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In the Field: The Somelos Mill

 Our unstructured Ludlow blazer is the work of artisans at the Portuguese mill Somelos. It’s not lost on us that the mill’s name sounds like “so-mellow-s”—because the blazer, it turns out, is lightweight and laid-back, making it the breathable, packable, throw-on go-to for spring and summer. The mill is located in Guimarães, the birthplace of Portugal and one of the most storied regions (Viking hordes! Conquering Moors!) in Europe. Of course we
had to visit. 

Est. 1958
Guimarães, Portugal 

António Teixeira de Melo founded Somelos when he was 60, using his substantial textile chops to establish Somelos as a competitor to well-known Italian mills. He settled in a park not far from Castelo de Guimarães (above), a castle built around the 10th century to protect the fledgling province from raiding Vikings from the north and Moors from the south. It’s believed to be the birthplace of Afonso the Conqueror, the first king of Portugal. 

Somelos is near the scenic town of Porto, the country’s second largest city, known for its cathedrals, culture, tapas and shopping. 

To create the super-breathable cotton-linen in our unstructured Ludlow blazer, Somelos uses an innovative technique involving just the right tension during weaving—it’s all about warp and weft. The mill uses a special process to create the fabric’s distinctive matte finish. 

 The Somelos mill’s dedication to crafting the perfect lightweight fabric is comparable to what you’d expect to see from famous mills in Italy.

Starting with top-quality Portuguese cotton-linen, the weaving process marries state-of-the-art technology with craft and experience. To keep the jackets light, we left out the shoulder padding and interior lining, which means the blazers also have a more natural drape. We wanted to skip the built-in canvas layer too—a traditional element in suiting—to create the perfect light, laid-back jacket. It’s the ideal cotton-linen piece to wear to an important meeting…right before you head out of town for the weekend. 

 Thanks to the super-breathable cotton-linen from the Somelos mill, our soft-shouldered, unlined Ludlow is the most versatile jacket a guy can own. Let’s take a look inside. 
 Photographs by Bryan Derballa. Illustration by Kurt Holloman. 

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TAGS: mens, suiting, travel, somelos, portugal, in the field, europe