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Amount of Fabric Needed for Suit and Pants - Page 4

post #46 of 72

Tartan was originally woven in 27inch widths (long before the French Revolutionaries had come with the metric system), and some spcialist tartans are still produced on the old hand-looms.  The Highland regiments originally supplied the men with lengths that varied according different factors, and was measured in "ells" - a standard public-use ell is still in place in Dunkeld market-place (an ell is about 45inches), where such cloth was sold until fairly recent times.  The practice until the early 19th century was for the cloth to be cut in half and joined along its length, thus giving a piece of material half as long but double width, which was then pleated and formed into the belted-plaid as worn at the time. 

 

Essentially, there are two types of kilt: the breacan-feile or belted plaid which was usully made of 12 ells of tartan, and the feileadh-beag, or little kilt (as we know the kilt today) and was usually made up of six ells of single width tartan - or about seven and a half yards of cloth.  The seemingly long lengths of cloth are needed to both provide sufficient for the pleats, and to allow the pleats to be formed in such a way as to continue the sett of the tartan - a very neat skill.  

 

Early single-width kilts were the full 27inches and worn high up the body - the standard modern kilt length is now 24inches.  Woollen mills still refer to their 54inch (or the modern metric equivalent) as double widths.

 

A properly made kilt will have pleats of two to three inches deep (six inches of material is needed for a two-inch pleat) and will be as much as 11 layers thick in places.  I have a 1932 army kilt, a 1958 hand-loom woven kilt and a modern bespoke kilt cut from a double-width.  The army kilt has the least mterial and is made up of eight yards and 26 inches and the modern kilt is just more than nine yards in length (on a 32inch waist), taking into acount the turned-in ends which give the flat front portion the charcteristic frayed edge.   

 

Anyone who doubts this should take a tape-measure to a Highland outfitters and check for themselves.

post #47 of 72

Shirtmaven doubts me?

 

He is welcome to come and see the suit, and the cloth purchase receipt for confirmation.  And the name of the tailor is no secret - they have a shop on the Otley Road, Horsforth, Yorkshire, England.

 

Yorkshire is full of wool merchants and cloth wholesalers, and Scotland is full of weavers ready to sell their produce at a competative price.  Careful choice in both sourcing the material and finding a tailor can easily return a bespoke suit for about 30 per cent less than the off-the-peg ready-to-wear retail price for the same quality. 

 

Circumstace once brought me into contact with the regional sales director for a well-known major interntional clothing retailer, who asked me about the bespoke suit I happened to be wearing at the time.  He readily accepted that bespoke clothing - NOT the Savile Row variety which is deliberately expensive - is usually less expensive than chain-store retail prices, put the buying public is too obsessed with fashion labels and branding to take advantge of this.

 

A shame, but true...

post #48 of 72
i am not going to argue with you on the kilt issue.
mostly because i don't care.

now there is no way you can cut a standard man's two piece suite in 2.2m or less then 2.5 yards.

I would watch my friend Mickey Black. cut suits. he was a jewish Scotsman from Edinburgh
He could cut a 40 regular from just over three yards.
of course there would be a crotch piece.. forget about having cuffs on the pants
the jacket facings would have a seam inside as well as the facings being slightly narrow.

I even saw the jacket sleeve have a piece right after the turn up of the cuff.

I would love to see how the pattern was layed in to make a suit out of so little cloth.
post #49 of 72
I agree with shirtmaven, hard to imagine 2.2 meters yielding a jacket and trouser. Add up your lengths plus hems and add the rise and outlets and see how far you get. Even considering your boast, I don't buy it. 3 1/2, maybe 3 1/4 yards would be right for the lengths you stated, not knowing your circumference measurements. What is your yard/inch equivalent for 2.2 meters?

Best I have done is cut a suit with these dimensions, 58" chest, 58" waist 68" seat, 33 jacket length, 29 inseam with a 14" rise from 4 1/4 yards of 60" wide cloth. Pleated and cuffed trouser. Usually I need 5 yards but had to make it work.
post #50 of 72
[quote name="Circumstace once brought me into contact with the regional sales director for a well-known major interntional clothing retailer, who asked me about the bespoke suit I happened to be wearing at the time.  He readily accepted that bespoke clothing - NOT the Savile Row variety which is deliberately expensive - is usually less expensive than chain-store retail prices, put the buying public is too obsessed with fashion labels and branding to take advantge of this.

A shame, but true...
[/quote]

The public may buy brand names for a variety of reasons like a particular cut/style and a lack of good bespoke tailors.
post #51 of 72

Perhaps Shirtmaven and Despos need to open their minds a little!

 

It is disppointing that what should be words of encouragement are taken for boasting, for that is far from my intention.  But when misinformed claims are made openly, such as with the kilt, it is the duty of those who know the facts to provide the necessry enlightenment.  Myth and bewilderment is the alternative.

 

Judging from the responses, it seems I have hitherto underestimated the skill and experience of the tailors who did the work for me - I am becoming increasingly pleased I went to them, and that I was later able to pass on their name to a well-known West End outfitters who put considerble amounts of work their way.  That, too, is no boast, but a simple statement of fact.

  

It should be remembered that I am referring to personal experience in Britain, and other. or additional factors, may influence activities in other countries.  For example, it is possible to be measured for, have two fittings and receive the finished bespoke suit within the day in the Far East, and at a fraction of the cost of in the West.  The fact that Western tailors resfuse to operate in the same way is not to be taken as it being impossible to do so.

post #52 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandyman View Post
 

It should be remembered that I am referring to personal experience in Britain, and other. or additional factors, may influence activities in other countries.  For example, it is possible to be measured for, have two fittings and receive the finished bespoke suit within the day in the Far East, and at a fraction of the cost of in the West.  The fact that Western tailors resfuse to operate in the same way is not to be taken as it being impossible to do so.

 

Western tailors refuse to do so because the resulting suit is sure to be of shitty quality.

post #53 of 72

Stugotes is only partially correct.

 

The attitude to crafts and skills in the Far East makes them much more enterprising and more accommodating to the customer.  There seems to be a much greater acceptance of if it can be done, it will be done.

 

As regards tailoring quality, there is some compromising to be sure, but the result is generally as good as the average occidental made-to-measure garment, and superior to most of the mass-produced, ready-to-wear garments - in my experience.  Western tailors encourage an air of mysticism to their craft, and pad it out with generous amounts of tradtion and awe of their trade as it serves to bolster prices.

 

Bespoke tailoring was common in all levels of society and generation or two ago, but is has now become regarded as the preserve of plutocrats and that ilk.  There are very few members of the public who could tell the difference without very close examination, between a New York custom-made suit and its copy made in the Far East, if the same materials are used.  The caveat is you must compare like with like - tailors and materials.

 

Western tailors know this far too well, but they have their business to protect!

 

Heresy?  Perhaps, but the facts are there for anyone who can be bothered to look...

post #54 of 72

O, Shirtmaven, wherefore art thou..?

 

Where now thy pithy retort?

 

Your argument intrigues me.  I cannot follow the reasoning that your friend, Mickey Black, being a jewish Scotsman from Edinburgh somehow is the benchmark by which other tailors are measured - or are you drawing on ethnic stereotypes for support.  Curiously enough, I too, happen have a similar blood-mix to your friend, only my parentage has added a quantity of Swiss to the mix also.

 

Odd though this may seem to you, my merry mirth-maker, I have no particular innate skill with the bagpipes, the sewing needle, nor with cuckoo-clocks.  Enlighten us, please..!

 

I hope your suit-cutter friend is not offended that you have drawn attention to the level of his skill so openly, for there might be those amongst us who will now feely shy of placing themselves at his shear's mercy.  However, as we are all adults, we can give you benefit of the doubt and assume you mention his name by way of a compliment.   That is how I have taken it, to be sure!

 

Here is something for you to ponder over with Mickey when you next cut a suit together: in the shoe-trade, there is a craftsman known as a clicker, whose job it is to use templates and cut the component shoe parts from the leather - as a tailor uses paper patterns on the suiting material.   An experienced clicker is highly valued, for they have learned the trick of the trade and get get more parts from the leather than others find possible.  In other words, by arranging the templates in one way, the leather is covered and, say, ten parts can be cut out.  The skilled clicker can re-arrange the templates and cut perhaps 12 or more.  We accept the tailor's need to work with warp of the cloth, the pattern repeat, etc, but do you see where you are being asked to look?

 

Still doudtful, Shirtmaven?  Look up the Impossible Sqaure by Lagoon Games.  It is a square frame set with wooden blocks that fill the frame exactly, with a small square block at the centre.  When the blocks are replaced in an alternative arrangement, the frame is again filled, but there is no space for the central square block.  As the area of the frame remains unchanged, mathmatics tells us this is impossible - yet it can be done!

 

Take courage, Shirtmaven (you, too, Despos), in what you find impossible to-day, the greater skill of others will guide you to-morrow.

 

Always remember there is more than one way to kill a cat, as the adage has it...

 

Life is more fun when the eyes are open..!

post #55 of 72
I have not spoken to Mickey in over 10 years. I believe has passed away.
He was more of a designer/cutter (and i don't mean Fashion Designer. He would produce first patterns for "Fashion Designers" and other clothing manufacturers.
he would shape collars and do some basic machine sewing, but he left the fine hand work to others

Later on, he became a cutter for hire for one or two of the mens retail rack operations that were prevalent in around Fifth ave in the 60's-the early 90's
those operations are all gone!

I used to give him a hard time, that if he only ordered 1/4-3/8' of a yd more. he could cut the suit 15 minutes faster.

now I would love to see a photo of how your tailor can cut a suit for you in 2.2 meters.

it is impossible unless you are a real troll of the 3 foot variety instead of an internet troll.
post #56 of 72

I assume the amount of fabric needed to make suits and pants should vary and depend on your height.

post #57 of 72

A rough guide for determining the amount of fabric for a suit with standard fabric widths

 

 

Jacket/overcoat: 2 X jacket length + 1 X sleeve length (check or big stripe need 20cm more)
Trousers: 1.5 X outseam (check or big stripe need 20cm more)
waistcoat: 1 X front waistcoat length (check or big stripe need 20cm more)
 
post #58 of 72

Shirtmaven, you are a delight!

 

First you draw on ethnic sterotypes to support your challenge, now you are being hightist!  If I am a frigtening, deformed dwarf, it is a sad accident of birth, but you are clearly a self-made man!  We are talking intelect here... and I know I will always be a giant in your eyes!  Be careful what bridge you go trip-trapping over!

 

As for photos of how the pattern was laid out, I seem to have been remiss.  You should have said at the time you would have liked some...  Alas!  Now too late.  Your chance passed you by untaken.  Still, 'twas done, what was done.

 

I am deeply sorry to hear of the demise of your friend, but be consoled by the thought that he must have enjoyed your ragging repartee as much as I am doing.  He must have gone to his grave a happy man, as, indeed, I shall in the fullness of time.

 

Alack!  The game is at an end.  The score has been noted and the prizes awarded - you can collect your coconut at the exit..

post #59 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandyman View Post

Shirtmaven, you are a delight!

 

First you draw on ethnic sterotypes to support your challenge, now you are being hightist!  If I am a frigtening, deformed dwarf, it is a sad accident of birth, but you are clearly a self-made man!  We are talking intelect here... and I know I will always be a giant in your eyes!  Be careful what bridge you go trip-trapping over!

 

As for photos of how the pattern was laid out, I seem to have been remiss.  You should have said at the time you would have liked some...  Alas!  Now too late.  Your chance passed you by untaken.  Still, 'twas done, what was done.

 

I am deeply sorry to hear of the demise of your friend, but be consoled by the thought that he must have enjoyed your ragging repartee as much as I am doing.  He must have gone to his grave a happy man, as, indeed, I shall in the fullness of time.

 

Alack!  The game is at an end.  The score has been noted and the prizes awarded - you can collect your coconut at the exit..

 

I'm sorry, but you really come across as a pretentious troll and you are only making it worse every time you post. You know Chris Despos is one of the best tailors in North America, don't you? There are not many people around with his experience at his level. If he tells you that you can't cut a suit with 2.2m of fabric, I am generally going to trust him that it can't be done. Since you can't show us how it was done or provide us with any evidence of your claim, we only have your word for it and, frankly, your word isn't worth an awful lot here (although you may or may not know something about kilts). I will also point out that if something can be done, 'mathematics' will not tell you it cannot be done. It merely means that your level of understanding of mathematics is inadequate - just like your understanding of the tailoring of suits.

post #60 of 72

Thank you for you kind words, FlyingMonkey!

 

You illustrate admirably how when the cage is rattled, the monkey gibbers!

 

Have a banana as your reward!

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