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Is this St.Andrew suit?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by MilanoStyle, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

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    In some instances when stores show the interlining of a coat (like JN mentioned w/Brioni at NM), you can see the pad stitching done by machine if you know what to look for. Look at an example in Brioni for hand stitching, then compare it to others to see the difference.

    The machine stitiched lapels will have a uniform appearance with small loops above each stitch.
     
  2. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It's easy to tell a machine-padded canvas from a hand-padded canvas. Forgive me for using imprecise terms; I can't remember the correct terms and I am at the moment separated from my books. But if you see a minute little loop at the top of each stitch, and if there is a long "streaming" thread that follows up and down the length of each vertical row of pad stitches, then it was done by machine. If all you see are distict (and relatively clean) alternating diagonal stitches on the front, and little pricks where the thread comes through the cloth on the underside, then it was done by hand.
     
  3. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    What in God's name has thing turned into? Manton, I know that a hand stitched lapel is far superior in look and performance (to the discerning eye, that is) than a machine stitched lapel. And whether it is a "Singer" sewing machine or a more industrial type device is beside the point -- neither is by hand (though a Singer type machine will allow the human hand to guide the lapel through it). I never claimed that you could make a machine canvassed suit that equals the performance of a hand canvassed one -- I just said that you can make a fully canvassed suit with a machine. Mike C. implied that if a suit didn't use at least "some" fusing, then it would cost $2500+. This just isn't true.

    What has not been answered is where the fusing in a Brioni is. Mike said "parts of the collar" and "parts below the first button." I would challenge him to be more specific and to indicate what evidence he has of this. To be fair, there is a such thing as a sort of strip of "tape" that I've seen tailors attach (by thread) to the portion of the lapel just above the top button. This is sort of a stiffener that is used to insure longevity to the lapel roll. But it is not "fusing," and it is sewed in, not heat glued.
     
  4. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Yes, I would like to know what that means as well.

    The either the jacket has or does not have fusing in a particular area or not. As well, most suits are not entirely "˜hand made' when they carry that particular designation, oftentimes there is some degree of machined sewing involved at some stage of the production.

    Jon.
     
  5. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    This I agree with completely. I also know that Mike C. is completely correct about fusing being used judiciously in certain places, and about the ability of companies to stitch the pad on the lapel without it having to be done by some old dude sitting in the back of a room. As for the BB Golden Fleece suits, Jay Greenfield will deny this to anyone outside of his clients and will probably take this to his death, but there is some fusing in the suits. JN3, if you want to go to BB with me someday, I can show you where the fusing is - there is definitely some on the front "placket" (as Mike has described), although it is nearly imperceptile (the guys at BB might get a little pissed if we talk about it too loudly.) The front is still obviously a floating canvas, since fusing would definitely be perceivable there. Fusing is just another weapon in the modern tailors arsenal. There is no problem with using it judiciously and to make a product that is actually within the purchasing power of all but the most affluent people in society.

    I'll not sure about Oxxford suits.
     
  6. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I think that using a standard sewing machine to pad-stitch canvas takes so long that a maker might as well do it by hand (assuming, of course, that he knows how). You still, after all, have to do one row at a time. The chief virtue of the other machines is speed.
     
  7. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    You are probably right. But you could probably sew for a longer period of time doing it by a single sewing machine, since it takes less of a toll on the hands (so I'd imagine). In any event, you are certainly right that the larger machines are more ubiquitous than individual sewing machines.
     
  8. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    I don't have to go to BB, LAG -- I can check it out in my closet. I'll let you know. I'll also see if I can find a cheap canvas jacket at a local goodwill shop so that I can rip it open.
     
  9. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    LAGuy, Oxxford is adamant that they do not fuse. Every stitch is either sewn by hand, or by one person sitting a "standard" sewing machine (straight seams, etc.). I shudder to think what it would do to their reputation and credibility if they used fusing, and if that fact became known.

    I don't know about Brioni. I would certainly be, if not shocked, then surprised to learn that they fuse.
     
  10. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Senior member

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    So why would anyone suspect Brioni uses fusing?
     
  11. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    They wouldn't, I think that's the point we are trying to make.

    Jon.
     
  12. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Mike, I don't know where you are getting your information, but I have to disagree with just about everything you are saying in these posts...

    I've cut most all of these jackets open, and the lapels are all done by machine, with the exception of Oxxford. I do have a double breasted Brioni jacket here that has the very tips of the lapels basted by hand, while the rest of the lapel is done by machine - that is the only exception I've seen.

    In my opinion all the talk about Kiton, Brioni etc. significantly more handmade inside the jacket (canvassing, shoulder construction etc.) than say, a Saint Andrew's, is absolute myth. I have seen nor heard absolutely no convincing evidence to prove it. Lot's of vague assertions by lots of people, but nothing specific, and nothing apparent from looking inside the jackets.

    Now I could be wrong, but I'm going to need some specific evidence, not just an assumption...
     
  13. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    How do you know for sure? You can't tell by just looking, and a "pinch test" will tell you nothing. By fusing, I'm not talking about the chest. Brioni, RL, Cantarelli, etc... have no fusing in the chest, they are fully canvassed in the chest. Thus will qualify as a "canvassed suit." Brioni, RLPL, Oxxford, Kiton are hand canvassed, lesser priced ones are machine canvassed. All manufacturers use *some* degree of fusing (Kiton is entirely hand made). However, on Brioni or Cantarelli, it's so insignificant that it doesn't really matter, and in places that you couldn't even tell. On Cantarelli, RL, Zegna, etc... (suits priced from $1K to $2K), moderate fusing is used in the collar, and mostly in areas below the bottom button of the coat. Thus I said "some fusing." Again, it is pretty insignificant. If I didn't tell you this, you wouldn't even know. If you had a better trained eye, you could tell in areas below the first button. BB Golden Fleece, while a very high quality suit, isn't entirely hand made. They would literally loose money for retailing a suit at that price if it was 100% hand made/hand stitched. To clear things up, Brioni uses an absurd amount of handwork. I haven't seen it talked about accurately on this board, as to what it is in real life. The amount of hours that go into each coat, are the highest in the industry, next to Kiton. However, there is a bit of fusing in the collar; which doesn't make a difference.
    Mike, I don't know where you are getting your information, but I have to disagree with just about everything you are saying in these posts... I've cut most all of these jackets open, and the lapels are all done by machine, with the exception of Oxxford. I do have a double breasted Brioni jacket here that has the very tips of the lapels basted by hand, while the rest of the lapel is done by machine - that is the only exception I've seen. In my opinion all the talk about Kiton, Brioni etc. significantly more handmade inside the jacket (canvassing, shoulder construction etc.) than say, a Saint Andrew's, is absolute myth. I have seen nor heard absolutely no convincing evidence to prove it. Lot's of vague assertions by lots of people, but nothing specific, and nothing apparent from looking inside the jackets. Now I could be wrong, but I'm going to need some specific evidence, not just an assumption...
    Bump. Jon.
     
  14. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    A. Harris, how do you recognize the handstitching in the lapels? By the irregularity, or by the lack of "loops." The presence of loops is a dead give away that it's maching padded, of course. The basted Brioni in Neiman Marcus does not have loops and looks every bit handstitched.

    But more importantly, I found a cheap, old Polo Blue Label sportcoat at a consignment shop today. These were the ones made in America back in the early 1990s -- by H. Freeman I think (but I could be wrong). A fully canvassed sportcoat (and, no, the modern Blue Label is not fully canvassed) and I opted to cut it open. The lapels were machine padded -- the loops were a dead giveaway, as was the inferior thread (looked more like fishing lures than thread.). There was no sign of any fusing anywhere in the suit. Like I said, there was cotton "tape" at the seams -- it was stitched in -- and then the canvas was stitched the to the tape. No fusing in the collar, in the placket, on the lower parts of the jacket. Nothing.

    This sportcoat could not have cost very much at retail -- certainly no more than a Golden Fleece would have -- and it was definitely not made by Oxxford. The fact that it had not one speck of fusing I think pretty much refutes the claims made in this thread. I would take pictures, but it's really not worth the trouble.
     
  15. darkoak

    darkoak Senior member

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    Can someone post some pics to illustrate the "loops" and other giveaway signs of machine paddings for us newbies? i have no clue what you guys are talking about otherwise. Thx.
     
  16. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Look at the inside bottom of your suit pants hem.  See how the hem is stiched with a "loop" stitch?  That's basically what it looks like.
     
  17. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Without opening up the coat I haven't been able to tell conclusively, but cut it open and it's obvious - the"looped" stitches you describe give it away.
     
  18. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Keep in mind that the only way you're ever going to see this is to cut a suit open, or to see an unfinished suit on a tailor's dummy. On a finished suit, all this stuff is completely hidden.
     

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