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Fabric makers

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

  1. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    Washington DC
    I've given up on getting fabric to make a suit with. My tailor gets his on the cheap. Hell, I have a suit of wonderful Super 130's fabric, and he got that for a pittance, carrying the savings over to me.

    Oh, and now Samsung, through Cheil, carries a guarantee on their fabrics. It goes something like, if you have a suit made with their fabric, and if it fails on you (rips, tears, breaks down, etc.), they'll refund you the cost of the whole suit. Of course, I've never seen a well-taken-care-of suit suffer such injury, but it's nice to see them stand behind their product's quality.
     
  2. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    When the time comes I'll probably have suits made of woolens no higher than Super 130s and choose more Super 110s and 120s.  I would also like summer suits made of cotton and of linen, and if I don't move to a warmer area, winter overcoats made of heavy overcoating.
    I think that just a couple years ago Kiton made a suit/jacket(?) of 180s shirt fabric.
    I will never go to a regular perc-using dry cleaner, no matter how well-recommended it is.  I just couldn't wear clothing that was cleaned in chemicals suspected to be carcinogenic.  Just walking into a dry cleaning establishment, the fumes are terrible.  I would much rather go to a CO2 cleaner.  While it may be true that a suit often simply needs a steam cleaning/pressing, those who live in big cities probably have car exhaust and various other pollutants build up in a suit, which would necessitate a thorough cleaning.  I wouldn't want to risk, regardless of the cleaner's guarantee, ruining a very expensive, and just as importantly, a very nice garment, so I likely wouldn't buy anything extremely expensive, such as vicuna or the finest Super woolens.
     
  3. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    "Converter" is a loosely defined term. I this case it is referring to a fabric designer/specifier/wholesaler who does not own their own looms. They use the "downtime" of a variety of mills - none of whom will probably admit it and none of whom are declared by the converter. They (the converter) specifies yarn, thread count, weave, etc. Downtime is much cheaper to purchase for all of the obvious economic reasons.
    Insofar as the "passes through England" law ... it was that way during the late 1980s. I don't know if it remains so ... but as all of todays excellent shirting fabrics are produced exclusively in Italy and Switzerland it is of no particular concern to me.
    Regarding your post just previous to this one ... there are a wide variety of organic shirtings now available in qualities all the way up to and including 200's.
     
  4. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    So Horrockses closed during the cotton famine. Does Horrockses exist today in some reincarnated state, or as a division or trademark of another company?
    How did Thomas Mason manage to survive after the cotton famine? Did it shift production outside Lancashire? After Thomas Mason bought DJ Anderson were DJA fabrics woven in TM's English facilities instead of in Scotland? Do you know who owned Thomas Mason and shut down English production before selling to Albini?
    How do the good shirt fabrics produced today(incl. Alumo, Riva, S.I.C. Tess, and the DJA and Thomas Mason fabrics woven by Albini)compare with the good shirt fabrics produced some time ago such as the DJA fabrics woven in Scotland, the Thomas Mason fabrics woven in England, and the Horrockses fabrics woven in England? Are there any major differences?
    I saw in one of the Styleforum posts that one mill produced a 200/2 x 240/2 fabric some time ago. Do any mills produce this now, and are they capable of producing it now?
     
  5. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    This price quoted was in May of 1998, when Super 180s was the highest available. Â Now that Super 210s and Super 220s are available... source
     
  6. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    I was at a local tailor's shop in Philly yesterday and he showed me the price list that he had just rec'd from Holland & Sherry - it showed prices of approx $135/yd for super 130s - he said he pay's about $200/yd for their super 140s / 1% cashmere / 1% mink.

    He is somewhat of an anomoly - he charges a fixed price to make a suit ($1,000) and then adds to that the cost of the fabric (at his cost).  He also recommends and spoke to me at length about his preferences for some of his "older" books - fabrics aren't as finely woven but have real substance to them - he swears they'll last for 20 years+.
     
  7. masterfred

    masterfred Well-Known Member

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    That depends, Cpal, on the tightness and substance of the weave. Several others (including marc39) have commented on the fragility and drape of the very very fine worsteds; I tend to agree. I like the harder-finished worsteds and worsted woollens from English mills to the (generally) Italian-made Supers. The really exquisite fabrics just don't have the drape and substance and longevity these (admittedly fustier) English mill cloths have, IMHO. Marc39 could comment further on that. Naturlaut and Thracozaaq would perhaps disagree.......
     
  8. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    I'm with CPal, MasterFred and Marc on this. Â Part of it is a simple matter of personal preference. Â I know that Naturlaut and Thracozaag, probably others, will disagree. [​IMG] Maybe Mr. Kabbaz could clarify the following: for shirt fabrics at least, most fine broadcloths have more or less the same "thread count." Â It is the yarn used to weave a particular fabric and the weave itself which gives a fabric its characteristics(weight, feel). Â So what I'm saying is that most broadcloths, whether woven from 100s/2-ply or 200s/2-ply yarns, may have the same 156 * 78 (?)"thread count." Â Voiles would definitely be different from broadcloths. Â Voiles are probably woven, even when 2-ply, with a lower density "thread count" so that there is more space between the yarns which in turn imparts the translucence to the fabric, and drastically reduces its weight. CPal, that's really pretty nice that this particular tailor charges a flat fee for the tailoring itself, with the cloth at cost. Â Will he allow you to, if for whatever reason you want to, take your own fabric to him?
     
  9. Cpal

    Cpal Well-Known Member

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    I haven't asked about bringing my own fabric in to him - I'll try to remember next week when I stop in for a fitting. To be honest, he has access to a wider range of (in addition to an obviously more broad range of experiences with) fabrics so I'm not sure that I would be able to get a better "deal" finding it on my own. To be honest, I'm still waiting for the catch - I've gotten about five suits from him now and have been thrilled with the quality of his work and his attention to detail. Just a lucky local find.
     
  10. naturlaut

    naturlaut Senior member

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    Not at all.  However, on a side note, in my experience, English-trained tailors (not tailors who are English --- I have the greatest respect for them) prefer cutting on English fabrics as they find Italian fabrics 'shift' easily.  I myself have a suit and a sportcoat from Hardy Amies on Savile Row, and they are both made on heavier (long wearing) fabrics.

    Although I might have to add that most of the times I do prefer lighter jackets, especially when I am on the piano.
     
  11. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Any recommendation of some mills / labels that produce these harder-finished suiting fabrics? I saw a Vestimenta suit made of significantly harder-finished wool crepe and I was quite impressed by its resistance to wrinkle, and I suppose it'd be very durable too. Since Vestimenta is an Italian maker, would that be reasonable to assume that the fabric is Italian? I think this would be the same suit on ebay but I'm not 100% positive. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....IT&rd=1
     
  12. General Koskov

    General Koskov Well-Known Member

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    Mar 24, 2004
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    Winnipeg
    Are there any websites, aside from Holland & Sherry's and Scabal's, of fabric mills? Specifically, I am looking for sites featuring pictures of various fabrics.
     
  13. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    I'm curious: who weaves Kiton's Diamante Blue fabrics? All I know is that it is a British weaver.
     
  14. bestmastertailor

    bestmastertailor Well-Known Member

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    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    Charleston, West Virginia
    My favorite goods to tailor has been consistently from Vitale Barberis. Their REVENGE S130s is a best seller for me day in and day out, wears extremely well, tailors exceptional, travels well and always get repeat orders. I sell a 2-piece suit in this goods for (US)$2998.00. Zegna's 15mil15 is also a nice goods to tailor and Loro Piana's Tazmanian 120s. Anything above 150s is overkill, tailors terrible, dollar to value ratio drops quickly and is usually a case of "mine is bigger."
     
  15. clothman

    clothman Member

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    Sep 21, 2011
    William Halstead in Bradford make that cloth for Kiton
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  16. clothman

    clothman Member

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    Sep 21, 2011
    post 33 reply William Halstead in Bradford make that cloth for Kiton
     

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