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Why is a rolled edge on a PS "better"?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I keep reading about how PS with rolled edges are "better", but I don't see any particular reason why.

My understanding is that apparently rolled edges are impossible to do by machine (aka it requires handwork), but is that pretty much the only reason why it's considered "better"?
If anything, I would logically think that a non-rolled edge would create a cleaner profile which would be preferrable?

Is the purpose of the rolled edge to give it some visual "flair" like a blue lining to a white PS?
post #2 of 14
hand rolled are sign of hand made, and likely to be made from linen or silk, rather than poly fabrics
post #3 of 14
It looks much better, thats it. When I say much, I mean, machine finished squares look like shit.
post #4 of 14
If you're buying pocket squares online, then I suppose hand-rolled edges could serve as a stand-in for quality much in the way that functional boutonniere holes or surgeon's cuffs have been an indication of a well-constructed suit (though these touches are less and less useful as RTW manufacturers employ them to con style dilettantes).

That said, pocket squares are pretty simple "garments", if you can even call them that--there's just the fabric and the edge. Generally speaking, you know what you're getting so long as you can feel the fabric. Additionally, a good machine-sewn edge is just as durable as a hand-sewn one in my experience. So hand-rolled/sewn edges aren't exactly a stand-in for quality.

If not functional, then the prime advantage of a hand-rolled/sewn edge is aesthetic. The thing I like about them is that they terminate the fabric in a satisfyingly swelled edge.
post #5 of 14

A hand rolled edge will have an "organic" appearance, much the same way a hand-cut suit does.  The imperfections are what make it.

post #6 of 14
Dont tell me you dont like a little hand roll in your pocket, eh? mwink[1].gif
post #7 of 14
hand rolled and organic. Where is this thread going?sly.gif
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Cool, thanks for the replies, guys.
post #9 of 14
Machines edges look really bad. Like you just have a napkin in your pocket. There are many different types of hand rolled edges though. Each maker will be slightly different. You may like some more than others.
post #10 of 14
Hm, I'm going to go against the consensus here.

There are different types of machine and hand finished hems. For machined, the two most common I've seen are the napkin type, which unbelragazzo above has mentioned, and then there's a sort that Gerald covered here. It's this picture:

All of my Drake's and Rubinacci squares are finished in this way.

Hand finished hems aren't as easily categorizable. I would only differ them in terms of quality. I have some that have been very nicely done, and some that look like they were made blindly. The worst handrolled hem I've seen was on a cream silk Brioni pocket square. The best was on Vanda (assuming you like neatness and tight rolls. You can prefer something else of course, no reason that you can't). Here's Vanda:

As you can see, handrolled hems have nothing to do with swelled edges, "imperfections," or many of the other things people have stated above. I see no imperfections in Vanda's hem, and both techniques here have rolled edges. I don't know if handrolled is an indication of quality either. There have been members here who have made their own pocket squares by handrolling mediocre fabrics they source from a local store. I wouldn't say those are better than Rubinacci's silks.

Napkin type hems are indeed terrible looking, but I would actually prefer a machined rolled hem over a poorly handmade one. It has a nice braiding effect when done on silk (not apparent in Gerald's photo), whereas a poorly made handrolled hem just looks uneven, loose, and sloppy.

If I have time, I'll try to take photos of some of my pocket squares tomorrow to illustrate, but in general, I wouldn't say there's anything wrong with a machined hem. I love my Drake's and Rubinaccis. If done well, a handrolled hem is only "better" in that it adds some kind of artisanal value. It just means someone put the time into finishing the edge. That doesn't necessarily make it perform better or even look better, it's just a labor intensive thing you appreciate or you don't.
Edited by dieworkwear - 10/3/12 at 10:32pm
post #11 of 14
I am wearing that very same Vanda PS today. It is... awesome to behold.
post #12 of 14

A few more images:



The finishing on that vanda square is lovely, Derek.

These are handrolled.  

From top:

Cravat Royale

A local maker


Sam Hober (the best finishing of this set, imo)

post #13 of 14
To follow up on Derek's post - I was referring to the machined edges in the napkin style. The Rubi edges look good to me - my favorite PSs are Rubis.
post #14 of 14
Vanda vs. Hober's. which edges are better?
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