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How to assess the quality of Suite Fabric

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I am looking for advice on the quality of fabric used in suites. I am after a light Wool in a plain Charcoal. I am focusing on this variable before I start thinking about cut and build quality.

I am close to getting a MTM made and was doing the rounds of all the stores which are close to where I work to see if there might be something worthwhile OTR. Some of these stores claim that the fabric is English while one had no idea (but that's ok because it was a very cheap suite)

Can you please advise what I should look for in the fabric regardless of whether I go OTR or MTM. I live in Sydney so it needs to be versatile year round.

If it is an English fabric does that mean all English fabrics are good?
How should the fabric feel in terms of texture?
Should it have a gloss or sheen? If it does what does that mean?
Is there any particular weave I should be aware of or stay clear of?
Is there anything else I need to know?

I plan to wear it 2-3 times a week in rotation and hope for it to last a few years. I am concerned that a poor quality fabric may make it either age quicker in appearance, or quite simply fall apart.

I don't need the John Lobb of suite fabric however I wish to understand quality so I don't go with an option that is poor quality and find later I could have got better for the same dollars all other things being equal (fit, cut, style and etc)

Looking for wise minds on fabric. Other question to follow shortly.
post #2 of 4
1. I'd like to point out that "suit" has no "e".
2. Charcoal is a sure bet.
3. Much fine worsted wool fabric is still produced in English mills. That said, ...
4. You wouldn't say certain people make good friends because of their nationality; don't be too quick to judge a fabric by its nationality either. Many fine mills are English, but not all English mills are fine.
5. Sydney year round is difficult. It's 5 degrees in winter, and 25 and humid in summer (and when it goes above 25, I assume you wouldn't wear a suit). One option is half or quarter lining, rather than a fully-lined jacket. I don't think there's a year-round jacket that would do it, unless you wanted to wear an overcoat in winter or sweat in summer.
6. The fabric should feel soft, and smooth. Synthetics generally feel rough. Have a feel of some polywool jackets and then compare to wool. You'll notice the difference. Thereafter, the texture depends on the weave, the finishing process, the fibre diametre, the ply of the yarn...
7. Sheen is usually created by blending with silk or mohair. Really fine wool (eg Super 160s) will also generally have a subtle sheen - but will probably be out of your price range, and isn't too durable...

Why not have a browse on Holland & Sherry's website? It has a great information section on fabrics.
post #3 of 4
http://www.sofasandfurniture.co.uk/c...ric-suite.aspx

Seriously the advice from the previous poster is sound.

I'd look to get a suit that's a suitable weight for autumn/spring on it's own, so that you have the option of adding an overcoat in winter. Think about a linen suit or jacket for the summer.
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by rs232 View Post
1. I'd like to point out that "suit" has no "e".
2. Charcoal is a sure bet.
3. Much fine worsted wool fabric is still produced in English mills. That said, ...
4. You wouldn't say certain people make good friends because of their nationality; don't be too quick to judge a fabric by its nationality either. Many fine mills are English, but not all English mills are fine.
5. Sydney year round is difficult. It's 5 degrees in winter, and 25 and humid in summer (and when it goes above 25, I assume you wouldn't wear a suit). One option is half or quarter lining, rather than a fully-lined jacket. I don't think there's a year-round jacket that would do it, unless you wanted to wear an overcoat in winter or sweat in summer.
6. The fabric should feel soft, and smooth. Synthetics generally feel rough. Have a feel of some polywool jackets and then compare to wool. You'll notice the difference. Thereafter, the texture depends on the weave, the finishing process, the fibre diametre, the ply of the yarn...
7. Sheen is usually created by blending with silk or mohair. Really fine wool (eg Super 160s) will also generally have a subtle sheen - but will probably be out of your price range, and isn't too durable...

Why not have a browse on Holland & Sherry's website? It has a great information section on fabrics.
Great post!
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