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The OneShirt: A Phoenix from the Ashes [4/24/13 UPDATE: A SHIRTMAKER, AN ENGLISHMAN, CHAMBRAY, AND F

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mafoofan, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a better route.
     
  2. poorsod

    poorsod Well-Known Member

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    I am yet to see the same combination of shade of blue and texture. I have seen other chambray, but they are not the right shade of blue and white.
     
  3. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    But it's not like SG has only made one specific hue of blue chambray. From my understanding, they used to offer many different shades of blue at the same time. Moreover, there's really nothing special about the weave or yarns SG uses--so how hard can it be to find a blue that you like? Have you looked at more commercial manufacturers or are you just looking at the typical high-end shirtings? For reasons already explained, the latter are not the right source.
     
  4. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

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    What employer is paying that kind of price for poly-blend workshirts? :confused:
     
    2 people like this.
  5. poorsod

    poorsod Well-Known Member

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    The closest I have seen is


    and some wool/cotton blends.

    If you refer to making up a special order chambray in the correct shade of blue from the right source (perhaps from the SWD source), it is not the "easily available alternative" that I mentioned in my original post.
     
  6. dopey

    dopey Well-Known Member

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    This is a small selection of the chambray offerings for the old SWD order (was in 07/09). These are the selvege offerings. There were about 20 non-selvege chambrays, though they were a bit coarser:
    [​IMG]
    I chose no. 25. It looks like 26 is what you were looking for.

    Or possibly no. 8, from the non selvege:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    It would not be the most ridiculous thing the French government has paid for . . .

    Also, you assume Simonnot Godard charges everyone the same price. For all we know, some customers pay a premium to subsidize prices for others.


    Again, the whole point is that a company like Bonfanti (or Alumo or SIC Tess or Riva, etc.) is not going to make a chambray like the "old" denim-like SG chambray--it's not nice shirting. You need to completely recalibrate your search. But since there is nothing intrinsically special about the stuff, I'm sure you can find it once you do. If there was some shoemaker in some random French village that makes moccasins like the ones you get from L.L. Bean, but charges a thousand bucks a pair, would you look for something similar at places like John Lobb, or places like L.L. Bean?

    Carl named a few sources, a Spanish and Japanese one if I recall, that might be worth looking into. Also, if you really want something close to the original, make sure to spec some polyester (about 20% should do the trick . . .). :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  8. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

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    It's charming you always take me so literally.
     
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  9. The Thin Man

    The Thin Man Well-Known Member

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    I guess what I'm confused about is that a variety of respected current or former members have identified chambray as a good fabric for shirts you would wear in nonformal business settings. It seemed like there was a growing consensus around chambray as a lighter-wearing alternative to oxford cloth. Was it always a myth that chambray (distinct from a standard end-on-end) could serve as a good tailored-clothing fabric?
     
  10. Ataturk

    Ataturk Well-Known Member

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    I thought the SG chambray was supposed to be kind of anachronistic--not 18th century of course, more like 1960s. Real workshirts aren't made out of fabric with "character" anymore.

    David Coffin in his book on shirtmaking said he bought some really honest chambray from the Amish. I followed up (years later) and they said all they had anymore was 100% poly. Even the Amish are wearing polyester these days.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  11. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    This is what I think happened.

    Myself, and many others, didn't realize that chambray is structurally and materially no different from end-on-end. Meanwhile, Simonnot Godard was known to produce a chambray with singularly distinct aesthetic and tactile qualities. Namely, it has a mottled coloration and a slightly hairy nap. We confused those qualities for being related to the shirting being chambray.

    However, it turns out that chambray--including that produced by Simonnot Godard--is really no different from a plain-woven end-on-end where the warp is all one color and the weft is white. Hence, it's the yarns used by Simonnot Godard that distinguish their version of chambray. They are single-ply, large diameter, and unevenly dyed. Combined with a somewhat irregular weave, that's how you get the mottled, variegated coloration. When you look up close, you can see that the individual fibers of the yarns are breaking free. That's where the hairy nap comes from. Neither of those two features are typically desirable in nice shirting. Just the opposite, actually. So, the question becomes (at least to my mind): if you still want those qualities, why pay a huge premium when they are more common on much cheaper fabrics? Perhaps the only reason we thought Simonnot Godard's "old" chambray is so special was simply because it is atypical for fine shirting, not because it is broadly unique. That their current version of the "old" chambray is 20% polyester only makes things look more ridiculous.

    Still, the Simonnot Godard chambray is supposedly special in one other respect: the yarns are said be high-twist, as in fresco suiting, making it crisp and keeping it from sticking to your skin as much. I don't know if that's really true, though my order of "new" chambray certainly has a dry hand. In any event, I don't think the shirting's crispness is what people are chiefly interested in.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
    3 people like this.
  12. bertie

    bertie Well-Known Member

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    IGent groupthink sometimes ends up with heartache. Also it's good to get sample fabric before ordering.
     
  13. poorsod

    poorsod Well-Known Member

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    I slaked my curiosity regarding the SG chambray after making up a shirt a little over 2 years ago. I've moved on to trying out other materials and seeing what I can learn.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  14. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    #26 looks closer then #8, which doesn't appear to have the combination of blue warp and white weft to be chambray. It looks more like the yarns in both directions are light blue.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  15. johanm

    johanm Well-Known Member

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    Are the following fabrics chambray? They're Thomas Mason end on ends.

    [​IMG]

    Prefer these colors/designs to the SG "new chambray" posted above.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
    3 people like this.
  16. hws

    hws Well-Known Member

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    Shirtmaven 1, styleforvm iGents 0

    Respect!

    :slayer:
     
    3 people like this.
  17. hws

    hws Well-Known Member

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    The finishing is necessary, you must to see the tissu when it come from the loom, before the finishing! Finishing is also for to set dimension stability of tissu, no only for this, also other raison!

    This days use other substance, is some restriction, much much year before some times use thing like formaldehyde for part of finishing!
     
  18. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Well-Known Member

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    The problem with the old SG chambray is that is a material to produce cheap RTW shirts, the kind sold at 20-25 euro per shirt. An old member from this forum left almost a shirt lenght for me to check with our shared shirtmaker, and the shirtmaker comments were around how bad a shirting it was to use for a bespoke shirt. Like using some cheap Vietnamese fabric normally used in RTW garments for a bespoke suit. There was a very similar chambray fabric produced by a lesser known mill at 7.99 euro per meter, 100% cotton but it was more then 200g per m vs the alleged 140g x m of SG (can Matt or other confirm the exact weight from a reliable source).
    The fuzziness/flannel effect is not necessarily a mark of a poly blend as many denim jeans from Levi's have it, new from the shelf. My Albini version has a ver slight fuzziness.
    Also, the Levanto range from Bonfanti (chambray) is a 40/2x30/1 fabric, 195g x m, 150cm wide, hardly a fine fabric, so a very appropriate substitute then the shamed SG.
     
  19. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    I cannot relay information regarding the "old" chambray, but the "new" chambray I have is reportedly 140g/meter.

    You're right, the polyester is not the sole cause of the shirting's fuzziness . However, it's evident with close observation that it is caused by breakaway fibers. I don't think that can be a good thing, and the polyester content can only make it worse.

    What do you know about the "new" chambray, such as I posted on my blog?
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  20. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    Those look like end-on-ends.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013

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