Fabric makers

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Cpal, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    Loro Piana, Dormuiel, Scabal, Holland & Sherry, ...

    What are people's preferences?

    I've had a number of suits made using Piana fabric but am considering a new order with some different fabrics (Scabal) and wanted to know what people thought of these houses ...

    Also - perspectives on the Supers? I actually prefer super 100s or 110s for durability and I actually think they look and in many cases feel and cut better than some of the "finer" 150s and 180s.
     
  2. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    Loro Piana: sort of started the micron madness Dormeuil: a fabric merchant, like H. Lesser, which does not actually weave fabrics but has fabrics woven by mills and then sells the fabric to tailor shops Scabal: parent company of Bower Roebuck(which weaves the 200s, etc Super woolens) and Wain Shiell Holland and Sherry: I really like the fabrics I have seen. They have a wide variety of woolens, cottons, linens and silks, as well as blazer buttons. Look for Piacenza, Carlo Barbera and other mills such as Reda, Vitale Barberis, William Halstead, Charles Clayton, and others. For perspective of the Super woolens and the micron madness take a look at the article linked below: http://www.departures.com/fa/fa_0700_wool.html
     
  3. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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  4. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    Also Zegna, Cerruti, Policarpo
     
  5. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    Just asking, but how much would a yard and a half of Zegna's transeasonal fabric cost?
     
  6. naturlaut

    naturlaut Senior member

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    Just my opinion, I think the regular super 100s lack a natural shine that makes a suit "alive".  I could not imagine a Neapolitan suit (with its pluckered shoulder and lapel roll) in super 100s.  I would opt for at least super 120s if not 150s. S150s is still quite wearable, if woven well, as it is also very light; I would classify the 'fragile' fabric from super 180s on.

    I can't exactly quote 1 1/2 yard (why 1 1/2 by the way?), but at regular price Zegna sells its fabric ranging from about US$180/yard to anywhere up in the sky, though I wouldn't advise getting a lower end fabric.  Loro Piana's starts from around $250.  Of course, you can always get close-outs (I know a place in NY that sells Loro Piana at $40/yard).  A regular 2-piece suit needs 3 1/2 yards if you are not ordering a second pair of pants.

    My favourites: Holland & Sherry, Moxon, Carlo Barbera (who makes great cashmere), and Reid & Taylor (who I think is Scottish or Irish).
     
  7. PeterMetro

    PeterMetro Senior member

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    I second Carlo Barbera and Vitale Barberis, the latter of whom makes the super 130s chocolate brown of which today's suit is made.
     
  8. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    Guabello, Taylor and Lodge, Fox Brothers(nice overcoat fabrics), Hield, and Graham and Pott are others.

    At which excellent tailoring establishments(such as Oxxford, Darren Beaman/John Kent, etc) can one have clothing made of fabric from the following mills? I know that Oxxford uses Charles Clayton, Reid and Taylor, Guabello and Moxon.

    Loro Piana(besides the Loro Piana boutique)
    Scabal/Bower Roebuck/Wain Shiell
    Holland and Sherry
    Piacenza
    Carlo Barbera
    Reda
    Vitale Barberis
    Guabello
    Fox Brothers
    Moxon
    William Halstead
    Charles Clayton
    Reid and Taylor
    Taylor and Lodge
     
  9. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    don't forget samsung.

    they're selling hield clothing at saks. anyone know about their construction?

    i second naturlaut's suggestion that generally a super 120s fabric has a nice sheen to it that you can't get with the lower supers. if you're going to save money by getting the fabric and then handing it over to the tailor (or making the suit yourself), you might as well get something really nice. i've seen pure cashmere selling for about the same as an english super 150s.
     
  10. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear so many opinions ... Has anyone ever bought their own fabric and brought to their tailor? I have mixed feelings about this as part of what keeps the tailor gainfully employed is his markup on fabric and then compensation for their workmanship. Thoughts?
     
  11. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    If I remember this correctly, and I might be wrong, a tailor showed me his invoice for his Vitale Barberis Super 100's for about CAD $45 per yard. I think he's quoting me something like CAD $300 - $350 for a 3.5 yards of the said fabrics if I'd like to make a suit with him.
     
  12. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    Samsung makes some awesome, awesome fabrics that are really on the cheap here in Korea (logically.) They usually market under their Cheil branch, Goldentex.

    I had a suit made with fabric of theirs. It's a wonderful wool twill with satin blue pinstripes that shimmer when the light hits them. It feels silky soft and is very light. I don't know the thread count, but it's definitely luxury at a discount.

    I know Cheil also helped pioneer the Super 220's; they call it Lansmere. I haven't felt a sample, but I probably will this weekend when I visit a tailor that's supposed to have some.

    This all having been said, who do you guys say makes the fabric with the best value? It's a tough question, I know, but I'm interested in more of my money going to the material than the name.
     
  13. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    I suppose I agree with what you said. Of a $2000 suit the cost of the suiting(for which the import duties are quite high) will vary, plus buttons, interlining, lining, shoulder padding material, and thread. These add to the material cost, plus labor(time), which may be 30+ hours. Then there is the cost of keeping shop and probably employing helpers.
     
  14. naturlaut

    naturlaut Senior member

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    Banksmiranda: Actually, I think the highest cost factored into a suit is the workmanship and shop-keeping.  Unless we are talking about big tailoring firms like Brioni or Oxxford, an outside tailor usually orders materials at a sharp discounted price.  Even with Oxxford, who orders from expensive weavers like Moxon, will never pay 'retail' price on their fabric, as they have permanent contracts of very, very large orders.  Kiton and Attolini are a little different, as they buy up the entire stock of a particular fabric from a mill.  

    Buttons, lining, shoulder pads, etc. are all dirt cheap.  I am talking about single digit dollar amount for these things.  Again, unless you are making a suit at Kiton or Isaia, who custom order their shoulder pads in a particular way, an outside tailor usually orders a 'stock order', usually between a layered shoulder pad or a one-piece pad (the former preferred), and the cost of that is a few US dollars per pad at most (I said at most because if you buy in bulk, the layered one cost $1/pad, and that will be the usually used cotton felt/linen canvas pad).  Lining is cheap too, unless the tailor orders it with his emblem all over, otherwise normal bemberg lining costs about US$10 to $20 (at very most) a yard.  Interlining, or canvas, at your local tailor, are usually ordered in bulk too, though I am not sure how much; but if you were to look at the roll of canvas that it comes in you'll know that they are very cheap --- again, unless you are making a suit at Kiton who needs a horsehair canvas.  Labour is different, though usually the person making your suit is not the person you saw taking your measurements (aka tailor or boss), but some other persons employed part-time or even contracted out at outside factories.  My tailor in New York employs his niece to do all his buttonhole embroidery (which is very well done, by the way), for a mere $5/hole.

    Taken all these into account: let's say you picked a very good fabric, which will come out to $300 at most (assuming $80/yard), plus cost of other materials at around $100 (if silk lining chosen then more), total material cost will not exceed $400 or $450 (at the outer most, if you picked a super 180s).  The rest is how big an ego the tailor has for himself.
     
  15. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    Naturlaut, good point. I imagine that unless they got specials/discounted contract rates that even for companies such as Oxxford and Kiton it would be expensive to buy cloth by the bolt. I can only imagine how much they spend on cloth, though the sales of both companies is "only" ~$30 million.
    So this way can even small tailor shops which do the work in-house can keep a good stock of fabric?
     

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