Guide to Cloth.

This has been a long time in the works, but we wanted to do it right.

There is a lot of piecemeal information out there about cloths, yarns and weaves, but (for me) nothing considered and comprehensive.

The aim is to gradually build an in-depth, practical guide with information at every level of detail. We will start with basics – how to examine cloth, what defines a jacketing – and steadily drill down further and further, until (perhaps) we’re differentiating between different breeds of merino.


We also aim to be responsive, so while the first few pieces are planned (and will be published regularly every fortnight), we are open to all ideas and thoughts on what would usefully add to this central resource.

As ever, it is your input, comments and questions that make Permanent Style what it is.

I believe the guide will be useful to both customers of bespoke, who regularly have to imagine what a small square of wool will look like draped around their body, and those buying ready-to-wear, who have to make equally crucial decisions about the style, weave or weight of cloth when buying a suit.


The Guide is being sponsored by Scabal. This has been extremely useful in terms of access to people and expertise, but has also enabled us to fund the development of a micro-site to host the Guide.

The micro-site will live within, but will be a dedicated area where the whole Guide can be browsed independently. It will be launched once we have the first few articles under our belt.

It’s important to note, however, that the content of the Guide will be entirely independent and objective. Each article is based on input from several experts, at tailors, mills, merchants and even academics.

Scabal’s involvement is similar to the display advertising we carry elsewhere on the site. On the right-hand side of each article, they will suggest and recommend cloths from their range that are related to the content. I believe this will be genuinely useful, but more importantly, it retains the clear distinction between editorial and advertising that we always seek on Permanent Style.


The first article will be published on Wednesday, and the next in two weeks’ time. I do hope you find them useful – I can’t wait to start rolling out the whole breadth and depth of the coverage over the coming months.

Thanks as ever