Swatches: Fresco


Good travel clothes have two essential attributes: the ability to shake out wrinkles after being tightly packed, and the versatility to be dressed up or down. Especially for warm weather travel, you can’t do better on either account than a suit in wool fresco.       

Patented in 1907 by London’s Martin Sons & Co, “fresco” (Italian for “fresh”) has good claim to be the world’s first proprietary performance fabric. Conceived to provide summertime relief for heavily-dressed Edwardians, fresco’s secret lies not in a lighter weight but a looser weave: specifically, its worsted yarns are tightly twisted before being plain-woven, resulting in a porous cloth that breathes easily, drapes well, and resists wrinkling.


Fresco’s signature quality is a crisp hand and a matte, often mottled appearance. This texture gives the cloth a relaxed versatility: it’s impeccable with a dress shirt and tie, and just as comfortable with a polo or sport shirt.   

Traditionalists love classic fresco’s heft (11 ounces and up), but for those of us who like a more comfortable garment, it’s now woven in much lighter weights (8-9 ounces). This new generation of fresco has a finer weave and smoother hand while retaining the substance necessary to drape smoothly, even with the light, half-lined construction we prefer for summer. In an ever-growing array of weights, colors, and patterns, these comfortable, crease-free, and durable fabrics are wardrobe staples for people on the move. 

Jonathan is wearing a custom suit in a 9oz ocean blue fresco wool. Contact us for information on this or similar garments.