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Fabric makers - Page 2

post #16 of 36
from what i know the mark up on the more expensive cloths is much higher than for the lesser ones. i'm referring to what a custom tailor would charge you. for example, if a certain fabric costs him $100/suit, he might charge you $250 for it. if another fabric cost him $250/suit, he might charge you $1000. so if you're going to choose one of his lesser fabrics, go ahead. but if you want some loro piana cashmere, you might be better off first asking him how much he charges for the cutting and construction of the suit, and then trying to find the fabric you want elsewhere. this is assuming you can find it. don't worry about hurting his business. he knows what he's doing when he quotes you a price.
post #17 of 36
Certainly true. For example, Super 180s wool cloth may cost 75 BP/meter(plus duties), but a suit made of it may cost $5000, almost certainly more, maybe even $10,000. How much is Super 210s cloth currently? I believe that Super 210s suits cost ~$20,000. Would many tailors refuse to make clothing from cloth which the customer brings in? I wonder if they would charge significantly more to make a suit from your own fabric if it is Super 150s or 180s as opposed to Super 110s or 120s. I know that in some other countries tailors work mostly with cloth which their customers take to them, and just charge a tailoring fee, while here in the States tailors seem to work largely with their own. Here tailors probably have quite a bit of money tied up in fabric. Any ideas on all this? "from what i know the mark up on the more expensive cloths is much higher than for the lesser ones."
post #18 of 36
I remember ShirtMaven mentioning in one post that Acorn is a converter, not a weaver. Who weaves Acorn's fabrics? Are the fabrics actually woven in England, or as Mr. Kabbaz said, is anything that passes through England allowed to be marked as Made in England? So "converter" is the term for a firm such as Dormeuil or H Lesser which actually weaves nothing but has fabrics woven for them?
post #19 of 36
Thread Starter 
Any tailors here?  What would the approx. cost be for a yard of Harrison 110s or Vitale Barberis 110s or 120s?  Just trying to determine what a local tailor is paying himself per hour of labor. A better way to ask might be - what is a "fair/reasonable price" for a handmade suit in these fabrics? Also, I'm interested in other "higher" ranges 130s-180s as well if anyone knows and is willing to share. Thanks.
post #20 of 36
A tailor told me that Super 180s from fine mills costs on average ~$140/meter(US currency) before duties and freight. Duties for fine woolens can be significant - I recall hearing 38%, though I'm not certain of this. ------------------------------------------------------------ Below is the info provided by FCS on Vitale Barberis Super 100s. Super 110s or 120s should not cost significantly more. Note that the price is in Canadian currency.
If I remember this correctly, and I might be wrong, a tailor showed me his invoice for his Vitale Barberis Super 100's for about CAD $45 per yard. I think he's quoting me something like CAD $300 - $350 for a 3.5 yards of the said fabrics if I'd like to make a suit with him.
post #21 of 36
I've given up on getting fabric to make a suit with. My tailor gets his on the cheap. Hell, I have a suit of wonderful Super 130's fabric, and he got that for a pittance, carrying the savings over to me. Oh, and now Samsung, through Cheil, carries a guarantee on their fabrics. It goes something like, if you have a suit made with their fabric, and if it fails on you (rips, tears, breaks down, etc.), they'll refund you the cost of the whole suit. Of course, I've never seen a well-taken-care-of suit suffer such injury, but it's nice to see them stand behind their product's quality.
post #22 of 36
When the time comes I'll probably have suits made of woolens no higher than Super 130s and choose more Super 110s and 120s.  I would also like summer suits made of cotton and of linen, and if I don't move to a warmer area, winter overcoats made of heavy overcoating. I think that just a couple years ago Kiton made a suit/jacket(?) of 180s shirt fabric. I will never go to a regular perc-using dry cleaner, no matter how well-recommended it is.  I just couldn't wear clothing that was cleaned in chemicals suspected to be carcinogenic.  Just walking into a dry cleaning establishment, the fumes are terrible.  I would much rather go to a CO2 cleaner.  While it may be true that a suit often simply needs a steam cleaning/pressing, those who live in big cities probably have car exhaust and various other pollutants build up in a suit, which would necessitate a thorough cleaning.  I wouldn't want to risk, regardless of the cleaner's guarantee, ruining a very expensive, and just as importantly, a very nice garment, so I likely wouldn't buy anything extremely expensive, such as vicuna or the finest Super woolens.
post #23 of 36
I remember ShirtMaven mentioning in one post that Acorn is a converter, not a weaver. Who weaves Acorn's fabrics? Are the fabrics actually woven in England, or as Mr. Kabbaz said, is anything that passes through England allowed to be marked as Made in England? So "converter" is the term for a firm such as Dormeuil or H Lesser which actually weaves nothing but has fabrics woven for them?
Banks: "Converter" is a loosely defined term. I this case it is referring to a fabric designer/specifier/wholesaler who does not own their own looms. They use the "downtime" of a variety of mills - none of whom will probably admit it and none of whom are declared by the converter. They (the converter) specifies yarn, thread count, weave, etc. Downtime is much cheaper to purchase for all of the obvious economic reasons. Insofar as the "passes through England" law ... it was that way during the late 1980s. I don't know if it remains so ... but as all of todays excellent shirting fabrics are produced exclusively in Italy and Switzerland it is of no particular concern to me. Regarding your post just previous to this one ... there are a wide variety of organic shirtings now available in qualities all the way up to and including 200's.
post #24 of 36
So Horrockses closed during the cotton famine. Does Horrockses exist today in some reincarnated state, or as a division or trademark of another company? How did Thomas Mason manage to survive after the cotton famine? Did it shift production outside Lancashire? After Thomas Mason bought DJ Anderson were DJA fabrics woven in TM's English facilities instead of in Scotland? Do you know who owned Thomas Mason and shut down English production before selling to Albini? How do the good shirt fabrics produced today(incl. Alumo, Riva, S.I.C. Tess, and the DJA and Thomas Mason fabrics woven by Albini)compare with the good shirt fabrics produced some time ago such as the DJA fabrics woven in Scotland, the Thomas Mason fabrics woven in England, and the Horrockses fabrics woven in England? Are there any major differences? I saw in one of the Styleforum posts that one mill produced a 200/2 x 240/2 fabric some time ago. Do any mills produce this now, and are they capable of producing it now?
post #25 of 36
"Rawlings himself said, "With these superfine yarns, the cloth is sometimes very fragile. I feel that this super 180s will stand up to actual use in a suit. However, because of it being so expensive, we will offer it only for custom tailoring. We will have fabric for about 150 suits." He said the fabric costs about $250 a yard.
This price quoted was in May of 1998, when Super 180s was the highest available.  Now that Super 210s and Super 220s are available... source
post #26 of 36
Thread Starter 
I was at a local tailor's shop in Philly yesterday and he showed me the price list that he had just rec'd from Holland & Sherry - it showed prices of approx $135/yd for super 130s - he said he pay's about $200/yd for their super 140s / 1% cashmere / 1% mink. He is somewhat of an anomoly - he charges a fixed price to make a suit ($1,000) and then adds to that the cost of the fabric (at his cost).  He also recommends and spoke to me at length about his preferences for some of his "older" books - fabrics aren't as finely woven but have real substance to them - he swears they'll last for 20 years+.
post #27 of 36
That depends, Cpal, on the tightness and substance of the weave. Several others (including marc39) have commented on the fragility and drape of the very very fine worsteds; I tend to agree. I like the harder-finished worsteds and worsted woollens from English mills to the (generally) Italian-made Supers. The really exquisite fabrics just don't have the drape and substance and longevity these (admittedly fustier) English mill cloths have, IMHO. Marc39 could comment further on that. Naturlaut and Thracozaaq would perhaps disagree.......
post #28 of 36
I'm with CPal, MasterFred and Marc on this.  Part of it is a simple matter of personal preference.  I know that Naturlaut and Thracozaag, probably others, will disagree. Maybe Mr. Kabbaz could clarify the following: for shirt fabrics at least, most fine broadcloths have more or less the same "thread count."  It is the yarn used to weave a particular fabric and the weave itself which gives a fabric its characteristics(weight, feel).  So what I'm saying is that most broadcloths, whether woven from 100s/2-ply or 200s/2-ply yarns, may have the same 156 * 78 (?)"thread count."  Voiles would definitely be different from broadcloths.  Voiles are probably woven, even when 2-ply, with a lower density "thread count" so that there is more space between the yarns which in turn imparts the translucence to the fabric, and drastically reduces its weight. CPal, that's really pretty nice that this particular tailor charges a flat fee for the tailoring itself, with the cloth at cost.  Will he allow you to, if for whatever reason you want to, take your own fabric to him?
post #29 of 36
Thread Starter 
I haven't asked about bringing my own fabric in to him - I'll try to remember next week when I stop in for a fitting. To be honest, he has access to a wider range of (in addition to an obviously more broad range of experiences with) fabrics so I'm not sure that I would be able to get a better "deal" finding it on my own. To be honest, I'm still waiting for the catch - I've gotten about five suits from him now and have been thrilled with the quality of his work and his attention to detail. Just a lucky local find.
post #30 of 36
Naturlaut and Thracozaaq would perhaps disagree.......
Not at all.  However, on a side note, in my experience, English-trained tailors (not tailors who are English --- I have the greatest respect for them) prefer cutting on English fabrics as they find Italian fabrics 'shift' easily.  I myself have a suit and a sportcoat from Hardy Amies on Savile Row, and they are both made on heavier (long wearing) fabrics. Although I might have to add that most of the times I do prefer lighter jackets, especially when I am on the piano.
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