Loden is a collective term for woollen, thick and heavy fabrics with a blended visual appearance. It is made out of carded yarn and is always densely milled. A differentiation is made based on the specific surface finishing.
The determination “Loden” descends from the Old High German word “lodo” which means “rough trinket” or “rough fabric”. Even though the term “lodo” is documented since the 10th century its origin is still unknown.
Loden is traditionally fabricated in olive green, russet, taupe and black blends and was primarily used for coats and plaids. It was the traditional clothing of the rural population in Europe as the fabric was very resistant and warming. To date, Loden could maintain its huge and traditional importance, especially in the alps region and Lapland.
Today Loden is produced in various qualities and colours as its application areas have been multiplied. It is used in fashion, for home textiles and club outfitting.
Due to its special treatment and finishing Loden maintains several unique and positive characteristics and can thereon be used for various purposes.
Loden is water-repellent
Through the Walk-process (“Walken” describes the volitional process of felting the fabrics surface) the fabric becomes not only more imperishable and warming but also extremely water-repellant.
Loden is temperature balancing
Based on its fabric structure Loden creates a microclimate-zone on the body with a constant and controlled temperature exchange. It blocks cold while reserving the body heat and guarantees thereon excellent wearing comfort.
Loden is breathable
New wool is very breathable as it absorbs the water vapour from the body and transports it to the fabric’s surface. This property is especially important for the sportive application of Loden, e.g. for skiing or hiking clothing.
Loden is windproof
As Loden is treated without any chemical additions it contains its windbreaking properties – up to a wind intensity of 10.
Loden is dirt-repellent
New wool is due to its natural lanoline and fabric structure totally dirt repellent. If the Loden is dry, dirt and mud can easily be removed by brushing it out.
Depending on the customer’s needs, the basic properties of Loden can be expanded. Various finishing options are possible.
- water repellent finishing
- oil repellent finishing
- flame-retardant finishing
- mothproof finishing
- stiffening finishing
- antistatic finishing
- washable finishing
Loden was traditionally made out of new wool, gained from European sheep breeds. But nowadays the wool is mostly sourced in countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South America. Due to the special sheep breed used and the predominant mild climate, the wool from these countries is very soft – way more than the wool from European sheep breeds. By this change in sourcing local European sheep breeds, like the Rhön sheep, are threatened with extinction, as their wool is hardly used anymore.
The chemical industry made intense efforts in order to synthetically reproduce the wool fibre. Up to date, they still haven’t been able to substitute the natural “wonder fibre”.
Loden is mainly differentiated into eight types, related to their purpose of use and way of manufacture.
Has a rustic fabric character and is made out of more rough wool, sourced in the Alps region. Gebirgsloden is often used for the production of coats and firm jackets.
Line Loden (coat Loden, line fabric)
A dense churned Loden. Its characteristics are the parallelized, one way laid wool fibres which create a roof tile like structure. Based on this special structure, the Strichloden is very water repellent. Additionally it is often impregnated with water repellent substances so it can be used as rain cover
Woven in tricot weave. Is rarely used nowadays.
Loden with a roughed surface in which the fibres are not brushed in one direction. This type of Loden has a smooth and voluminous surface
This type of Loden is also known as diagonal Loden, as the warp has different colour then the weft. Thereon the twill weave is strongly visible.
A Loden which is knitted, not woven. It is less expensive than woven Loden and has a flexible knitting, which adapts more easy to the body. It has a more agitated optic and less stability, compared to the woven Loden.
Churned Loden (“cloth Loden”)
This type is also called “Melton Loden, suit or jacket Loden, Bozen Loden or churned Loden) It is woven in twill or linen weave and densely churned. The Walkloden has a flat surface, as it is not roughed. It is used for the production of pants, skirts, suits, coats and costumes.
A modern type of Loden, which is neither roughed nor compacted. It has a stable, smooth surface.