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Amount of Fabric Needed for Suit and Pants - Page 6

post #76 of 89
Originally Posted by Autolycus View Post

This is for "FrankDrebben" - re "The Whole Nine Yards" - that was actually the length of one completely-loaded ammunition belt for several different American WW2 aircraft machine gun reloads.




No, it's not. And please don't start this again. There are recorded uses that go back to the early 1900s - see the Wikipedia article on the term. No-one knows the its origin, but it's certainly not from WW2.

post #77 of 89

Dear "Flying Monkey", 


  Yes, it is...!


  Or at least, it is one of many etymological derivations of the phrase...!


  Further online research leads to early British-made Vickers belt-fed machine guns, as later installed on early WW1 fighters - so that leads to "The whole nine yards" in an aeronautical & ammunition-related context... again.


  Then there is the simple, incontestable fact that, as an ancient English aircraft engineer with more than 4 decades experience in that particular endeavour, six of those years were spent in the middle east, working for a chief engineer who used that same phrase constantly, to describe an entire entity or concept, and who also referred its origins back to aircraft ammunition belt length - in whichever conflict you care to comment upon.


  So, you may have your opinion on this matter - and I certainly have mine. These differ and one of the wonderful aspects about language - particularly English - is that it is never static, nor ever entirely resolved...!


  As an Ontarian, you'll be more French than English anyway, so one will have to allow you your own ideas on the origins of everything - thus we will simply have to agree to disagree.


  Have a nice day,



post #78 of 89

Would roughly 3 meters be acceptable for a long coat?

post #79 of 89
Originally Posted by RavenBespoke View Post

Would roughly 3 meters be acceptable for a long coat?

2.7m for me. 1.80 tall, 75kg
post #80 of 89

folks - are all these answers presented for 45 or 60 wide? I'm actually buying from someone who has 58 wide so confused as to how much I'll need  for a suit and pants - i'm 6.2, very thin built. The pants I usually buy are 32 waist, 34 length

post #81 of 89

Hi all

I have not read all the posts from this thread as some of them were getting a bit bitchy, handbags at 10 paces!


1/- Impossible to cut a suit from 2.2 metres in my experience.


2/- If you want a good relationship with a tailor why screw him out of the margin on the cloth.....Once you have cut into a cloth there is no recourse on the cloth from the mill. So if there is a problem with the cloth are you going to make the tailor refund the probably retail price you have paid for the cloth?


3/- The Tailor rightly puts a margin on the cloth when setting a price as they are taking the business risk on the cloth and the work they apply to it.


4/- If you want to buy a suit in the east in 24 hours and you are happy to have someone work a 16 hour day under florescent lighting so you can save a buck or two, then fine , you pay you have they say.


Lastly, it has been interesting on the whole 9 yards. I think though and I am not certain here, so sit down trolls...but perhaps there is a degree of transposing the " a stitch in time saves nine" which does refer to the nine yards it took to outfit a man.


Never to say never, but as a bespoke tailor, It would be extremely unlikely for me to take on a client that brings their own cloth to an appointment unless I had no other custom, or likelihood of it...and even then I would think twice about it.


The company I have worked in for a long time and now own was established in 1897, and looking through old orders from years 1960-62 I cannot see one " own cloth" in hundreds of orders. ie it was bad business then as it is now. 


If you are happy with your tailor or starting to use one, the relationship which if successful will be good for both tailor and client will not start well if you turn up with however many yards under you arm


Regards to all


Preston & Maurice bespoke tailors

Auckland New Zealand

post #82 of 89

Brendon, it must be a great honour to be able to maintain a tradition like that, having such an old shop in Auckland. In my admittedly limited experience, tailors become institutions in communities, as do the better class of gents outfitters, selling to the same people starting with school uniforms and keeping them as trade throughout their lives.


I was interested in your comment about very few, or no "own cloth" customers. I live in Abu Dhabi, and in many tailors' shops they do not stock fabric, possibly not wanting to have to lay out cash for it, and have it sitting on the shelf, or because of some old division of labour in India and the Philippines, where most of them are from.


I buy my own cloth from England, because I can get higher weights there than I can here, where the heaviest is usually about 11 oz. My tailors here don't seem to mind, because when I have bought cloth from them they seem to factor the price in as a job lot. When I bring my own, I presume they tack on something to the price because they are not making money off the cloth, but then they don't have the carrying cost either.


Different places, different customs.

post #83 of 89
Hi brendon,

Appreciate your perspective - the only thing I would say though is sometimes your tailor does not have access to a particular book or fabric houses.

It's not typical for me to bring my own cloth, I think I do it maybe 20%-30% of the time I'd say. In all those instances it was basically because it was either something I'd had for ages in my personal collection, or had fallen in love with in some dusty old fabric store or online dead stockI.e. My tailor wouldn't have it. So I'm not doing this to save money and my tailors have clearly understood that.

In all cases though, none of my tailors have ever really cared or batted an eyelid.

But as to something like a standard current book smiths or harrisons whatever, no I'm not going to bother doing cmt and I do think people should be respectful of the tailors business / margins in such a case if you are doing it in the spirit of 'trying to save money'.
post #84 of 89

Hey Guys I need some help. I have 3 yds 1 in. (length) by 60in. (1.5m) width. It's a fairly large geometric pattern and I'm wondering if it's possible to squeeze  a suit out of it for a  5'9" man with broad shoulders. 


Also I have a small geometric fabric that is 2 yds and 8 in. (length) by 60in. (1.5m) and hoping to make jacket out of it, do you think this is possible for the same build of man. 

Edited by BGCustom - 7/14/15 at 8:51pm
post #85 of 89
Originally Posted by usctrojan55 View Post

I am going to purchase some fabric for a suit. I am 6 feet, average build. I have read I need appx. 4 meters for a suit. Is this correct? How much for odd pants? 1.5 meters?


Hope you made your purchased but for your future reference requirement of fabric is not only guess by hight but also by chest waits and hip measurement which can give a clear idea,

post #86 of 89

Hope you made your purchased but for your future reference requirement of fabric is not only guess by hight but also by chest waits and hip measurement which can give a clear idea, visit us at

post #87 of 89

4 is a safe buy. Of course it depends on the style of your suit, and the style of the fabric. A tailor should only need 3 yards to make a two piece, single breasted suit in a plain fabric. 3 piece suit 3.5 yards.


If it's a check fabric (fabric with vertical and horizontal lines) you will need more fabric, up to 4 or 4.5 depending on style, pieces, and the size of the checks. The cutter tries to line up the vertical and horizontal lines on each individual pattern piece, and that takes more fabric.


Also if the fabric is one way, you will need more. This refers to a nap, or pattern on the fabric that forces the cutter to put all the suit pattern pieces the same way top to bottom.


If you have more questions you can email me at


There's a lot to it. I hope this helps for future fabric buys.



post #88 of 89

I visited Scotland last June and bought some some beautiful ocre tweed from Donald John Mackay, which he was out of at the time, so he only recently had it shipped to me. I got 5 meters, but since he has an older, narrower loom, it's only about 30in wide (total fabric area: 30"x192"). I also got 3 meters of a green tweed for trousers.


I've been talking with a tailor here in NYC who tell me I'd need at least double that amount in order to do a suit. I'm 6'2", 230lb, wear a 46 Reg in a BB or similar. What say you, wise men of Sartoria: is he right? What should I actually order additional if he's right?



post #89 of 89

 I would tend to agree with the tailor in NY. You need twice as much.


With regular width cloth, usually 150cm wide, you can cut the cloth on the double, meaning you fold it over to cut both sides of the garment at the same time. With a 30" wide cloth each garment side (right leg, left leg) needs to be cut individually. Not a big problem at all. It just takes twice as much meterage.

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