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Drapers - good flannel cloths?

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Last Saturday I was looking through my tailor's cloth books, looking for something nice for a new autumn/winter suit. I found most cloths quite "booring", as I was looking for something "very interesting" (to make a suit maybe more suitable for fun than for business, if you know what I mean). Not much around, mostly the same old pinstripes and solids. However, one cloth caught my eye: a kind of brown chalk-stripe flannel. The brand was "Draper's" or "Drapers" and it was said to be made in Italy. My tailor wrote the reference down for me: book 19, reference 4817. I do not know if that is enough to identify the cloth.
Now, my questions are: any thoughts on
- Drapers (or Draper's) in general;
- their flannels in particular; and
- book 19, reference 4817 even more in particular?
Regards,
post #2 of 54
Sorry, I am unfamiliar with the cloth merchant in question. However, I would personally be a bit concerned with Italian flannels. Too many Italian mills tend to use very loose machine settings to get a soft, spongey finish to their cloths, which tend to lead to the flannel 'peeling' later on or losing shape. What is the hand of the cloth? Is it full bodied, with an underlying firmness despite being a flannel?

Otherwise, I would ask your tailor if he will accept fabric sourced by his customers. Here is a similar cloth from J&J Minnis, who weave a beautiful flannel:

http://www.hfw-huddersfield.co.uk/ha...tki=200381887?

I would ask your tailor how much fabric he wants before ordering.

I find a check/plaid gives a lounge suit a more casual feel, so you might like to consider something like this as well:

http://www.hfw-huddersfield.co.uk/ha...tki=197863185?

http://www.hfw-huddersfield.co.uk/ha...tki=197863185?

http://www.hfw-huddersfield.co.uk/ha...tki=884109580?

http://www.hfw-huddersfield.co.uk/ha...tki=940214204?

The last is a textured solid brown.

With most tailors buying your own fabric directly from the company has the advantage of being much cheaper than buying through a third party.
post #3 of 54
Drapers, I believe, is a jobber. I don't think they have their own mills. The quality of their cloths is top notch and very luxurious in many cases. I would order cloth from Drapers without hesitation.
post #4 of 54
I think you have the right idea when it comes to pattern - brown flannel looks best, IMO as a chalk stripe (as opposed to a glen plaid or solid).

The first swatch that Sator linked to looks great - if it really is that dark in person, it should look more like a rich charcoal than a really brown brown.

But at 13/14 oz, I couldn't imagine you'd get much use out of it in Madrid since flannel wears a lot warmer than its listed weight

Another option which I think looks great but that is still not exactly business-y is something like this:

Though that particular cloth would be even warmer.
post #5 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantabrigian View Post
But at 13/14 oz, I couldn't imagine you'd get much use out of it in Madrid since flannel wears a lot warmer than its listed weight

I got plenty of wear out of a J&J Minnis 15/16 Oz flannel this Souther Hemisphere winter just gone in Sydney. The reason is that buildings in warm climes are often draughty and lack the blazing central heating found in colder places. The end result is that you can be colder indoors in Sydney during winter than you are in Boston or London, even though it rarely gets colder than 50 F (10 deg C) here, with average winter daytime temperatures about 60F or warmer.

Since EPA hails from Sweden I am sure he knows what I talking about.
post #6 of 54
Drapers is fairly well thought of by Raphael in New York, though I have no personal experience. Their books almost always have great patterns and stripes - basically the classics with an intangible bit of flair layered on top.
post #7 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
I got plenty of wear out of a J&J Minnis 15/16 Oz flannel this Souther Hemisphere winter just gone in Sydney. The reason is that buildings in warm climes are often draughty and lack the blazing central heating found in colder places. The end result is that you can be colder indoors in Sydney during winter than you are in Boston or London, even though it rarely gets colder than 50 F (10 deg C) here, with average winter daytime temperatures about 60F or warmer.

Since EPA hails from Sweden I am sure he knows what I talking about.

Very true, indeed.

Still, I have my concerns regarding flannel, as the office where I work is normally quire warm in winter. Actually, due to excessive air conditioning in summer, it is sometimes colder inside the office in summer than in winter (this is typical for Spain, I believe).

In any case, thank you very much for all the input. The thing I liked about the Drapers cloth I saw was not only the colour, but also the very unusual stripes, quite different from the one in Sator's sample above.

The alternative that I am considering for my next suit is a Dormeuil Amadeus cloth (I believe the reference is 300935), a worsted cloth, 310 g, I think, dark brown with blue pinstripes (or ropestripes, maybe). The stripes are fairly wide and so is the separation between the stripes. It looks nice, but it is very different from the Drapers cloth. Basically, it is like choosing between apples and oranges: both are nice, in their own way. And I am definitely only going for one suit this time, so I will have to make the choice.

By the way, my tailor is at the bespoke dpt. of a major department store and I do not think he can accept the customer to supply the cloth; I believe that he has to use his own suppliers.
post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dopey View Post
Drapers is fairly well thought of by Raphael in New York, though I have no personal experience. Their books almost always have great patterns and stripes - basically the classics with an intangible bit of flair layered on top.

Some yes, some no. I know he loves the linens. But the flannels?

I think there are far better flannels out there.
post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
Sorry, I am unfamiliar with the cloth merchant in question. However, I would personally be a bit concerned with Italian flannels. Too many Italian mills tend to use very loose machine settings to get a soft, spongey finish to their cloths, which tend to lead to the flannel 'peeling' later on or losing shape. What is the hand of the cloth? Is it full bodied, with an underlying firmness despite being a flannel?


I wonder when that changed. I have a suit made from 1950s Italian flannel and the thing has almost too much body. In general though, I agree.
post #10 of 54
Don't Draper's flannels come from Martin Sons? If that is true, then they should be of excellent quality.
post #11 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panzeraxe II View Post
Don't Draper's flannels come from Martin Sons? If that is true, then they should be of excellent quality.

I haven't looked at it in eons, but the last time I did it was Italian. If it's made by Martin today, then it's worth another look, for sure.
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
I wonder when that changed. I have a suit made from 1950s Italian flannel and the thing has almost too much body. In general though, I agree.

Could be Carlo Barbera. They have not changed the way they make that. It's still killer.
post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I haven't looked at it in eons, but the last time I did it was Italian. If it's made by Martin today, then it's worth another look, for sure.

You could be right, but for some reason I have Martin Sons stuck in my head for Drapers. I recently ordered a SC made with fabric from a Drapers book that was sourced from Carlo Barbera.
post #14 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by epa View Post

Actually, due to excessive air conditioning in summer, it is sometimes colder inside the office in summer than in winter (this is typical for Spain, I believe).

Exactly like Sydney! There is one area at work affectionately dubbed "Siberia" due to the subarctic air-conditioning year round.


Quote:
Originally Posted by epa View Post

By the way, my tailor is at the bespoke dpt. of a major department store and I do not think he can accept the customer to supply the cloth; I believe that he has to use his own suppliers.

It won't hurt to ask. You may save a fair bit of money if he accepts CMT.
post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
Some yes, some no. I know he loves the linens. But the flannels?

I think there are far better flannels out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panzeraxe II View Post
Don't Draper's flannels come from Martin Sons? If that is true, then they should be of excellent quality.

Bump in hopes of an update. Was this ever settled? Have people had things made in Drapers flannel, and how have they performed?
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