I have 30+ years in the men's tailored clothing business. My company's shop was right below my office for many years and I have tens of thousands of hours logged on the sales floor, selling to customers and seeing what can go right and wrong with wool suits.
I think there are several problems with these glued-in trouser creases.
To start with, the reason we use good worsted wool yarns in suits is because wool... all by itself... will hold a well set crease in a trouser leg. Additionally, the wool will move with you... in this case, with your leg and knee... stretching and contracting as you go through the day. Worsted wool yarns (cut and sewn on the straight of the cloth) will bounce back every time. If you get the pants wet at the crease the wool may need to be repressed, but short of getting soaked, under normal circumstances, a regular well set crease in good wool will hold for a long time.
Does it make sense to run a glue strip, that will not move with you, down the crease of wool trousers? I think not.
There is a greater problem... As time goes by and the trouser undergoes the normal stretch and contract of daily wear, a glued section and the rest of the natural wool (untreated) sections will undergo different levels of stress. That difference in stress will result in some failure due to different levels of movement. I suspect the wool will fail along the line between the glue and the untreated section.
If you really want a trouser that keeps a razor sharp crease without the need of a repress (and who are you anyway?) go buy some 100% polyester. You will be hot as hell, but the crease will look great.
Since the dawn of time better clothing has been made with worsted wool. The reason... nothing else... NOTHING ELSE...lasts as long, holds color and pattern, feels as comfortable and holds its shape over time.
I am reminded of the "technology" that gave us 100% cotton "easy-iron" shirts. Everyone caries these and they are a big hit with men. However, the problem is much the same as with treating wool.. You buy 100% cotton shirts because they are soft and comfortable, absorb moisture and last a long time. Many (most?) people I know have their shirts starched and the appearance can not be better for a crisp professional, well-dressed look under a suit or sportcoat. The "easy-iron" 100% cotton shirts (and I tried plenty of them) do not perform. They fabric is treated with a resin that holds the "flatness" in the fabric. That resin also reduces the ability of the cotton to absorb moisture and reduces the softness. Worse, if you have you shirts starched, the fabric will fail along the plackets since the resin reduces the natural ability of the cotton to bend and recover... in effect, the yarns break and you end up with frayed plackets or collars much earlier than a regular good and untreated cotton shirt.
I will admit that not everyone can afford to send shirts out for starch, and these all cotton easy care shirts are an improvement over the old dacron/cotton blend perma-press shirts of my youth, but the convenience and expense saved comes at the cost of reduced comfort, appearance and longevity.
One last note: I understand the profit margin on adding the trouser crease is huge and is the prime motivation for the way many stores are selling this "service." Buyer beware!
Wow, so you were already working in the field when the original post was made?
Haha, good point!
However, now that there's been such an intereting bump, I'll hijack the thread a bit.
I received a MTM suit just weeks ago. The tailor who I ordered it from offers a slightly different service for no charge. He suggested quite simply stitching the creases. I was dubious at first, as my first reasoning was: if it's so great, why doesn' everybody do it. Now the good part of the deal was, he asks all customers to return their suits for a checkup once they've broken the suit in, that is, after weating the suit for around ten times. He said he'd take the stitching away in the checkup if I'm not satisfied with it - once again, no extra charge.
So naturally I thought, what the hell, I'll give it a go.
I'm currently about half-way through breaking the suit in. I'm having mixed feelings regarding the creases.
- the creases are certainly sharp and have a just-pressed appearrance
- in general, the trouser seems to not wrinkle and crease even after extensive sitting, say, at the office or in an airplane
- from mid-thigh downwards, they are virtually undetectable
- when the jacket is on, this means they look natural
- so far only one person has noticed them, or at least commented on them, and that was my dad, who said he liked them
- mid-thigh upwards they do look somewhat, well, unnatural
- when sitting, the fabric presses against the thigh and they do seem unnatural
- people who use the same tailor will recognize them, as no one else in the area offers the service
- finally, the dealbreaker:
I am self-conscious about them. Normally, I feel at home in a suit, whereas this tiny feature makes me feel odd. It may be a case of getting used to them, as I've only worn the suit less than half a dozen times. However, if this doesn't change drastically in the upcoming weeks, I'm probably taking them off.
However, I'd very much like to hear other people's views on the issue.
As yet, I don't have any pictures of my suit, and my camera isn't working right now. So for the time being, here's a picture from that same tailor's website, displaying the upper thigh part.
Comments are most welcome.
But, if you do the shirts at home, the resin treated shirts will save time, but will never give you the crisp look of starched cotton.
Hi, I am looking for a machine that can do this permanent crease, can you give me the email address of your tailor so I can ask him where he got his machine and the glue or tape used to set the crease? if not , maybe you can get the details and give them to me?
I am from south Africa and I have been searching for this machine and the glue or double sided adhesive tape.
That's the effect of Japanese whispers! A long time ago, CSIRO (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) in Australia invented a process called Sirosetting, which allowed a 'permanent' crease to be put into woolen trousers. It was widely available through dry cleaners There doesn't appear to be a corresponding process for cotton.