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I'm steamed: Half-canvassed Jos A Bank suit is fused and bubbling - Page 5

post #61 of 66
Thread Starter 

I just made my own empirical observations using the pinch test with three of my suits:  a Brooks Brothers fully canvassed suit, a Brooks Brothers 1818 suit (made in USA of imported fabric, bought in 2014 at a retail store in the USA), and the JAB Sig Gold suit I complained about in the OP.  I am no tailor, and I did not rip open the 1818 at the bottom to look inside.  But what I felt was interesting.

 

To get a feel for things, I first did the pinch test on the fully canvassed BB suit, testing first the sleeves to get a feel for the fabric, and then pinched the front.  As expected, on the front the fabric came away from the canvassing and felt like the same thickness and heft as the sleeve.  This was true at the bottom of the front and up higher in the chest.  I could also feel the canvassing between the layers.

 

Interestingly, on the 1818 suit I did not feel any fusible in the lower half.  I first pinched the sleeve, separating the fabric from the lining.  Then when I pinched the front of the suit near the bottom, I felt neither canvas nor fusible:  the fabric had the same thickness, heft, and feel as the fabric on the sleeve when pulled apart from the fabric/lining on the inside.  And as expected, there was no canvassing down there.  Moving up the suit, I could clearly feel the line where the canvassing begins.  When you squeeze it and run your fingers up and down, there is a sudden step there where the suit's overall thickness becomes greater.  And I could feel the canvassing in between the layers.  But to my hand, there was no difference in the feel of the outer layer of material whether at the bottom or top of the front, or at the sleeve. I know there's disagreement above over whether the floating half-canvassed suit with no fusible exists.  But if there is such a thing, this sure feels like it to me.  

 

For confirmation, I did the same on the JAB suit.  The fabric in front near the bottom felt entirely different from the fabric on the sleeves when I pinched them both.  The fabric on the sleeves was thin and supple and felt quite light.  The fabric on the front near the bottom felt thick and heavy--as expected when it's laminated to fusible.  Up higher, running my hand up and down near where the canvassing begins I felt no clear line or significant difference in overall thickness of the suit.  But I could feel the canvas in the middle in the upper part.

 

So that's my $0.02.  Not an expert.  But I suspect what was written above regarding 1818 suits--i.e., floating half-canvassed and no fusible--is true for mine.

 

:hide: 


Edited by magreen - 10/5/16 at 6:08am
post #62 of 66

Get your JAB pants. Take a look at the back besom pockets, from the inside. You'll find that the pocket opening is attached via very thin fusible. (And if your pants are light colored, the fusible will be like dryer sheets.) I'd be willing to bet that's the kind of fusible you'd find up and down the 1818. (btw dryer-sheets fusible is also what I find inside RTW "unstructured" jackets/blazers).

 

On a related tangent, I'm not sure if half-canvas is such a great cost-saver vs. full canvas. Meaning, if they already take the time and materials to sew on a chestpiece to the first button, how much additional cost would it be just to sew all the way down? So if let's say half canvas is 75% the cost of full canvas, wouldn't they more than recoup the small additional by selling a full canvas garment? I could understand half-canvas as a market segmentation strategy, but if you don't sell full-canvas suits, what's the point of the half-canvas?

 

Maybe someone with actual experience in manufacturing can provide the needed insight.

post #63 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by starro View Post

On a related tangent, I'm not sure if half-canvas is such a great cost-saver vs. full canvas. Meaning, if they already take the time and materials to sew on a chestpiece to the first button, how much additional cost would it be just to sew all the way down? So if let's say half canvas is 75% the cost of full canvas, wouldn't they more than recoup the small additional by selling a full canvas garment? I could understand half-canvas as a market segmentation strategy, but if you don't sell full-canvas suits, what's the point of the half-canvas?

Maybe someone with actual experience in manufacturing can provide the needed insight.

When you are designing/making/selling half-canvas products, you are in a price-conscious market segment. The lower portion of the canvas is only one of dozens or more cost-saving areas, and it's not insignificant; besides the cost of the canvas itself, there is the additional labor cost of handling, basting, faxing the edges, etc. Savings can be found at every one of the roughly 180 operations and 35-50 unique components in making a garment, between the trims and cloth, and the labor involved in making it. If a small amount can be trimmed from every step rather than trying to take one huge chunk out of one or two components, significant savings can be found while maintaining an acceptable level of quality.
post #64 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferyd View Post


When you are designing/making/selling half-canvas products, you are in a price-conscious market segment. The lower portion of the canvas is only one of dozens or more cost-saving areas, and it's not insignificant; besides the cost of the canvas itself, there is the additional labor cost of handling, basting, faxing the edges, etc. Savings can be found at every one of the roughly 180 operations and 35-50 unique components in making a garment, between the trims and cloth, and the labor involved in making it. If a small amount can be trimmed from every step rather than trying to take one huge chunk out of one or two components, significant savings can be found while maintaining an acceptable level of quality.

 

Kinda what i suspected. It's always the shortcuts they don't mention.

post #65 of 66
Thread Starter 

It sounds like full canvassing (and to a lesser degree, half canvassing) is a proxy for a number of expensive, labor-intensive steps in traditional suitmaking.  Like the Goodyear welt on quality shoes--there are other methods of shoe construction that are as good, or arguably better, and the welt alone does not make a quality piece, but it has become one of the defining features of quality footwear.

 

This of course allows a company to take advantage of its customers' lack of knowledge (ahem, JAB, to bring this thread full circle) by ticking off the proxy in a feature list (along with other proxies, e.g., pick stitching), without performing the dozens of labor-intensive operations commensurate with the canvassing.


Edited by magreen - 10/7/16 at 1:03pm
post #66 of 66
I have bought a couple of canvassed top quality Paul Frederick suits on discount.

The problem is the fusing used in the lapels and foulard pocket rim are inferior so the long of the suit looks ok but you see the bubbling/lifting under the lapels etc.
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