SUNSPEL FABRICS – A CLASSIC MIX OF ART & SCIENCE
We make modern, everyday, luxury clothing by combining traditional techniques, innovation and modern designs. For over 150 years we have sourced the finest raw materials from around the world and have innovated with fabric structure to create luxury fabrics that are unique to Sunspel. We are continually refining and perfecting our fabrics as well as focusing on the smallest details of design and fit. As a result you don’t notice you are wearing our clothes but you can be absolutely confident that they are luxurious and stylish.
Quality 82 – Jersey Knit
Quality 82, is a unique fine jersey knit cotton fabric and a descendent of the original lisle cotton Sunspel used on some of the earliest t-shirts ever made. It is constructed from long staple Egyptian cotton, which is hand picked so that only the softest, highest quality fibres are selected. These are then combed to remove all imperfections before the cotton is spun into yarn and knitted to create a lightweight, soft, strong jersey fabric. We make t-shirts, underwear and polo shirts in Q82.
Quality 14 – Warp Knit
Quality 14 a unique lightweight Cellular Fabric we developed in the 1930s on the traditional lace making machines of Long Eaton Nottingham, which was the centre of the British lace making industry. The earliest Q14 garments were made in Sea Island Cotton and they are now made from a smooth lightweight compact cotton providing an cool feel against the skin. We make underwear in Q14.
Quality 75 – Warp Knit
Quality 75,is a warp knit cotton fabric developed using expertise from the lace industry based in Long Eaton, Nottingham. It was invented by Peter Hill, the grandson of Sunspel’s founder, who was not impressed by the relatively heavy weight pique cottons used in ‘sports’ polo shirts in the 1950s. He created a fabric that was soft, lightweight a cool for his trips to the French and Italian Riviera. It is still knitted on lace machines in a unique structure that when washed retains its shape but allows in time for the colour to age and improve its appearance. We used it to make our Riviera polo shirts, as worn by Daniel Craig in the latest Bond films.
Quality 30 – Pique.
Finally we have recently picked up the gauntlet thrown down by Peter Hill when he rejected pique as a fabric for the Riviera. Quality 30 is a pique fabric made from 100% long staple Egyptian cotton that is exceptionally lightweight, soft and cool to wear. It’s the antithesis of a heavier weight, stodgier fabrics used in standard sports originated polo shirts. We’ve also applied our usual attention to the finer details of fit, design and look so that our polo short is not only luxurious to feel but also trim and neat rather than baggy and loose. The Sunspel pique polo shirt is a completely modern, simple, luxury garment.
Our recently developed sweat tops and bottoms are again a unique combination of tradition techniques, fabric innovation and modern design. As always we began our development process by looking at our archives and understanding the fabric construction of a classic loopback knit structure rather than the brushed fleece structure in most modern garments. We then used high quality melange cotton on the external face of the garment and a lighter weight internal ‘looped’ fabric to create a unique lightweight, luxury feel in contrast to the heavier, harder fabric used in sports or athletic versions. Finally the design, cut and fit ensures our loopback garments are perfect worn over our t-shirts. They are trim and fitted rather than baggy.
Woven and Other Cottons
John Hill not only introduced the woven boxer short to Britain but also perfected its design. He insisted that his boxer shorts be made from very fine, very soft cotton. We insist on the same standards and only select high quality woven fabrics for our boxer shorts. We have applied the same attention to detail when selecting woven fabrics for shirts and chino. We make a line of underwear in a luxury stretch fabric (Quality 04) that is 95% cotton and 5% polyester. We have minimised the amount of polyester and used a lightweight quality cotton to create a fabric that provides support and comfort together with a luxury feel. Finally we have recently re-introduced a thinner version of Q82 – Quality 81 based on a construction found in a garment from our archives.
Although we made some of the earliest cotton underwear and t-shirts we have always made woollen underwear. Indeed, the combination of the English climate and some of our customer’s apparent desire to live with windows that never closed and heating that never heated until the late 1970s meant that woollen underwear was a mainstay of Sunpsel’s underwear business for many years. We have taken the unique merino wool used in our original underwear (Quality 12) and used it in outerwear tops. We have also sourced a lightweight, soft merino wool and designed fully fashioned knitwear pieces. These are classic pieces with a modern feel. The wool has a luxurious feel but it strong and long lasting. Finally we make a luxury base layer range using a high quality merino wool spun at an extremely fine gauge (Quality 10) providing a smooth, luxury feel against the skin. The lightweight quality and high performance of Q10 led polar explorer, Ben Saunders, to develop a range of Sunspel merino base layers especially for his solo expedition to the Geographic North Pole in 2011.