Felt Under Collar

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by HitMan009, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Senior member

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    I am confused. On some suits, I notice the fabric under the collar is a felt-type material. On others, they are self-fabric, meaning, it's just another layer of the same wool as the what the suit is made of under the collar. I would consider otherwise these teo suits to be similiar in quality. Which the better material for under the collar?
     
  2. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Felt.
     
  3. uriahheep

    uriahheep Senior member

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    I prefer self-material. Felt, in my experience, has a tendency to "fuzz up." Self-material also looks cleaner.
     
  4. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Senior member

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    hmm, two different responses.... I need a tie breaker. Manton, referee this.... [​IMG] I am torn. I like self-material because of the cleaner look although if there is a lot of machine stitching, the felt is better at hiding it. Also, where the notch is, I like the touch where I can see the flap cut for the notch to be folder over and stitched by hand. Most of the time, the felt covers this flap which I dislike.... But my perference goes for self-material. Mr. Kabbaz, Can you describe the reason you would choose felt.... Thanks
     
  5. uriahheep

    uriahheep Senior member

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    Trust me, once you try self-material there's no going back.
    And here's a vote against the worthless pick-stitching done so often on jackets these days. Once I removed the pick-stitching from the edges of a couple of my RTW jackets and gave them a good pressing the formerly pick-stitched areas are no longer stiff. Having no pick stitching is a cleaner look. The handsewn pick-stitching on one jacket took much more time to remove than the pick-stitching done by machine on the other.
    Pick stitching, like so many other things now, is (no longer) a sign of high quality and handwork. Now even Gap has jackets with functional sleeve buttons.
     
  6. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    Oh my god. YOU ACTUALLY DID THAT?
     
  7. uriahheep

    uriahheep Senior member

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    I did, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. [​IMG]
     
  8. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    That was brave. Were the jackets expensive to start with, or if this screwed them up, were you okay with that?
     
  9. uriahheep

    uriahheep Senior member

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    They were expensive for RTW - brand new Borrelli and Belvest, respectively. I only bought these RTW items since I got them at a significant discount. I was confident enough that things would be fine. Things go bad more often when one allows fear to creep in. I actually did the Borrelli first.
    I would have been a little hesitant to do it if they, especially the Borrelli, were not brand new. What if the pick-stitching were removed only to reveal that the fabric covered by the pick stitches is darker than the rest, not having been exposed to sunlight and "the elements?"
    The Borrelli had double rows of pick-stitching running from the bottoms of the jacket front all the way around the collar, along the cuffs where the buttons would be attached, along the sides of the side vents and along the edges of the pockets.
    The Belvest had a single row of pick stitching going from the bottoms of the jacket front all the way around the collar.
     
  10. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Felt is commonly used, as the edges do not fray (unlike self-material which you must turn under, adding bulk).

    Therefore the collar has a sharper, neater and cleaner look.
     
  11. corvo

    corvo New Member

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    What causes the collar to "creep" up revealing a line of felt around the back? It's almost as if the collar shrinks a little. I have this on a couple of jackets, one well worn, the other an almost new, good quality tweed. Will a good pressing fix it?
     
  12. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    I have an old tweed jacket that has this condition. I always thought it was the pressing job.


    In my experience, this felt material doesn't fray.

    pick-stitching: I have it and enjoy it on my Southwick MTM suits. I think it's also there on my Southwick RTW. I don't begrudge it on RTW, nor do I begrudge working button holes.
     
  13. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    I'm going to pretend I didn't read that.

    koji
     
  14. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    1) I have never seen a good or even mediocre tailor in London, New York or Italy use anything for the undercollar but a piece of felt (typically called "collar melton" or "undercollar melton" in tailoring supply stores) that is pad-stitched to a piece of front-canvas. Â The canvas ends up between the felt undercollar and the self topcollar. Remember that the collar takes a lot of stress. A felt undercollar is much stronger than a self undercollar, and maintains the shape of the collar better. Â It also resists wrinkling and rippling better. Â The topcollar -- which of course must be made from self cloth -- usually has to be stretched and shaped with water and an iron. Â It needs that extra reinforcement underneath to lie flat and smootn and crisp. 2) I am at a loss as to why anyone would remove fine pic stitching from a coat. Â Aside from looking nice, this stitch helps the lapel maintain a crisp edge. Â Otherwise the only stitch holding the lapel edge together is an interior diagonal stitch, over which the lapel edge is folded and pressed flat. Â That pressing won't hold the edge flat and crisp forever. Â Without the pic stitch it will ripple and bubble. Edited to add New York to the list in #1
     
  15. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    I notice your reply is specific to London and Italy. In my experience, at least with all of the tailors I have used, that is also the case in the U.S. Have you discovered to the contrary?
     

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