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Topic: fabric substitute for wool for making a coat?  (Read 3853 times)
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« on: September 16, 2012 06:09:07 PM »

I work in a professional environment, but my office is really cold. (It's an archives, and I can't change the fact that I work in the same room where the documents are stored, so it always has to be cold and dry in there.)

I would like to make a coat to keep in the office that looks professional, but will keep me warm.  The trick is that I'm a vegan, and I don't want a coat made of wool (or any animal fiber), and wool on my skin usually made me break out in a rash anyway.

Can anyone recommend materials that will have the heft and weight of wool, and look professional, and work in a typical pattern for a wool coat?  I don't want to use fleece, because that looks too casual.

I have a seen a few non-wool boucle fabrics here and there, but the patterns are generally too wild for the workplace.  If anyone can recommend any fabric types and/or places to buy them, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2012 05:44:45 AM »

I think you can get a boiled-wool facsimile in acrylic, seeing as how I have an Aeropostale jacket that looks like wool, but once you touch it, oh yeah, definitely acrylic Tongue You could also try cotton velvet, or cotton corduroy, both of which I own as black blazers, and they're the perfect layering pieces. If such-like is still not warm enough, making a blazer with a layer of Thinsulate batting between the outer and lining is about as hardcore as you can get in a work appropriate jacket.

Best of luck on your project!

« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012 06:22:37 AM »

I've been on the search for the same thing. With my allergies, wool just doesn't work for me. I've been looking at some new fleece material. But you're right, its not as formal and doesn't have the same structure as wool. I wonder if there is a cotton blend fabric that would be thick enough if used w/thinsulate.

I'm not familar w/faux boiled wool. Wonder where to find it? That sounds like it would work. Let me know if anyone has found it?

Also what pattern are you looking at creating?
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2012 08:01:30 AM »

I know I have seen polyester made to look like wool.  It is often light weight though. You could use it if you added some interfacing and or lined it with fleece or flannel to make it warmer.

I agree with Alexus1325 that cotton velvet or corduroy would work.  I very dark (or coloured) denim might also work for the right style. 

I recommend finding the colour/sheen you want and then going from there (you could sew fleece directly to each piece before you start sewing to bulk up the fabric and make it warmer without adding too much difficulty to your sewing job.     

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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012 08:14:02 AM »

I found an acrylic blanket a few months ago that I thought was wool until I touched it.  I used it to make matching short pants for costumes in a show I was doing. 

I was trolling a thrift store and found it hanging with the blankets.  It was an old Amtrak blanket, and it worked like a dream.

mmm, yeah, I can do that.
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2012 10:16:06 AM »

I hadn't picked a pattern yet, since I was going to let the drape and feel of the fabric dictate the pattern choice.  (I was going to look at Vogue patterns, for starters, since they have many coat patterns that are business appropriate.)

I had a different sort of luck at the thrift store this weekend - I actually found a non-wool coat that looked like what I wanted to make!  So I bought it.  Smiley  Still, I'd be interested in hearing if anyone can suggest a source for acrylic 'boiled wool' or other man-made wool look-alikes.  I am sure this will not be the last time in my life that I want a coat like this.

Thanks for everyone's feedback so far!
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2013 06:48:06 PM »

Thing with the wool fake fabrics is that most of them pill up pretty fast. Or at least that has been my luck if I'm not wearing a natural fibre (my preference as it is easier on the environment then petroleum products; wool grows back every year, it's hard to undo a drilling operation or oil spill).

Have you looked at heavy linens? They look very nice in coats for work. Line it with a cotton flannel and it would be nice and warm.

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