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100Hands

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello Everyone,

This forum has provided me with a lot of great information and connected me to suppliers of fine menswear that I would not have found otherwise.  Today I will try to provide detailed information on a recent shirt experience of a brand that has not received much exposure here. 

 

I have wasted a lot of money on shirts.  More so than any other item of clothing.  I simply overlooked the difficulty in finding a shirt that fits off the rack.  It started with eBay shopping, with the “hope” that shirts would fit either because no measurements were provided or that other’s measurements were going to be the same as mine or thinking that having 4 measurements was all I needed. 

 

I went out and purchased many different brands in assortments on colors trying to find the best deal on quality shirt brands.  As I became more aware of what I considered a better fit, I ended up giving many of these shirts away to my dad.  I then lost 20 pounds and anything that previously fit no longer did.  So, I have been rebuilding my shirt wardrobe and continuing to build my dad’s wardrobe with my castaways.  His idea of fit is much broader than mine : ). 

 

I want to get to the same place I am now with pants.  Going forward I will only buy from Ed (Panta).  Ed has my fit nailed down.  I really like Ed’s fabric selection and knowing the details of the fabric before I buy.  I also receive fantastic customer service.   I am currently at 5 pairs of Panta (just committed to my 5th pair yesterday) and will increase that over time.

Currently I have a few slim fit Sartoria Partenopea shirts that I like but my latest brand of choice is Barba Napoli.  I buy a 38 in the white label and 39 in the black.  For reference: chest measurement is 39 inches and 32.25 inches in Ed’s mid-rise pants. The white label 38 is a little tight in the chest.  I buy from individuals that I have come across through eBay (mostly direct from Italy) as opposed to larger stores so I am subject to limited availability.  I contacted a few smaller known brands directly in Italy but the ones that responded said they don’t deal with individuals   I prefer to buy direct from Italy because I find they have better slim fitting shirts.  I was going to try CEGO but want an in person experience in New York instead of through pictures and mailing trial shirts back and forth, especially with the minimum shirt requirement. Just haven't had a trip planned.

 

I then stumbled across 100Hands.  The brand started in 2014, based out of Amsterdam with a workshop in India.  Although only a recent brand, the family behind the brand has a heritage of six generations in the textile industry for spinning and manufacturing luxury handmade shirts.  The family has been in the shirt business for the last two decades and has collaborated with bespoke tailors on Savile Row in London and a few couture tailoring houses in Paris.  Each shirt goes through around 100 hands before one shirt is ready.  Most of the highly selective artisans have been working with the family for more than 10 years. New joiners to the team should have more than 12 years experience and attend internal academy training for six months prior to sewing their first 100Hands shirt. Important to note, the manufacturing process of 100Hands shirt involves at all stages process by hand including hand drawing of patterns, hand cut of fabrics by scissors and hand sewing. The first and the second stage of the process is complex, time consuming and requires lots of focus.   

 

Each shirt goes through the following process: 

Hand made patterns                        

Individually Hand Cut per shirt

Hand matched patterns              

Hand sewn collar and cuff

Hand sewn sleeves      

Hand (un)fused collar and cuffs 

Signature threadless stitching mechanics   

Hand sewn monograms

Hand sewn Australian Mother of Pearl buttons 

Handcrafted pleated shoulders (optional)

Invisible stitching with 25 stitches per inch    

Hand sewn arm placket (Gold Line)

One of a kind Hand Sewn buttonhole (Gold Line)        

Finest 2-3mm French single seams

Hand sewn French single seams (Gold Line)

 

I reached out to 100Hands general contact email info@100hands.nl to see what options (if any) I had.  Luckily, I was contacted by Akshat Jain (one of the co-founders).  Akshat was willing to do one shirt to start so I could try the brand which was fantastic news!  Not sure if this is common practice (did not ask because I was just happy they would) but figured worst case I would lose money on only one shirt. 100Hands has 2 lines defined by the number of days of handcrafting one shirt: Black Line (1.5 days) and Gold Line (2.5-3 days). The Black Line is available in Benelux stores at average eur 199 – eur 240 and the Gold line, with more than 30 hand operations, at average eur 299 - 400.  As a reference, I see a New Kiton shirt for sale on Styleforum that states 22 handpoints and retails for $895.

 

I elected to try the black line and stick with a very basic light blue one button collar and cuff.  Since this is my first shirt I thought it better (and more affordable) to try the black line because the amount of handwork means nothing if the shirt doesn’t fit.  A basic concept that has taken me a long time to finally agree with…..  Fabric 140/2 S.I.C Tess.     

 

For sizing, I provided Akshat with measurements based on one of my Barba shirts and then sent a picture along to show the fit.  After a lot of back and forth we decided to go with the 100Hands standard size 38 measurements.  If necessary, we would make adjustments on future shirts.  I know I said I wanted to avoid the whole picture thing but I figured since I was only committing to one shirt I was okay with it and flying over there wasn’t something I was considering.  Styleforum members more dialed in on their fit than I am can be more precise right from the start.  We also discussed sending the shirt back if the fit wasn’t right but that can add more to the cost, plus I felt the fit would be good based on our back and forth conversations and Akshat’s professional opinion.  100Hands follows the same process and workmanship standards for both ready-to-wear and bespoke shirts—meaning for ready-to-wear shirts, all aspects such as pattern drawing, and cutting each small part of a shirt are all done by hand. Nevertheless, the family is mostly proud of precision & focus they put into manufacturing of each 100Hands shirt. The MTM & Bespoke program has a 4 week turnaround. 

 

I have included as few pictures provided by 100Hands to show the level of precision in which each shirt is made.   I figured they would have some better stock picture than what I could take on my own. I have included some wording on the comparison to a recent Barba shirt.

 

Gusset attachment

 

Hand sewn front section - Big difference between my Barba shirts where only the buttonhole and the buttons attach the front sections but 100Hands goes the extra mile with attaching both sections by hands 

 

Individual hand cutting 

 

Pattern drawing

 

Mother of Pearl from Centre of the shell.  Barba has much thicker buttons (depends on your preference)

 

Extra high density buttonhole - The button holes are much larger than Barba's. The larger the buttonhole the more work involved. 

 

Hand sewn Monogram

 

Precision and craftsmanship.

 

 

 

There were no loose threads on the shirt, something I can’t say for a lot of RTW shirts I have received in the past.

For fit, the shirt is just a little tight in the chest and slightly shorter sleeves.  Items I am currently discussing with 100Hands to determine necessary adjustments for my next purchase.  The shirt is darted and I would like the next shirt to not be darted but have the same slimness.  For reference the size 38 shirt included measurements, 104cm chest and 92cm waist on the packing material (a nice touch) and did not have one of those annoying neck tags with the size. 

 

Akshat was very quick to respond to all my emails even with the time difference.  I really appreciated dealing with Akshat directly, just like I really like dealing with Ed directly.  Very hands on approach to make sure the customer is satisfied.  The amount and precision of the hand stitching is far superior to any other brand I have tried before and I only tried the black line.  I am also a huge fan of the 140/2 S.I.C Tess fabric.  Unfortunately I have no idea what my RTW models use to compare.   For my next 100Hands purchase I will be including a patterned shirt which will really showcase the extra attention to detail with the amount of matching patterns. 

I am not affiliated with 100Hands in any way, just a very happy customer and highly recommend trying 100Hands.  In my opinion, you will not find a better made shirt.

 

If you have any questions or want to see additional pictures please do not hesitate to ask.  Feel free to reach to 100Hands as well as I am sure they could be more specific than I can be, especially on elaborating on all the fabric choices, difference between gold and black line and best way to ensure the perfect fit for you.

 

I will be adding a few photos I took comparing 100Hands to one of my recent Barba's shirts shortly.  I think the comparative pictures will add to the review.  As stated before Barba has been my go to brand recently and I have been happy with the purchases so I am not knocking Barba.  I was just really impressed with 100Hands.

 

Regards,

Mark

post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

Here are a few pictures I took along with the barber comparison.  

 

 

 

 

 

A pic of the hand sewing along the buttons on the underside of the front.  My Barba shirt only has the button attachment to secure.

 

Front side, no stitching on the Barba shirt on the left.

 

100Hands on the bottom and you can see how minimal the sticking appears on the bottom of the shirt.

 

100Hands on the right.  The Barba has some loose stitching.  No loose stitching on any area of the 100Hands shirt.  The button hole is 1/8 inch longer on the 100Hands.

 

 

100Hands on the right and again how discrete the stitching is.  The "invisible stitching"

 

Regards,

Mark

post #3 of 6
Advertising puff.
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR View Post

Advertising puff.

really?
post #5 of 6

Are both black and gold line produced in India?

post #6 of 6
If you like Barba shirts, you can buy them directly from their website: http://shop.barbanapoli.com/en
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