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Douglas, 8th Duke of Hamilton on his Grand Tour, © National Museums Scotland A.1991.156

He’s hard to miss, the 8th Duke of Hamilton, in his red coat. I’d hazard it wool, because of the contrast with the sheen of the blue coat his physician, Dr John Moore (at right), is wearing. Dr Moore’s coat gleams like silk; the Duke’s looks dull and woolen. (Look at the way the light strikes the Dr’s shoulder; another clue is the way the button holes are worked.)

The coat below is a simpler, provincial relative of the Duke’s coat. This is the Amos King coat, owned by Colonial Williamsburg. I love the description:

“Wool plain weave fulled and napped “broadcloth”; twill worsted “shalloon” lining; tabby linen lining center back. Pocket flap lined with twill worsted; sleeves lined with tabby linen; right lower pocket is linen; left pocket is leather; inside pocket on left breast is linen, with broadcloth welt.”

Man's Coat, red broadcloth ca. 1770, CW 1953-59

Man’s Coat, red broadcloth
ca. 1770, CW 1953-59

Shalloon. Tabby. Pocket leather. That paragraph is comprised of many of my favorite fabric and clothing words. And fabrics. And a leather pocket. As you may recall, I have a thing for fabric that is not at all about hoarding, and but rather about establishing reserves. When I see two yards of quality material at discount and purchase it, that yardage becomes part of the Strategic Fabric Reserve so vital to this nation’s safety. (We are all unsafe when a fabric addict is deprived of his or her fix. I’ve got a threaded needle, and I’m not afraid to use it!)

Part of this household's Strategic Fabric Reserve.

Part of this household’s Strategic Fabric Reserve.

Yardage arrived in the patriotic red, white and blue “if it fits, it ships” box on Wednesday, and when opened, we all proceeded to pet the lovely nap of the wool. Mr S wrapped himself in it, and I knew then that I would be making a red broadcloth coat of one kind or another.

It probably won’t be the “Quemans Pattern” coat John Buss mentions, not when I’ve got silk fabric for a waistcoat. The silk is from the remnant table at Artee Fabrics in Pawtucket. With careful cutting and a plain back for at least one waistcoat, there should be just enough to make both a 1770s and a 1790s waistcoat. We’ll get fancy around here eventually.