The Rake

FABRIC OF THE UNIVERSE

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Those among us whose first visit to a reputable atelier was made relatively recently will recall the frisson of enchantment on being handed the swatch books. Beholding the plethora of options peeping out from beneath each other, and feeling the pleasant excruciation that comes with a deluge of choice, is how it starts. But it’s the tactile experience that follows that really stays with you after that inaugural visit: running a finger along the diagonal ribs of a fine herringbone, or feeling the pore-caressing softness of a wool flannel, one cannot but marvel at humanity’s progression, in less than 2,000 years — a fraction of a millimetre on the skirting board of human history — from course flax smocks made with the earliest foot-powered looms to the extraordinary cloths from which a man has his best garments cut today.

And that’s just us customers.

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