Cloth and other choices for DJ

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by tazmaniac, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    I have a midnight blue wool and mohair barathea that I may eventually get made up. I am hoping for David Copperfield more than Scrooge, but there are several characters from Bleak House that it would be fun to have recalled in the finish. It is a long book though, so I hope the cloth is not laconic.
    Maybe you will luck out and end up looking like Great Expectations or Topsy Turvy. Just be sure to cultivate those mutton chops.
     
  2. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    ^^^ But what is finish?
     
  3. Douglas

    Douglas Stupid ass member

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    I'm not disputing whether a cloth has a finish (though, I admit I'm not entirely sure what that means). I'm just asking what it means for a finish to be 'insipid' or 'Scrooge-like'. Unfortunately, those descriptors only tell me how you feel about the matter, not about the visual observation you're making.

    Do you doubt the Oracle?

    Finish is crucial whether on wool or cotton or cufflinks. Lesser make very high grade goods where the finish is an absence of finish; very hard to do and very beautiful for some purposes but not for a dinner jacket which should be more festive and less "counting house".


    Alright, some posters seem to like to assume that because they invent things other people must as well. This attitude about the Lesser formal book is not just mine alone, several tailors steer wide of it.

    For instance, Corvato had harsher things to say about the Lesser formal book. One customer who was buying a DJ and was a bit of a Retro Rick was finally convinced that the Lesser Formal cloth would have a dead look to it and he was instead persuaded to choose a barathea from the Holland and Sherry book. Corvato has made a large number of dinner jackets from many different cloths and he likes the Dormeuil and Holland and Sherry books most.

    He believes that this H&S barathea has a better finish to it, looks a lot nicer than the Lesser formal cloth and every bit as elegant as if it were a DJ from the hallowed 1930s without the drawbacks. The customer was very happy with the results, in spite of his deep seated concerns that he wouldnt be getting a proper, traditional DJ the way it was actually made in the 1920s.

    The moral? Sometimes the fear that one might be doing something wrong is based mainly on not knowing what they are doing at all.


    I know I'm being insipid and Scrooge-like here, but nowhere in your rambling response did you answer the question.
     
  4. George

    George Senior member

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    Wool finishing.-The finishing processes for woolens and worsteds are much more laborious and complex than those employed for cottons. A greater variety of machinery is required, and there are more steps in the process. The finishing of wool goods is divided into two main parts: the first is called the "wet finishing," which includes washing, soaping, steaming, carbonizing, and the use of liquids; the second is called "dry finishing" and includes napping, shearing, polishing, measuring, and putting up in rolls or bolts.

    Preparation of wool fabrics.-Woolen or worsted cloth, as it comes from the weave rooms to the finishers, is first inspected for flaws, broken threads, and weak places, and wherever these are found, chalk marks are made to assist the burlers and menders in finding the places. To aid in the inspection, the cloth is generally "perched" or thrown over a roller and drawn down in single thickness by the inspector as fast as he can look it over. A good light is desirable. Inspectors with practice attain great proficiency in finding weak places or imperfections in the cloth. After the bad spots in the fabric are repaired the goods are tacked together; that is, the pieces are fastened together in pairs with the faces of the cloth turned towards each other. The tacking is simply a stitching along the edge, done either by hand or machine. The purpose of tacking is to protect the faces of the cloth from becoming damaged in any way by the heavy operations to follow or from becoming impregnated with any foreign substance difficult to remove, such as short hairs or flocks.

    Fulling.-The next step is the fulling. All kinds of clearfinished worsted dress goods for ladies and practically all wool cloths for men's wear except worsteds are fulled. This is the most characteristic process in the wool industry; no other textile goes through any process like it. The wool fibers, it will be recalled, are jointed and have scales that cause the fibers to cling together readily. This, we have learned, is called the felting quality. By beating a mass of wool fibers, a very hard, compact mass can be obtained, because the fibers creep into closer and closer contact with each other, holding fast because of the scales. Fulling makes use of this principle. Wool cloth is shrunken and made heavier and closer in structure and consequently stronger. Fulled cloth may also take many more kinds of finish than unfulled fabrics. The fulling process is performed in machines that apply pressure, moisture, and heat to the goods. The cloths are soaked in hot, soapy water, pressed, rolled, and tumbled; as a result, the woolen fabrics contract and become closer in texture throughout.

    Flocking.-Short wool fibers or flocks are frequently felted into wool fabrics in the fulling operation. A layer of these short fibers is spread over the back of the cloth and matted down by moistening. In the fulling operation these fibers sink into the fabric and therefore help to give the fabric weight and closeness. That this process is not always well done is evidenced by the fact that the flocks in the backs of suitings often wear loose, drop down, and collect at the bottom of garments, especially at points where the lining and the suiting are sewed together. Flocks must from most standpoints be considered as an adulteration of wool although their presence really helps some fabrics, such as kerseys. All crevices are filled up and the fabric is made solid. If the felting has been done well, the flocks perform a good service in the cloth, but otherwise the flocks come out easily and are a decided nuisance to the wearer of the goods. Flocks made from wool waste such as shoddy, mungo, and extract, when applied on shoddy wool cloth are bound to come out. But flocks cut from new wool, when applied to new wool cloth, produce an excellent effect if not too largely used. Adding 25 per cent in weight to the cloth by flocking is not unreasonable, but doubling the weight of the original fabric would be unjustifiable adulteration. Flocking adds little if any to the strength of the cloth.

    Speck dyeing.-After fulling, the cloth is washed very carefully, and is usually given a light dye to cover up spots or imperfections due to foreign matter that could not be taken out before. If not so dyed, all the little specks in the cloth have to be removed by hand, a process called speck dyeing or burr dyeing.

    Carbonizing.-Carbonizing is usually performed before the wool is spun into yarn, but in some cases not until the cloth is woven. In this case it takes the place of speck dyeing. The process is the same for cloth as for loose wool. The vegetable matter is destroyed by soaking the cloth in weak acids and then heating in an oven.

    Napping.-After washing, stretching, and drying, most goods are ready to receive the finish. In most cases this first involves raising a nap or fuzz evenly all over the surface, and for this purpose machines have been invented. The oldest of such machines use teasel or thistle burrs, whereas the later napping machines use little wire hooks. Some claim that the teasel burr has certain qualities for raising the wool nap that cannot be produced in any steel wire or spring hook or barb. The principle, however, is the same in all inventions for this purpose. The gigs or napping machines all stretch the cloth and then cause it to pass over many fine little hooks of teasel burrs or of steel wire which draw out a multitude of little ends of wool fiber all over the surface of the cloth. In some cases, the napping or gigging is performed on wet cloth; in others, the cloth is dry. Dry napping is in fact now the more common, although the wet methods are still employed for certain cloths and finishes.

    The finish of wool cloth depends upon the degree o f napping and upon the variety of fiber. Meltons require only a little napping; kerseys, beavers, and doeskins, a very thorough one. Cloths that must wear exceedingly well must be napped as little as possible, since the process reduces the strength of the fabric. Cassimeres are given several kinds of finish, Saxony finish, for example, or velour finish. Other fabrics are each given their characteristic finish by slightly varying the amount of nap, or the treatment of the nap after it has been raised. Among such fabrics are cheviots, kerseys, meltons, beavers, chinchillas, outing flannels, doeskins, reversibles, thibets, satinets, blankets, and others.

    Lustering.-After napping, such fabrics as kerseys, beavers, broadcloths, thibets, venetians, tricots, plushes, uniform cloths, and all worsteds, require another special operation known as steam lustering. Steam is forced through the cloth for about five minutes, followed by cold water. The steam brings out the luster which the cold water sets or fixes.

    Stretching and clipping.-The dry finishing processes begin with stretching (or tentering) and then drying the cloth. Special machines accomplish this as well as all the other processes. The cloth now passes through a shearing machine which brushes the nap in the direction desired, afterward clipping it evenly over all the surfaces. The clippers operate like the revolving blades of a lawn mower. Goods that have not been napped are generally singed in much the same manner as cotton fabrics. Next, the sheared fabrics are brushed, and perhaps polished by means of pumice cloth or sandpaper, to make the cloth smooth and lustrous.

    Final steps.-Finally the goods are pressed and thereby given a finished appearance. This is usually performed by means of heavy presses, either with dry heat or with steam. The most common present-day method of pressing cloth is by running it between heavy rollers heated by steam. Care must be taken not to get the rolls too hot or the wool will be damaged. The cloth is next inspected again, run through a measuring machine, doubled, rolled, and wrapped in paper, and packed into cases ready for the clothing manufacturer or the dry goods jobber and the retail store.

    Worsted finishing.-Worsteds are not generally fulled as are woolens. After burling, worsteds are usually singed and then crabbed. The crabbing process sets the weave so that in the later operations it will not be obliterated. It consists in running the cloth tightly stretched over rollers through a trough containing hot water. After an hour or two of this the cloth is scoured and rinsed and then closely sheared. There are several varieties of worsted, each of which requires its own special finish or after-treatment. Innovations are constantly introduced to alter the appearance a little in one way or another. Among these are the fancy or yarn-dyed worsteds, serges, worsted dress goods, and worsted cheviots.
     
  5. Mildly Consumptive

    Mildly Consumptive Senior member

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    Alright, some posters seem to like to assume that because they invent things other people must as well. This attitude about the Lesser formal book is not just mine alone, several tailors steer wide of it.

    For instance, Corvato had harsher things to say about the Lesser formal book. One customer who was buying a DJ and was a bit of a Retro Rick was finally convinced that the Lesser Formal cloth would have a dead look to it and he was instead persuaded to choose a barathea from the Holland and Sherry book. Corvato has made a large number of dinner jackets from many different cloths and he likes the Dormeuil and Holland and Sherry books most.




    So, you just parrot the opinions of tailors and call them your own?
     
  6. Mildly Consumptive

    Mildly Consumptive Senior member

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    And 12 oz is far too heavy for a dinner jacket.



    You have a habit of stating subjective opinion as though it were objective fact. Just because you are morbidly obese and cannot tolerate room temperature, does not mean everyone has the same problem. If you made this clear in your posts, they would contain 1.5% less douche-baggery. The cockass levels would be unchanged though.
     
  7. Douglas

    Douglas Stupid ass member

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    You have a habit of stating subjective opinion as though it were objective fact. Just because you are morbidly obese and cannot tolerate room temperature, does not mean everyone has the same problem. If you made this clear in your posts, they would contain 1.5% less douche-baggery. The cockass levels would be unchanged though.

    I can't do this quite like rach can, but

    OH SNAP!
     
  8. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I agree that mohair is better for a second DJ.

    Most of my black tie wear is during our Northern California winters where it's in the mid 40s (f) outdoors at night. The 12 ounce Lesser is comfortable to wear without an overcoat from the car to the symphony or wherever. It's comfortable during a performace. It can get warm during sustained active dancing, but so does a 10 ounce.

    On the other hand, we don't overheat our buildings the way it's done in Manhattan. If I lived there I'd probably go no heavier than 10 ounce cloth and wear an overcoat when I needed to walk outside.
     
  9. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    I agree that mohair is better for a second DJ. Most of my black tie wear is during our Northern California winters where it's in the mid 40s (f) outdoors at night. The 12 ounce Lesser is comfortable to wear without an overcoat from the car to the symphony or wherever. It's comfortable during a performace. It can get warm during sustained active dancing, but so does a 10 ounce. On the other hand, we don't overheat our buildings the way it's done in Manhattan. If I lived there I'd probably go no heavier than 10 ounce cloth and wear an overcoat when I needed to walk outside.
    People like yourself, who know what they want, just get it. When I post about optimal cloth weights and weaves for a purpose, it's to alert less dedicated clothes aficionados from wasting large sums on clothes they probably wouldn't understand or be happy with.
     
  10. tazmaniac

    tazmaniac Senior member

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    Well I am not a total noob. As I said, I have experience with a variety of weights. On top of that, I do seem to get hot less easily than I used to a few years ago. I rarely remove my jacket in the office, even if most do. Heating in the winter is also not that excessive here in Switzerland. That said, I probably wouldn't go over 12 oz.
     
  11. tazmaniac

    tazmaniac Senior member

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    Well, I have the Smiths books at home now. I am still a bit torn between the SW8829 Midnight Barathea (10/11 ozs, 100% Merino) and the SW8810 Midnight Barathea (10 ozs, 71% Merino, 29% Super Kid Mohair). Should I just go for the classic all wool? What say ye?
     
  12. tazmaniac

    tazmaniac Senior member

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    Wow, the MC-mainpage sure moves fast. About 10 hours and the thread is already on page 4!
     
  13. tazmaniac

    tazmaniac Senior member

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    Again on the waistcoat. Horseshoe opening is clear, but are 3 or 4 buttons preferable? Is it unusual to have silk facings on the (shawl) lapels of the wc?
     
  14. tazmaniac

    tazmaniac Senior member

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    shameless bump, any final input on cloth and waistcoat styling? thanks a lot!
     
  15. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Three buttons, self facings.
     

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