In a separate post entitled “Blocking cloth,” I made reference to acquiring 100 percent heavy wool army blankets to assemble the cutting board. I wanted to mention something I’ve been meaning to pass along for a while.
The last time I went to army surplus to buy army blankets for my new cutting table (the old one was forty-plus years-old; I finally had to shoot it and bury it), to my surprise I found WHITE 100 percent wool army blankets. I used the dark wool to cover the pressing table, but I wound up using the white wool to recover my sleeve board and my pants board (I stripped them down to the bare wood and put a whole new assembly on), so I had used very little of the blankets (I purchased three of them at $20 apiece).
One day I was tailoring a suit and couldn’t find the box with the men’s tie interfacing that I use for sleeve heads. As I scrounged through my stash, I ran across the white army blankets. These white blankets are a little lighter weight than the dark ones, and the weave is slightly more open, so it occurred to me that I could try using the white blanket fabric for a sleeve head.
It turned out fabulous. Mind you, this was a heavy topcoat, but I’ve since tried it in medium weight fabrics with success.
So head on over to your army surplus store. P.S. I think I’ve got enough white blanket fabric to use for sleeve heads for a long time to come. I wonder how many garments that comes to, all total. (Let’s play count-the-beans-in-the-jar!)