Bangkok tailors

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by MikeF, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. jweiht

    jweiht Well-Known Member

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    Is BKK still the best option for tailoring in Thailand?

    We may get expats like the guys from ToT who relocate to Thailand and set up shop
     
  2. meister

    meister Senior member

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    That was a BKK story I told during daylight hours....:embar:
     
  3. aldiver

    aldiver New Member

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    Hi Halifax,
    Looks like you got some great stuff, it fits you really well! The button holes on the trousers are definitely machined, and the buttons on the trousers are polyester, the same for the waistcoat. The buttons on the jacket look to be polyester too, but can't be 100% sure, can you post a few more close-ups of the sleeve buttons and will know for sure....jacket button holes look hand-made, however as I've often seen with "hand-made" button holes in Asia, they seem to have stiched the button hole and then cut it afterwards, which is why there are all those loose threads at the edges, typically when done properly the hole is cut first and then the edges are bound so there are no loose threads.

    Overall though looking pretty good!! You should be happy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  4. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Thanks, looks a useful coat.
     
  5. jweiht

    jweiht Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure we all have stories that aren't really stories or tales [​IMG]
     
  6. Sam Hober

    Sam Hober Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have not looked at Chiang Mai's tailors in around 15 years - but at that time there was only about two tailor shops that did their own work and were worth using - I don't remember the names - but you would know because they have some real wool on hand and have been in business for many years. Still only one or two probably.

    "Fair enough. I guess I'll just have to walk around the top of Sampeng and Pahurat next time. Although, if you did this a few years ago, then perhaps this import tax on foreign textiles might not have been applicable.

    I wonder what will happen regarding the tax if Yingluck (ie the Shinawatra regime) does get ousted. Perhaps someone will realise how much more competitive the tailors could be without it. It could even cause the local Thai textile industry to improve their quality. Or is this unrealistic dreaming..."

    This tax on fabrics in Thailand is basically an urban myth.

    In Thailand wool fabric has around a 5% customs duty and cotton around the same - other than being free I don't see how it could be much less expensive. Ask a tailor who complains about customs duty to show you his draft duty summary - this shows what you will pay before paying.

    The level of the Thai clothing industry has to do with supply and demand more than anything else.

    Also the comment that someone made that the Thais are not going to reach Savile Row skills to be polite is quite far from reality and probably something that was said in haste. Take a look at the best Thai specialist doctors - on par with the West today. And I would suggest that heart surgery or any specialist medical care for that matter) is a bit more complicated than making clothes...

    Some examples:

    Wool suits are not worn as often in Thailand as in England.

    Sheep are not raised much in Thailand.

    In the last 20 years increasing numbers of Thais are getting degrees in textile design etc in the West. Quite a few want to make real money and are involved in large export oriented textile mills in Thailand.

    Over time more and more wealthy Thai men are wearing suits - expect more skilled Thai tailors in time.

    Hand woven fabrics is something Thailand has done very well in the past - better than most other countries, and the very best Thai silks are better than most western fabrics.

    Currently the best bet for a Thai tailored suit is to bring your own fabric, find one of the handful of good Bangkok tailors and take your time over fittings and changes.

    Be polite but firm - an art no doubt - but it can be done.

    PS

    "I just used to get out of the tuk tuk and then walk down this duckboard lane into this like market place of cloth."

    I have never once found or heard of real luxury cotton fabric in a Thai cloth market - more details and prices please in case I need a small quantity in the future.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  7. meister

    meister Senior member

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    Having had a lot of stuff made in the 80/90s in BKK for myself and the missus I would have to say the best think to do in BKK is take something that is a perfect fit and have it copied. They are geniuses at that.

    I have never once found or heard of real luxury cotton fabric in a Thai cloth market - more details and prices please in case I need a small quantity in the future.

    I should have elaborated that I was buying linen. The suits I had made lasted me 10 years and had to be thrown away intact principally because I washed/dry cleaned them (stupidly) separately.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  8. Halifax

    Halifax Senior member

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    I don't think there are any who stock fabric from renowned mills. I've read several times that Venezia (#131-133) stocks a nice range of linens. There was also mention way back to get your cottons from Giovanni Co. (#161) and take this to Milan Suits for Kiet to work with.

    I think I.T.L (Italian textiles) carries the Japanese milled stuff that seems to be circulating as house fabric with the tailors; I have no idea about the Japanese stuff.

    I really wanted to verify these stores during my last visit, but I was with companions who made this prohibitive.

    HPH
     
  9. Halifax

    Halifax Senior member

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    Sure, I'll post some pics but I'm relatively confident they used horn on the jacket. The trousers' buttonholes are definitely machine made and the buttons are polyester.

    Regarding the buttonhole technique, that makes sense. I presume there is no gimp either, which is why the stitching is less prominent around the slit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  10. Halifax

    Halifax Senior member

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    JW, is this you (post #1540)? Or is this another source claiming to verify the connection between Narin and Tanika?
     
  11. jweiht

    jweiht Well-Known Member

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    I was told by another tailor (neutral) of their relation.

    someone else also quoted that narin was from a family that has many years experience in the textile biz.

    Narin is not service oriented, and has an attitude which I don't appreciate.

    the folks at Tanika are very warm and accommodating. Makes it all an amazing experience, where you look forward to starting a relationship with them.

    I guess they know that nothing beats a returning customer.
     
  12. SeamasterLux

    SeamasterLux Senior member

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    Good evening from Cambodia,

    I'm actually travelling in Thailand and Cambodia for 2 weeks and stopped by Narin as I heard it was one of the only reliable tailors in Bangkok.
    He is indeed a bit stiff but one might argue that it's out of discretion and a tad of pride. Anyway, he's quite firm about time needed to make clothes. 4 weeks and 3 fittings for a suit, 2 weeks for a shirt, not less and a minimum order of 3 for shirts (reminded me of Turnbull & Asser).

    Anyway, I've got quite a number of MTM and bespoke suits mainly from Europe (Paris, Rome, London) and consider to know a well-made suit when I see one as well as a reliable tailor. Having tried various tailors years ago in Thailand (e.g. Danny's, so-called tailor fo the Danish Crown) and in Indonesia (e.g. Anika Tailor), results ranged from dreadful to barely acceptable, less so at the time as I had much less experience. Now this being said, you usually get what you pay. If you think you can have an amazing suit within 24 hours at 100-250 USD, you're truly mistaken but I think most people on this thread know that already.

    As for Narin, we ruled out the suit as I wasn't in town long enough but we launched an order of three shirts. Fabrics were reasonably priced under 3000 THB for Japanese 1-ply cotton. There are some Loro Piana, Zegna, Thomas Mason but significantly more expensive and at a price not appealing to me as I would order bespoke shirts in Paris at 220 EUR in Alumo fabrics. I also opted for the "handmade" option at 1500 THB that Narin offers for handmade stitching, buttonholes and an unfused collar. I gave a shirt from Luxire that fits well as an example. It was quite funny seing him analyzing the shirt as "fused collar, plastic buttons and so on". I guess that after challenging him on various things, he expected me to bring him a bespoke Charvet shirt. Well, sorry my friend but I don't travel with that sort of clothes. They stay at home :)

    Anyway, I saw one of his suits made for a client and it looked quite good. The lapel was way too narrow for my tastes, vents too low and there was a stitching on the lapel I didn't like but these are personal tastes. The buttonholes, which are usually a good way to judge a tailor, were quite nicely made and on par with WW Chan in HK. Not bad, especially considering the 22,000 THB for a CMT fully canvassed price. However, I have a HK based tailor who's travelling and gets me the same kind of work at -20% less so I wouldn't have tried in the end, or only out of curiosity.

    All this to say that Narin is indeed reliable and knows his stuff.
     
  13. jweiht

    jweiht Well-Known Member

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    I would judge and give a review after seeing the finish article.

    I think tanika may be more expensive for the premium fabrics.
     
  14. Svenn

    Svenn Senior member

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    Tanika does very good jackets, trousers not so much.

    We need more TOT reviews on SF
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  15. Halifax

    Halifax Senior member

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    I would be keen to find out who makes the shirts for Lala Duly.
     

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