When Kiwi Ferns and New Zealand Warriors Captain, Laura Mariu, approached RJB Design to have a custom suit tailored for her wedding, the story of the suit needed to start and finish with authentic New Zealand quality.
Anglo-French fabric House, Dormeuil, use New Zealand merino fibre to create the world’s most luxurious and exclusive cloths. RJB Design has the entire Dormeuil cloth collection at the brand’s Customs Street (Britomart) store and Laura Mariu selected a lightweight plain weave Dormeuil cloth from the mill’s Tropical Amadeus collection.
The fibre in Tropical Amadeus is select long filament worsted wool and is considered as the “filet mignon” of the New Zealand merino clip in the 17 to 18-micron category. This fibre is then scoured (cleaned) and combed (to remove short staple fibres, bent fibres, and vegetable matter) before being sent to Dormeuil’s dye house in Europe where the fibre is top dyed and made ready for colour blending before being spun into yarn.
Top dyed yarn creates unique “complex colour” that brings a distinctive energy and movement to a luxury cloth. In keeping with the famous black and white worn by the Kiwi Ferns, Mariu selected a micro puppy-tooth design in black and white. At 240 grams (8 ounces) the light and breathable Tropical Amadeus cloth was the perfect choice for a Taupo wedding in the middle of summer in March 2018.
The Tropical Amadeus cloth is woven in England using a very tight (densely woven) loom setting with two-ply warp as well as two-ply weft yarn. The cloth breathes beautifully but still retains excellent crease resistance and crease recovery because of the British set/construction. For a wedding day full of sun and photographs, staying both cool and well pressed is always the order of the day.
The final process in luxury cloth manufacturing is the finishing. Using extremely “soft” Huddersfield water, drawn from a well beneath the mill, the Tropical Amadeus cloth is set with heat and pressure so that the look, drape, and “hand” (the touch) of the cloth remains the same for the life of the garment. The cloth is finished on both sides to keep the front side and the reverse side of the cloth smooth and comfortable.
By the time the cloth was tailored into a suit for Mariu’s first fitting at RJB Design, the fibre had travelled around the world from New Zealand to England and back to New Zealand again. Like the amazing women who play in Mariu’s rugby league teams (including her wife, Hilda Mariu), New Zealand quality shines brightly as it travels to the four corners of the world - before coming home. The result is a suit fit for a Warrior wedding.
Luke Mayes is a freelance writer living in New York.