Derived from the Italian word for 'fresh', Fresco was first developed and patented by Martin Sons & Company in 1907 in the (not so sunny) north of England. Best known for their worsteds and woollens, Martin Sons & Company came up with the fabric as an alternative that could be worn in sunnier climes. Fast forward over a century later, and Fresco (now under the Hardy Minnis brand, part of Huddersfield Fine Worsteds) has become synonymous with summer tailoring and travel.
So what is Fresco fabric and what makes it so perfect for warm weather? The answer, in short, is a combination of yarn and weave. Fresco is woven with what is called a high twist yarn. This is a technique in which the strands of fibre are twisted tightly together, creating a yarn that is much more compact than a worsted, for example, and less likely to compress over time when worn. The cloth is then woven with the most basic of textile weaves, the plain weave. This is where the yarns cross at direct right angles to form a simple criss-cross pattern. The end result is small gaps between each warp and weft that unlike most fabrics remain open, even after constant wearing. This is visible when the cloth is held up to the light, and yet doesn't allow the garments beneath to show through.
All of this combined creates a cloth that is porous, breathable and extremely comfortable, and yet still just as durable as worsted or tweed. And, as an added bonus, the use of high twist yarns also makes the fabric extremely resistant to wrinkles, making it the perfect fabric for travelling in.
It's for this reason that we've taken our versatile in-house tailoring set, the Trunk Wigmore, and rendered it in a classic navy and charcoal Hardy Minnis wool Fresco for spring and summer. Made for us in Italy by Lardini, the Wigmore (available to purchase as separates) is our unstructured, soft-shouldered suit jacket and trousers set. Versatile enough to be worn with jeans and chinos and yet smart enough to be worn in the office with matching trousers, it's everything we look for in tailoring.
So, if you're in need of a smart jacket or pair of trousers for the warmer months ahead, or a cool and comfortable suit that will see you through the summer, from a wedding to a business meeting and anything in between, our Trunk Wigmore wool Fresco suit is the one to have.