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Filson Materials

Many of the fabrics used by Filson are not available on the general market and must be loomed to Filson's own specifications. From the pure Mackinaw Wool, through the Tin Cloth for rugged wear and luggage, to the pure cotton Safari Cloth for summer weather use, the Filson fabrics are outstanding. Please scroll down this page to learn more about these fabrics:

Safari Cloth
Feather Cloth
Cover Cloth
Tin Cloth and Shelter Cloth
Mackinaw Wool

Cotton Fabrics
The cotton fabrics used by Filson are distinguished from those generally used in today's market by the very demanding specifications placed by Filson. The quality of a cotton fabric of a given type is broadly determined by the length of the fibers of the cotton used, the tightness to which the thread is spun, and the closeness of the weave. These factors are all determining factors in the tensile strength of the fabric. American cotton mills, with modern high-speed looms and designed to fill a mass market, are unprepared to meet Filson's specifications. The high-speed looms are not able to produce the very closely woven materials. Filson has found it necessary to go abroad to find older mills with suitable looms, mills of a size allowing production runs of material fitting Filson's needs, to obtain the quality of cottons used in Filson garments. Compare the closeness of weave in Filson's Tin Cloth, or Shelter Cloth material, to that of the similar material used in similar garments made for the mass market in the USA, such as Carhart. The outstanding strength and durability of Filson garments starts with the outstanding cottons used in their manufacture.

Safari Cloth
Filson's Safari Cloth is a pure cotton poplin, developed when safaris to Africa were popular among the wealthy. The cloth was woven tightly enough to give protection from mosquitoes, and strong enough to handle primitive and rough laundering. It is still the fabric of choice when mosquitoes or black flies are encountered. The fabric is woven from two-ply pure cotton yarns in both the weft and warp. The finished weight is 6 ounces, ideal for moderate summer weather.

List Safari Cloth Items

Care of Safari Cloth Garments
Filson's Safari Cloth garments may be professionally dry cleaned which will not cause shrinkage, or machine washed with a possible 2 - 3% shrinkage.  Machine was cold, using non-chlorine bleach if needed, and line dry.  May be pressed with a steam iron if desired.

Feather Cloth
Filson's Feather Cloth is a very light weight (3 oz.) pure cotton broadcloth woven from long-staple one ply yarns. It has a UPF rating of 20 for the Desert Tan, UPF 50 for other colors. As with all cottons the colors can fade with repeated washing, and UPF ratings may decrease.

The fabric makes up into a very confortable hot weather shirt, since it is so light and breathable. The shirt is full cut, ensuring both comfort and maximum breathability. The shirt weights only about 9 oz.

Care of Feather Cloth Shirts
The Feather Cloth shirts may be professionally dry cleaned, which will not cause shrinkage, or machine washed with a possible 2 - 3% shrinkage. Machine wash cold using non-chlorine bleach if needed, and line dry. May be pressed with a steam iron if desired.

List Feather Cloth Items

Filson's moleskin, made from 100% cotton, is woven in England. Moleskin is a fustian fabric (as is corduroy), woven with a twilled weave to form a thick dense cloth, and having a cut nap on one side. With the moleskin, the fabric is brushed to form the nap. The resulting moleskin is very soft and highly wind resistant.

Learn More About Moleskin
List Moleskin items

Care of Filson Moleskin
Machine wash, line dry. Allow for 3 to 5% shrinkage. If preferred, moleskin garments can be dry cleaned.

Cover Cloth
Filson's Cover Cloth, imported from Britain, is a tightly woven cotton poplin with an improved wax treatment that leaves the fabric softer and with less of an oily feel than the older type waxed cotton. Garments of Cover Cloth are more comfortable to wear, and last longer, as the fabric has less of a tendency to form permanent creases which lead to accelerated wear at the edges of the crease. This 6 ounce fabric provides great water and wind repellency. Filson's Cover Cloth presents British Waxed Cotton at its finest.

List Cover Cloth Items
History of Waxed Cotton

Care of Cover Cloth Garments
Lightly brush soiled areas with cool water, wipe or brush clean. Garments can be reproofed with a spray wax or paste wax compound, such as the Filson Wax. Do not launder with soap or detergent, or dry clean.

Tin Cloth and Shelter Cloth
Filson's Tin Cloth, so-called because garments made from it are as waterproof and wear resistant as if they were made of tin, has long been recognized in the Northwest as setting the standard for protection and wear resistance. The material, a 100% cotton duck, is offered in two distinctly different finishes, an oil finish and a dry finish, and now in both the traditional 12.5 ounce Duck and the newer lighter weight 8.5 ounce Shelter Cloth, named after military shelter tents. Shelter cloth is softer than the Tin Cloth, and does not require breaking in as does the stiffer Tin Cloth material.

The oil finish provides the greatest protection and wear. The cotton duck is impregnated with a paraffin-based wax, creating a finished 12.5 ounce fabric that is highly water repellent and wind resistant. The greater wear resistance of the oil finish is accounted for by the wax reducing internal wear in the fabric as threads slip against each other. The oil finish Tin Cloth (12.5 ounce) and Shelter Cloth (8.5 ounce) have not been preshrunk and may shrink with repeated soaking in the rain. If you intend using your oil finish garment primarily as wet weather gear, order one size larger than normal to accommodate shrinkage. If you intend using it under dry conditions for its great durability, your normal size will be better.

Filson's Rugged Twill Luggage is made from a special 22 ounce 100% cotton twill, a heavier and stronger version of the legendary oil finish Tin Cloth. It is durable and breathable, impregnated with wax to make it water resistant and protect against wear.

List Oil Finish Tin Cloth Items
List Oil Finish Shelter Cloth Items
List Rugged Twill Luggage

Care of Oil Finish Tin Cloth and Shelter Cloth
Filson oil finish Tin Cloth, Shelter Cloth and Rugged Twill should not be washed or dry-cleaned. Rinse off with cool water, wipe or brush clean. Filson Wax may be used to touch up and reproof your oil finish garments, hats and luggage.

The dry finish Tin Cloth (11 ounce) and Shelter Cloth (8 ounce) are preshrunk and treated with a durable, water repellent and stain resistant finish. The finished fabric is a little lighter weight and much softer than the oil finish. The dry finish is the more usual selection for casual clothing. Order your normal size in the dry finish garments.

List Dry Finish Tin Cloth Items
List Dry Finish Shelter Cloth Items

Care of Dry Finish Tin Cloth and Shelter Cloth
Dry finish Tin Cloth and Shelter Cloth may be machine washed and dried. The dry finish cloth will shrink a maximum of 3% with washing. Dry finish garments can be reproofed with Scotchguard™ as the water repellency diminishes with repeated washings.

Mackinaw Wool
The Filson Mackinaw wool cloths are the finest available for durability and appearance. The Mackinaw wools are loomed to Filson's own specifications, using only 100% pure virgin wool from hardy sheep with thick sturdy fibers.

Mackinaw Wool before and after fulling and dying

The woven fabric is fulled (worked in hot water) to form a firm, dense felted fabric. During the fulling, the fibers of the wool are caused to move together and interlock, thus increasing the strength and density of the fabric. This fulling reduces the width of the cloth from 84 inches (when woven) to 60 inches (after fulling). The resulting fabric is more resistant to wind and rain, and is used primarily in outer garments for winter use. The Filson Mackinaw wool garments provide outstanding protection from the weather -- the wool will absorb 30% of its weight in moisture without becoming damp or clammy, and will retain body heat even if you become thoroughly soaked.

The Filson Mackinaw wool comes in four weights of cloth. The lightest, a 21-ounce cloth, is used in the Wool Cape Jacket. The medium weight, a 24 ounce cloth, is used in the Mackinaw Field Pants and in the Double Mackinaw Cruisers, where the double layering creates an effective weight of 48 ounces. The heavy weight Mackinaw wool, a 26 ounce cloth, is used in the Mackinaw Vest and the Mackinaw Cruisers. The heaviest weight, a 35 ounce cloth, is used in the Wool Blanket and Lap Robe.

Discover the Warmth of Wool
List Mackinaw Wool Items

Care of Mackinaw Wool
Mackinaw wool garments, hats and blankets should be dry cleaned only.

For more information ...
Please follow the links below for more information about Filson and Filson products.

The Filson Company
Filson Clothing
Filson Luggage
Filson Hats


Mackinaw Wool Vest
Mackinaw Wool Vest
by Filson
 $135.00  $110.00 
Double Mackinaw Cruiser
Double Mackinaw Cruiser
by Filson
 $415.00  $335.00 
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