Tweed Fabrics – Luxury Types, Fashion Ideas, and Trends 2018

Tweed is a medium to heavy weight fabric most often found in jackets, coats and suits. Originally made to fight cold winters, it has become a fabric of choice for many designers. It is often crafted in a plain or twill weave, though houndstooth, herringbone and multicolored designs are also quite popular. The classic color palette is dominated by earthy tones.

While men know tweed as a durable fabric perfect for English style suits and hats, the thing that first comes to a woman’s mind is a Chanel style jacket.

tweed suit fabric

It was Coco Chanel who designed the tweed jacket that has evolved into an iconic piece every woman is eager to have. Over time, tweed fabrics have become lighter in weight and changed their designs. Modern Chanel style suits are made with lightweight tweed and boucle fabrics. Let’s find out more about these types of materials and what a classic jacket has to do with both of them.

Types of Tweed Fabrics and Their Uses

High performance, functional and hard wearing, tweed fabric has come a long way since its invention. It has this heritage British feel about it and is part of traditional clothing in the United Kingdom. Tweed is a statement cloth inspired by nature itself. Even the most mottled tweed fabric blends well with natural surroundings.

Nobody knows for sure how this fabric got its name. Originally it was known as tweel, because it was woven in a twill pattern. Rumor has it that one day a London merchant mistook it for a trade-name in his letter correspondence and called it ‘tweed’ after the river Tweed. The term stuck.

There are many types of tweed fabrics available on the market, and some of them are considered as heritage. Below are the examples of the most famous tweeds one can expect to find in fabric shops:

  • Donegal tweed – woven in Donegal County, Ireland. A soft and supple cloth, often flecky and colorful. Hand-woven or power loomed.
  • Harris tweed – produced in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, and protected by the Harris Tweed Act. A course, thick fabric in twill weave. Hand-woven.
  • Saxony tweed – manufactured in the UK from high quality merino wool initially obtained in Saxony, Germany. A very soft fabric with a short pile on the face side.
  • Cheviot tweed – named after the Cheviot sheep’s breed. A soft, stiff and very durable type of tweed.

These heritage fabrics are typically woven using several shades of dyed wool. They are great for casual suits, sports jackets, vests and overcoats, but might seem out of place in formal business wear. Since this is a woolen, not worsted fabric, it is perfect for cooler weather – all due to the warmth and water resistance it provides.


Tweed fabrics differ not only in weight, but also in design. Here’s a quick look at some of the most common patterns:

Tweed pattern Description


Fabrics with no pattern, either single-colored or mottled depending on the choice of yarns


Tweeds with a contrasting check/overcheck design


Cloths with a vertical line pattern


Tweeds with a broken check pattern, also known as dogtooth or pied-de-poule


Cloths with a particular striped pattern resembling zigzags


Fabrics with a flecked design

Originally tweed was made of pure wool, but today wool is often mixed with a variety of fibers to give classic tweed new finishes and expand use options. Nowadays you can expect to find wool blended with:

  • silk,
  • linen,
  • cashmere,
  • alpaca,
  • viscose, etc.

The legendary jacket made of Chanel tweed fabric is made of fancy tweed and boucle yarn which has a distinctive nubby appearance. Let’s find more about this beautiful piece of clothing that literally shook up the very notion of women’s fashion.

The Chanel Style Tweed Suit

"Fashion changes, but style endures."

Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel introduced her first couture tweed jacket in 1954, and since then it has become a sought-after staple in any wardrobe. Every year this iconic item is revisited and reimagined, and we get to enjoy new textures, colors and designs.

Modern tweed fabrics can be a source of inspiration to any woman who cares about what she puts on. Apart from fancy yarn often added to weave (which itself has an interesting look), fabric producers use ribbons, sequins and tassels to create exclusive fashion designs.

Though the Chanel style jacket is the number one buy when it comes to adding tweed to your closet, there are other pieces you can make with this kind of texture. A Chanel inspired dress is no less classic, especially if sewn with some intricate patterned cloth. A Chanel style suit is also worth a look. Depending on the color, you can make a formal style two piece or a festive outfit for special occasions.

The same goes for a coat. There are plenty of silhouettes one can tap into, from long and oversized to cropped and fitted, but it all starts with the right kind of fabric. Precious tweed. There is no in between.

Chanel tweed fabric

Classic Jacket Sewing Tips

So what exactly makes the Chanel style jacket a classic?

  1. Fabric. It all starts with tweed fabric. Choose the weight that fits your needs and the color that fits the wearing purpose. There are plain tweeds, as well as mottled and multicolored ones woven with strands of sequins or decorated with embroidery. Wool tweed is great for cooler weather, while silk and cotton blends are a pleasure to wear in summer.
  2. Cut. Anything from boxy to fitted, your call. There are many silhouettes one can choose for a jacket – loose-fitting or tailored, sleeveless or ¾ sleeves, with pockets and buttons or without.
  3. Trim. The trim you’ve chosen to finish the ready jacket will either make it perfect or destroy it. Make sure the fabric and the trim are well matched.
  4. Buttons. One may go with large buttons adorned with some logo or choose any other design.
  5. Chain. The original jacket had a chain running above the hemline to improve the hang of the item. You can also go for it at the last stage of production.

Bonus tip: luxury tweed fabrics usually used for Chanel jackets are quite lightweight and loosely woven. To add more structure to the ready garment, it is recommended to use the right kind of fusible interfacing or a quilting technique. Silk fabrics are great for lining, whether one chooses matching or contrasting color for a fun twist.

Feel free to experiment with your tweed jacket. Some of the ideas worth considering include zippers and hooks, crystals or rhinestones, fur and feathers, fringe or embroidery. One can always add something to the finished item, or set a mood from the very beginning by choosing a beautifully decorated tweed fabric.

What to Wear with a Chanel Style Tweed Jacket?

What makes it a great addition to any wardrobe is its versatility. This jacket looks fabulous paired with a whole number of items, and is capable of creating any style – from office to casual and even cocktail. It looks chic

  • worn over a simple dress;
  • teamed with casual pants, jeans or even shorts;
  • paired with a lace dress, a skirt and a silk blouse, etc.

Whether fitted, loose, oversize or biker, this jacket is perfect to fend off the chill in style. A timeless piece to be worn in all seasons, it brings a Parisian vibe to any look. Since many tweed fabrics are designed in neutral colors, they can be easily combined with bright hues, from yellow and pink to green and blue. If the fabric you settled on is vibrant enough to be a centerpiece, we recommend playing it safe and teaming it with solid colors.

Boucle Fabrics and What to Sew from Them

Boucle fabric is one of the great picks for a Chanel style jacket. It is a loosely woven material made with fancy yarn, which has tiny loops or curls. Derived from the French word for “curl”, this type of cloth can be made in a single color or in a combination of several shades. Boucle fabric has an interesting textured look and is versatile in terms of use. Depending on the weight, it can be used for jackets, dresses, sweaters or even coats.

Tweed boucle fabric

Boucle is available in various compositions, such as:

  • cotton,
  • wool,
  • rayon,
  • blend, etc.

There are many reasons to love boucle, and texture and wrinkle resistance are one of the most essential. Boucle fabrics deserve a place both in casual and business wardrobe. E.g., an unstructured boucle jacket can be worn in office, but it is also perfect for leisurely walks or meeting in a café. What makes boucle so great is that you can mix and match it with a great number of clothing items, such as T-shirts, tops, silk blouses, or even a pair of jeans or shorts.

What is the perfect weight for this cloth if you are planning to make a boucle coat? And what about a boucle cardigan? Here are some tips you might find useful:

Suitable for Weight Composition

Coats and overcoats

300-500 g/m2

Wool, Alpaca, Blends

Jackets and cardigans

250-350 g/m2

Wool, Cotton, Viscose, Blends

Dresses and skirts

200-300 g/m2

Cotton, Viscose, Wool, Blends

Imagine a fabric that can be fashioned into a whole range of couture clothing items for all four seasons. Since boucle materials differ in weight, one can easily incorporate them into their wardrobe without compromising on texture and quality. Choose cotton or viscose blends for warmer weather and save wool boucle fabrics for fall and winter.

Top Tips on Caring for Tweed & Boucle

Why are tweeds and boucles so precious? It’s all in their characteristics. Tweed fabrics are durable and sturdy, resistant to moisture and are usually easy to sew. Boucle cloths are soft, nubby and springy, and they often come in a loose weave, though you can expect to find lots of firmly woven materials. When they come together, we get a wonderful tweed boucle fabric with a lot of texture and character.

Since such luxury fabrics are made of various fibers, there’s no way one could give a perfect-for-all care recommendation. Most wool and wool blend boucles are dry clean only. If the fabric you have chosen allows for gentle hand washing, make sure your outfit is ok with it, too. Many jackets, either made of tweed or boucle, are constructed with additional details like interfacing, lining, shoulder pads, and they can be damaged during washing. Sometimes pieces can be freshened with steaming.

Both tweed and boucle fabrics are wrinkle-resistant, so no ironing is needed. It is also very important to store them in the right environment, with the relative humidity 50% at most. Wool jackets should be hung on sturdy hangers to prevent damaging.

Overall, the best strategy when it comes to caring for tweed and boucle fabrics is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, since each fabric consists of various fibers and thus might require special care.

What Are the Fashion Colors 2017-18?

The concept of haute couture is inseparable from tweed and boucle materials. The 2017/2018 collections are full of exclusive designs, each one better than the other. From statement coats and matching hats to fitted jackets and bell-shaped skirts, there is no end of options for those planning to buy tweed or boucle fabric. This season abounds with such fashionable combinations as leather, fringe, feathers and bows.

The color palette is prevailed by earthy tones typical of flecked tweeds, such as:

  • grey,
  • brown,
  • green,
  • blue,
  • terracotta,
  • off-white/ivory,
  • golden, etc.

As for patterns, one can never go wrong with tweed fabric. Plain or mottled, checked or striped, these designs are all-time classics and remain en vogue season after season.

Tweed fabrics have been tested by time. Chosen once with care, they become great investments into one’s wardrobe and wear nicely for a long time if taken proper care of. Available in an infinite number of designs and colors, these fabrics look gorgeous made into dresses, skirts, trousers, blazers, jackets and coats. Sometimes the fabric itself can call the shots and dictate the look – it’s all about the design. Remember to follow care instructions and choose the right weight and composition for your sewing project, depending on season and occasion it is meant for.

Tweed & Boucle Manufacturers

Originally made in the UK, tweed has become a staple for many continental manufacturers. Today, we see a lot of high quality tweeds and boucles produced in Italy, Switzerland, France and even Austria. Below are the names of the factories you can trust when choosing the fabric.

  • Malhia Kent
  • Clarenson
  • Linton Tweeds
  • Jakob Schlaepfer
  • Ruffo Coli
  • HOH
  • Carnet
  • Agnona

These factories offer both classic and high fashion boucles and tweeds. Some of these manufacturers, such as Jakob Schlaepfer and HOH, create fabrics with complementary patterns: a simpler design, often plain or multitoned, and a couture one, embroidered with beads and sequins or decorated with appliques. Such fabrics allow you to come up with some truly stunning looks.

Tissura Tweed Collection

Tissura offers an extensive collection of luxurious tweed and boucle fabrics. To sneak a peek of it, see the fabrics placed below. To get to the product page, just click on the picture:

tweed fabric

boucle fabric

tweed boucle style

tweed boucle fabric

Wool Tweed, 405 US$

Boucle, 49 US$

Tweed boucle, 176 US$

Tweed boucle, 190 US$

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