Diplomatic Ties 387: Viola Milano
This jacket is my first garment in pure Escorial wool. The wool comes from a small type of sheep, Mahgreb sheep (see the last picture), that originated in North Africa. In 16th century Spain it was a favourite sheep of the King who kept a flock at his monastery, El Escorial, hence the fabric’s name. The Spanish sheep where lost during the Napoleonic wars but since King Carlos of Spain in 1765 gave a hundred sheep to his cousin in Saxony, a small flock of pure breeds remained in Germany.
A Scottish entrepreneur in the 19th century, Eliza Furlonge, brought a hundred animals to Tasmania in Australia where they survived. This was fortunate since all remaining Mahgreb sheep in Europe were lost in WWII. Nowadays most Mahgreb sheep can be found in New Zeeland, but still in relatively small numbers.
The unique feature of Escorial wool is that the fibres are like curled springs. This is the reason that Escorial wool can be lightweight with an extremely soft handle (like cashmere), but still keep the resilient qualities of traditional wool.
The jacket is from Brioni, Drake’s shirt, Viola Milano tie, ps from Rose & Born, Berg & Berg pants and Allen Edmonds shoes. Click on the headline for more pics.