Sharkskin, also known as Pick-and-Pick is a smooth, twill weave worsted suiting fabric with a soft texture and a two-toned woven appearance. Some call it a dark-and-light 'salt-and-pepper effect. Sharkskin fabric is popular for both men’s and women’s worsted suits, light winter jackets and coats. It is a favourite for business men and is available in lighter weights. When compared with for example a birdseye fabric the sharkskin is far more elegant. That makes it a fabric that one can wear in combination with a diverse array of shirts and ties.
Three different shades of grey Sharkskin fabric samples available at De Oost from the Dolce & Taylor bunch: Zenith Super 140´s and the Holland & Sherry bunch HS1541 Dragonfly Supreme 160's.
Three piece blue Sharkskin suit with champagne lining, a-symmetric waistcoat, personalised embroidered Chinese characters, peak lapels and slanted pockets. Click here to see complete portfolio.
History of Sharkskin
The finest "natural sharkskin" fabric has been historically made of all natural fibers, being some mixture of mohair, wool and silk. More expensive variations, often demarcated by fabric content labels bearing "Golden Fleece", "Royal" or the like, indicate an extremely rare and costly "sharkskin" of yester-year. Those fabrics, produced in small quantities, were manufactured in South America (Peru and Argentina: by transplanted German/Italian weavers) from the 1950's and 1960's and are known to include in some instances even small percentages of vicuña, guanaco or alpaca in such blends. Inclusion of silk (then a very costly fiber) was even more common among the "natural sharkskins". Whereas, "artificial sharkskin", a much less costly substitute, is a fabric variant that is more often found from that period and can contain synthesized or synthetic fibers that were developed contemporary to those eras.
Navy blue Sharkskin suit made with fabric from the Holland & Sherry bunch HS509 Cape Horn Classics. Click here to see complete portfolio.
Technique and Effect
Sharkskin has a 2 X 2 twill weave (one white, one black and same down). The yarns in both the warp and filling are alternately white (or very light yarns) and coloured. The combination of weave and colour results in coloured lines running diagonally to the left opposite to the twill lines in a ''step'' effect. Has a very sleek, smooth, feel and appearance. Although it is fairly light in weight, it has a very substantial feel. Gives excellent wear and sheds dirt readily.
Three Piece, two button blue Sharkskin suit, with a 2x5 button double breasted waistcoat and red lining, with peak lapels and slanted pockets. Click here to see the complete portfolio.
Ideal for summer suiting
Classic British etiquette prescribes a grey coloured Pick-And-Pick / Sharkskin as the preferable weave for a summer suit. Still make sure it is a tone of grey in which you can see two colours of threads. This tone of grey gives the suiting a more vibrant and light appearance.
2-piece anthracite sharkskin suit with a 2-buttoned jacket with peak lapels and slanted pockets, made with this fabric from Dolce and Taylor - Zenith Super 140s collection. Click here to see the complete portfolio.