or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Buying fabric online
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Buying fabric online

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
Hi I have recently found a site in Singapore that sells fabric online. See http://hst.com.sg/ I am thinking of ordering some linen for a suit but I have no idea if the prices are good value are not. The linen is Italian. In general is it better value buying your own fabric and taking it to your tailor to be made up.
post #2 of 78
Quote:
I have recently found a site in Singapore that sells fabric online.
Koh at HST is very helpful, drop him a line and Im sure he will be honest in his appraisal of that linen. Most of his stuff seems pretty nice, although people have commented earlier that his shirt cloth is overpriced. Im sure its nicer than you will find at your local Spotlight anyhow Ive generally found the prices in his clearance section to be very good, elsewhere just standard.
Quote:
In general is it better value buying your own fabric and taking it to your tailor to be made up.
People are questioning the logic of this over at AskAndy now. For some reason I cant connect to it at the moment, but Ill edit and drop in a link when I can. My understanding of it is that tailors get a tradies discount on cloth and then mark it back up to retail-ish, before selling it to you plus a reduced fee for workmanship. BYO cloth then you take away his percentage on the material and he will charge you a higher fee for his services, meaning that you end up most likely paying more unless you can get a fantastic deal on the fabric. It would want to be a fantastic deal anyhow to remove your touch-and-feel aspect of evaluating it and the advice your tailor can offer. I'm Australian but live in Vietnam, where the tailoring is so cheap and the cloth is so crappy that it makes sense for me to do it that way, but back in the real world I'm not sure youll see much benefit.
post #3 of 78
Originally posted by m@T:
Quote:
... I'm Australian but live in Vietnam, where the tailoring is so cheap and the cloth is so crappy that it makes sense for me to do it that way, but back in the real world I'm not sure youll see much benefit.
Wrong. Not all tailors have access to every cloth, and you may find a certain fabric that is either difficult/impossible to source by the tailor, or that the fabric is no longer produced. There is also the controversy regarding providing your own cloth to the tailor instead of a deposit..... the thinking behind this is that if the tailor messes up, you are only out of the cloth, not the deposit too.
post #4 of 78
Quote:
Wrong. Not all tailors have access to every cloth, and you may find a certain fabric that is either difficult/impossible to source by the tailor, or that the fabric is no longer produced.
yup, good point - although I doubt you will find the 'difficult to source' cloth at hst.com.sg. but anyhow youre right. me guilty as charged.
Quote:
the thinking behind this is that if the tailor messes up, you are only out of the cloth, not the deposit too
i could go either way on this. if the tailor messes up his own cloth, he more likely to call in a favor from his fabric supplier to fix his mistake at his expense...if using your own, tickier to rectify.
post #5 of 78
While tailors might not have immediate access to any cloth, I don't know a distributor who would not jump at the chance to open a new account, at least with a reputable tailor, and so most tailors in good standing can eventually have access to at least the major mills.  I visited a tailor in New York a few years ago who did not have access to Lesser cloth, but I contacted one of their distributors on his behalf and arranged for him to open an account with them. Grayson
post #6 of 78
Subject 1: Just maybe .... perhaps .... the slightest chance? That your tailor or shirtmaker might know a little bit more about the quality of the cloth than you? Subject 2:
Quote:
the thinking behind this is that if the tailor messes up, you are only out of the cloth, not the deposit too
In trying to be P.C. here, the best opinion I can offer regarding this philosophy is ... stupid. 1] When using a fabric of which I cannot get more, I am at greater risk. When an error occurs, I cannot buy an additional yard to replace the offending piece. Therefore, my exposure is logarithmically greater than when I am using fabric I sourced from a reputable mill. 2] When using a fabric from a steady source of supply and it degrades for some unknown reason a year after I made the garment, I have recourse to recover my costs in replacing the garment. When your own fabric fails, I have, instead of recourse, an absolutely certain argument wherein you advocate that the failure is due to workmanship and I advocate that it is due to quality of cloth. So ... what's my upside? I am expected to charge significantly less for a garment which may fail for reasons beyond my control and cause me to lose you as a client?.? In summation, I do "CMT" in only the rarest of instances and then only for the best of clients. There are, of course, exceptions. A currently available and notable one would be the LL Cloth Club which offers top quality cloths to its members which are bought from reputable mills by a knowledgeable buyer. Its advantage is that it makes lesser (no pun intended) known fabrics, especially tweeds, available at lower prices dues to their capacity to purchase larger than single-suit quantities.
post #7 of 78
Quote:
Just maybe .... perhaps .... the slightest chance? That your tailor or shirtmaker might know a little bit more about the quality of the cloth than you?
Then again, there's a sizeable chance that your tailor or shirt guy is absolutely clueless about the quality of cloth.  I can tell many shirt "tales". An educated consumer is the best customer, to borrow from Mr. Merns (AKA Syms) Grayson
post #8 of 78
Quote:
Then again, there's a sizeable chance that your tailor or shirt guy is absolutely clueless about the quality of cloth. An educated consumer is the best customer, to borrow from Mr. Merns (AKA Syms) Grayson
Possibly so. However, citing as your authority the man who destroyed Sulka, one of the most venerable names in the men's quality clothing business, tends to erase whatever creditbility you had left. I doubt you would so accuse Mimmo Siviglia or Raphael, your current favorites. I doubt you would name Shirtmaven, with his 25 years in the fabric business. You couldn't possibly be thinking about your last week's "highly regarded" Alan Flusser. You might cite me ... but as we have never met, that might prove difficult to justify. Perhaps you might privilege us with an example or two of someone who has spent their life working with cloth yet remains clueless? --- Shirt Guy
post #9 of 78
it started with such an innocent question...from a first time poster...and a compatriot for that matter...and now look where its taken us
post #10 of 78
Alex, I think that there is a good chance that a "tailor" who outsources everything might not know as much about cloth as he/she should. In addition, a lot ot stores do MTM and due to the fact that the owner is not the one running the store, the orders are placed with a revolving set of employees/tailors. For example, a "tailor" at Brooks Brothers might do a MTM for you (not Greenfield -- but rather an in house "tailor") and not know as much about cloth as the best educated forum members. I think that many people end up believing in the "knowledge" of these "tailors" nonetheless. Your assertion that the "tailor" does the work in house sets up a bit of a straw man attack on Grayson's argumnent. I'm sure you'd agree that those "tailors" who actually sew the material is small.
post #11 of 78
johnnynorman3: You are quite correct if what you described is what you consider a tailor to be. However, it is completely inapplicable in this instance due to the simple fact that Grayson has upon innumerable occasions quite clearly stated that the type of individual you describe does not qualify to be termed a "tailor". Nonetheless, thank you for stepping in when Marc seems to have found other things to do than provide the requested examples to back his postulation. Why, I have always wondered, does Grayson consistently edit his posts after they have been replied to?
Quote:
it started with such an innocent question...from a first time poster...and a compatriot for that matter...and now look where its taken us
Yes, that is what happens when a member with years of history at inciting controversy is continued to be allowed to post. There are some of us fervent enough in our beliefs, firm enough in our convictions, and sufficiently apalled that this situation has been allowed to continue ... that we shall no longer sit idly by while Grayson continues to post antagonistic hit and runs, to incite flame wars, and to libel those who were his heroes just a few months previously.
post #12 of 78
I personally don't consider the type of person I described to be a tailor, which is why I put the word in quotation marks. But I think most people consider anyone who can hem pants to be a tailor, and thus place unwarranted faith in their knowledge sartorial. Hey, I can hem pants -- maybe I should call myself a tailor.
post #13 of 78
Quote:
I personally don't consider the type of person I described to be a tailor, which is why I put the word in quotation marks.  But I think most people consider anyone who can hem pants to be a tailor, and thus place unwarranted faith in their knowledge sartorial.   Hey, I can hem pants -- maybe I should call myself a tailor.
That type of person is called an "Alterations Tailor"... according to A&S and others...
post #14 of 78
Quote:
In general is it better value buying your own fabric and taking it to your tailor to be made up.
Returning to the original question: In theory, it might be to your advantage, economically, to purchase cloth on your own and take it to your tailor.  That said, it is one of the "customs" of the custom tailoring trade (Like it or not) for the tailor to order the cloth, at least in New York and London.  Your tailor might not mind if you order the cloth, but tailors can become a bit indignant about this if done on an ongoing basis, and so rather than get off on the wrong foot, I just play the accepted game and allow my tailors to obtain the cloth.  One advantage of doing so is in benefiting from their good counsel on choosing cloth, and so if my guys mark up the price of cloth, so be it.  On the other hand, I've seen people walk into tailors' shops and proceed to ask their advice on cloth for hours, throwing swatch books in all directions in the process, and then just leave with a notepad filled with information on cloth.  Not nice.     Grayson
post #15 of 78
Quote:
Then again, there's a sizeable chance that your tailor or shirt guy is absolutely clueless about the quality of cloth.
Quote:
One advantage of doing so is in benefiting from their good counsel on choosing cloth.
Yes, those must mean exactly the same thing.
Quote:
Returning to the original question:
Rather than justifying your original theory. I'll think just step aside and let you continue to argue with yourself. Perhaps one of you will prevail.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Buying fabric online