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Rope shoulder construction

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am looking to have a suit made with natural shoulders (no padding) but want a well defined and strong roping. How exactly is this accomplished? A few tailors told me it is more difficult to produce a strong rope with natural shoulders because the shoulder edge is not stiff enough to support alot of roping - roping would tend to collapse somewhat. I tend to believe this but have a RTW suit with no padding that has strong roping - but this RTW is fused so maybe the fusing stiffness is helping since it runs into the shoulder seem in front? How to achieve in fully canvassed instead?
post #2 of 10
Roping is achieved through the construction of the sleeve head and the treatment of the seam attaching the sleeve; it may be easier when the shoulders are more padded but it should still be possible with less padded shoulders.

As always, Jeffrey D's blog contains a very good post about the construction of the sleeve head, see the second half of this entry.
post #3 of 10
I've learned that shoulder padding and sleeve head treatment are only vaguely related. Most of my garments are constructed as you like, no shoulder pad at all with a very prominent rope in the sleeve head. It is difficult to do but quite possible. I am not a cutter or coat-maker but gentleman of both professions have explained to me the one need, basically, to narrow the shoulders (point-to-point) to the point where the clients own shoulders support the sleeve head in lieu of the shoulder pad. I am sure some of the more learned can add to or correct this position of mine.
post #4 of 10
post #5 of 10
Natural shoulder with a roped shoulder isn't a common combination but they are distinct from one another. The soft shoulder is a separate issue from the roping. The sleeve is cut a touch higher in the cap and sewn in with more fullness at the top of the armhole to accommodate the rise of the sleeve. The type of sleeve head and how it is sewn in is different and how the seam of the sleeve and shoulder is turned.
post #6 of 10
One of my favorite shoulders is what Ralph Lauren Purple Label has. If I were having one made, I'd like a nice strong roped, sloping shoulder (pagoda?). Similar to Tom Ford as well.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
All great responses, thanks alot guys!

Originally Posted by Tony Romo View Post

One of my favorite shoulders is what Ralph Lauren Purple Label has. If I were having one made, I'd like a nice strong roped, sloping shoulder (pagoda?). Similar to Tom Ford as well.

Tom Ford's have nice roping and the padding is perfect for someone who has normal shoulders with a little slope. On me they look ridiculous because my shoulders have virtually no slope and are wide. I end up looking like I have football pads.
post #8 of 10
besides just looking different... are their reasons why someone would go with a rope/not, and a natural versus padded?

IE with what types of body shapes would each be recommended?

I can imagine padding is used to compensate for weak shoulders, but are there body types where no padding makes sense? and is roping/not just aesthetic or functional in any way?
post #9 of 10
simon spurr shoulders are perfect on me and when i eventually go bespoke i'll ask for something like that. I'll try get a pic up so you guys can explain it to me.
post #10 of 10
A part of British tailoring has it's roots in the making of military uniforms. The way I understand it, that is where the rope shoulder construction has it's origins.

I don't claim to be an expert on this, but my tailor tells me that rope shoulders give a suit a more structured, formal look (by providing a more defined (1) end to the shoulder and (2) start to the sleeves).

It would be in contrast to a more relaxed look that would result from having a neapolitan shirt-sleeve (al la Rubinacchi).

On shoulder padding, I think British tailors favor a more natural shoulder (if Hardy Aimes is anything to go by). Am told that the northern Italian tailors (in contrast to their southern brethren) tend to go for more structured / padded shoulders.

Hope this helps!
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