The Biggest Week in Iron Snail History!

The Biggest Week in Iron Snail History!


Aaaand, we're back. Greetings and salutations on this most lovely of evenings. It's 92° here in Brooklyn and I am going to die. My little cousin, Matthew, visited me for the last five days and I became an impromptu father (I even carried around a tote bag with sunscreen, two waterbottles, a phone charger, a shirt for if he got cold, and a camera). Anyway, I've returned to my youthful, childless self and am ready to talk about wool (and denim).

What you need to know:

1. Five new products are hitting the shelves this week! (Denim jackets, jeans, and the Mammoth)

2. There are three emails coming this week (Mon., Weds., Fri.) because I have a LOT of nerding out to do here.

3. This is part 2 of a mega-email on the 'Special Edition Mammoth'. Part 1 can be found here.

On with the show! Btw, I'll never email you three times a week after this.


Sam says ‘cloth’ so I says cloth.

Taylor and I met Sam while we were in Scotland. She is one of the coolest, most interesting, smart, and skilled people I’ve ever met. I feel confident saying that she is your favorite weaver’s favorite weaver. If you haven’t watched the video: Sam decided to start a mill herself from scratch (she had been in the industry for many years and was teaching weavers at this point). She rented out a shed in Buckie, Scotland (a fishing town), bought a ton of old cast iron machinery, hoisted it into the shed, and got to work. Learning, tweaking, learning some more, tweaking some more, and then selling her cloth to makers on Saville Row. That would be like me whittling a baseball bat out of a tree in my backyard, getting drafted to the MLB, and hitting a walk-off home run on my first at bat. Sam was far too talented to ever go under the radar.

I won’t rehash the entire video, but Sam weaves her cloth by foot on machines made in the 1950’s and the 1980’s. She also enlists her sisters to help her; they are equally as lovely. Sam’s machines make cloth in half-width: a roll of fabric is half as wide as a modern roll (30” vs. 60” — it's the same with selvedge denim). The first run of standard Mammoths used 500 yards of fabric and that made around 128 jackets total. The max I could order from Sam this time around was 60 yards and that’ll yield us around 10 - 11 jackets. The manufacturer I work with in New York and I walk around the factory holding her wool cloth rolls like big pots of gold.


I thought it’d be fun to go with an English company this time around (I did the same with the buttons). A 185-year-old British mill was my first pick. They make some fantastic cloth and I’ve had a few pieces that use their wool. I was quite the giddy boy this time around since I was buying the wool for my jackets. 

I met a woman by the name of Betty who doesn’t use exclamation marks in her emails (I use hundreds). She sent me some fantastic wool samples, some of which I’ve locked in a huge safe with the words ‘Fabric Samples to Be Used on a Later Project’ scrawled across it. I wanted to go with a heavier and VERY soft lining to add more warmth (finer wools = higher warmth-to-weight ratio) and to make sure you can wear this jacket with a t-shirt. I ended up choosing a merino twill. It’s exceptionally soft, quite warm, and a lovely deep shade of blue. The weight of the fabric is ~275gsm. 

For total comparison:

Standard Mammoth combined wool weight: 775gsm

Special Edition Mammoth combined wool weight: 675gsm


I am someone who hems and haws a lot and boy oh boy did I hem and haw over the buttons. “This is the SPECIAL EDITION MAMMOTH” I’d scream into a pillow when Taylor was off at work. “MAKE IT SPECIAL, MICHAEL!”

The standard Mammoth uses corozo nut buttons — they are quite special, I can’t lie. Corozo nut buttons are slices of a tagua nut and each one of them is unique. They are incredibly strong, take dye well, and are pretty darn sustainable. Tagua nuts aren’t harvested or farmed. They plop down from trees in the form of a giant spikey death ball. The pictures of the jacket here are using the corozo buttons, but they didn’t quite mesh with the jacket as much as I hoped. They needed some more texture and some stronger color variations that the tagua nut just can’t pull off…but horn can.

Real horn (typically from either water buffalo or ox) is a by-product of the farming industry, particularly in India and livestock is not reared specifically for their horn. Moreover, the cattle are raised by numerous small, subsistence farmers and the money they receive for their horn is a vital and additional source of income. Without it, many rural farmers would simply abandon their vocation.

That blurb is from the button manufacturer I found in England. They also make buttons out of the tagua nut and…codelite…a.k.a. milk (yes, we’ll be using those). These are all weird materials in 2024 but they weren’t all that weird around 50 years ago. Corozo buttons were extremely popular, horn buttons were luxury level, and casein (what milk buttons are made from) was supposed to be a magical material from the future…but then we discovered plastic.

All of these materials are: pre-cursors to plastic, renewable, and biodegradable. I really find that quite cool. There is a level of efficiency to them that I really like and try to have on all Snail products.

Bioresin is also a ‘new’ button material (plant-based plastic) and I’m curious to check those out. I’ll probably order a few samples and let you know my thoughts.




This release will be the largest in Iron Snail history and I'm really excited to show everything off! There are a few details on all of the products coming that I think:

1. We're the only ones doing.

2. Will add a lot of functionality and luxury (oooh-ahhh) to the pieces.

3. Are just the beginning of always trying to go 'Far Beyond the Grade.' A.k.a. the Snail's core goal.

Wednesday's email will finish up the 'Special Edition Mammoth' details and show off the denim releases.

Friday's game time.

Thanks for reading, talk to you soon!

- Michael

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