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Unfunded Liabilities: a/k/a The Cloth Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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  2. Grammaton Cleric

    Grammaton Cleric Well-Known Member

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    How in the world has 21oz. cloth not worked out for you? I'm guessing your expectations may possibly be a bit unrealistic.

    LK is right in saying that Mohair hangs well for a summer / spring weight cloth. But it, in no way, should equal or surpass the performance of a 21oz. worsted. As I said, perhaps it's time to recalibrate your expectations.
     
  3. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure the issue is the cloth and not your tailor?
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Well-Known Member

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    +.5

    If he can't make 21oz wool hang well, he's the worst tailor in the world or you're legitimately nuts.
     
  5. mimo

    mimo Well-Known Member

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    Gentlemen,

    I'm rather limited for cloth choices were I live, but just picked up something that made me quite happy: a jacket's worth of a light grey 130s/cashmere by Harrison that feels splendid and I love the colour. The thing is, though, it's pretty hot and one of the reasons I chose it was that it's super light, about 8oz. I certainly can't wear 21oz flannels and tweeds around here, so it's a matter of working with what's practical.

    Any advice on structure and style? My default for an odd jacket might be a simple two button, half lined, notch lapel and patch pockets. But I was toying with the idea of a DB for a change; something a bit sharper. Anyway, aside from that, what I really need is your expert advice on handling such a light cloth to get a respectable result. Any special instructions I can give my (also rather limited) tailor?
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  6. tim_horton

    tim_horton Well-Known Member

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    I love pick-and-pick for this look. I guess you can also go for birdseye or nailhead, but out of the three I prefer pick-and-pick. It's not as pronounced with charcoal as it is with a mid-grey.
     
  7. Svenn

    Svenn Well-Known Member

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    My tailors are indeed subpar and I may be nuts, but sheer weight doesn't necessarily ensure a good hang, in fact, what would have been a small localized set of ripples in a light fabric become larger vague dents in a heavy cloth.

    Is H Lesser's 16 oz range considered the best heavyweight out there?
     
  8. poorsod

    poorsod Well-Known Member

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    I love my Lesser 16 DB. I can wear it up to about 70 degree weather. I haven't made up my gray Mistral yet. I think it is around 18 oz.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  9. Svenn

    Svenn Well-Known Member

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    I'm not up on my textile adjectives, but is the 16 oz Lesser more hard/crisp/stiff/polished looking than the lighter Lessers? I'm branching out to a new bespoke tailor and wanted to pick a cloth that would be the most forgiving/workable since first commissions tend to have fitting flaws; would you say this is your cleanest-draping cloth? Many thanks
     
  10. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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    I have some mohairs which are definitely not summer weights. They are more fall/winter weights but the sheen does suggest a kind of airiness.
     
  11. Grammaton Cleric

    Grammaton Cleric Well-Known Member

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    The Lesser 16oz. is good as is the P&B 16oz.

    But, to be honest, once you're looking at suitings (other than flannels) over 15oz., they're all pretty good as long as they come from Huddersfield, Biella etc. (i.e. not China). The inherent 'body' tocloths at those weights make them all very durable.
     
  12. dopey

    dopey Well-Known Member

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    Lesser 16oz is great cloth and does tailor very well. But from what you have described, the issue is not the cloth but rather the tailoring. Changing cloth won't make much difference.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
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  13. poorsod

    poorsod Well-Known Member

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    The way I see it, heavier cloth makes the bullseye for the tailor to make good clothing bigger. If he is missing my a mile, there's nothing more you can do about it other than change tailors.
     
  14. Maccimus

    Maccimus Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you should try a more relaxed fit, which will be easier for any tailor to give you super-sharp/creasless look. More room, better drape.
     
  15. uniesse

    uniesse Well-Known Member

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    Aren't you a Steed customer?
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  16. Svenn

    Svenn Well-Known Member

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    I agree, that's precisely what I'm doing; I just want the first commission to have the best shot of success.


    I tried them only once, 1 fitting in London... it's a good jacket but not at all stylistically what I asked for, and the collar doesn't sit will on my neck, ripples in the sleeve. In an 18 oz thornproof of all fabrics.
     
  17. mimo

    mimo Well-Known Member

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    Ahem!
     
  18. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Well-Known Member

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  19. Despos

    Despos Well-Known Member

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    That was an interesting read. Would not contest the claim regarding the difficulty of assessing quality by the "hand" of the cloth but you can get a sense for the characteristics of the cloth from years of experience handling cloth. You can develop a sense for how the cloth will handle but it takes practice. It is not always accurate and helps if you have experience with sewing the cloth.

    For Svenn, 11 to 13 ounce cloth in a good weave will offer superior results. The issue going 16 ounce and up is you often sacrifice suppleness in the cloth. This tends to cause a conflict of the cloth to respond to tailoring techniques, iron work or shaping due to the nature of cloth weight. The weight and density will fight against and resist tailoring and diminish the effects of hand sewing. You don't want a hard finish cloth. This is not forgiving to a tailor. Get a cloth 12 to 13 ounce that is supple. Maybe a hopsack.

    mimo, you probably won't get a sharper look using an 8 ounce 130's cashmere. Describe the effect you are looking for from the cloth and listen to your tailors suggestion. Don't use a cloth the tailor isn't fond of using or is not used to working with.

    Will repeat again. I have a large stack of cloth that clients brought to me and it was just wrong for them or lacked the quality to make up well and they abandon the cloth. I have had garments come back made from clients cloth with issues due to the cloth. Have to bite my tongue regarding "I told you so".

    So many different types of cloth exist because they perform differently, they tailor differently, they have there own look and feel and drape. Matching the cloth to the wearer is important. Can offer multiple testimonials ( just heard another this week) "How come I like the cloth you (me) pick so much better than the cloth I pick."
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  20. poorsod

    poorsod Well-Known Member

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    Interesting post although strength is only 1 dimension to describe wool, the others being diameter, length, crimp and luster. My understanding is that wool is great for tailoring because, like hair, you can shape it with heat and steam. A lot of the shape you get from the coat is via pressing not just cutting. It would be nice to know if there is an objective way to measure the ease in which you can shape cloth other than going by the crimp.

    Also my understanding of the criticism of high supers is that a lot of the wool so brittle that they have to be woven so tightly that they are not so malleable. I imagine high supers with both strength and malleablity are rare and expensive.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013

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