Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by MilanoStyle, Mar 25, 2005.
fusing is not synonymous with handwork
I know that a suit doesn't have to be entirely hand made for it to have no fusing. It's just that you don't understand that fusing is ubiquitous technique used in suit construction. There is a myth on this board that fusing=bad, which isn't true. It seems that you like to post about what you believe to be true, rather than actually knowing what's true.
I disagree with this. Â First of all, it's not a sewing machine, strictly speaking. Â Yes, it's a machine that sews. Â But the ones I have seen were not typical sewing machines, but special ones designed specifically to pad-stitch canvas quickly on mass-produced tailored garments. Â They are apparently quite expensive.
But that's a quibble. Â I definitely disagree that the machines do it as well as skilled hands. Â The lapels of a machine-padded coat are too stiff and too flat, to my eyes (and fingertips). Â It takes hand-work to achieve the right curvature to the roll. Â The collar can be machine-padded without much loss, though the best tailors still do it by hand anyway.
Correct. The reason why hand stitching is better than machine is because the tension of the stitch must be different in certain areas. Though hand stitching will look a bit crooked the the eye, it is more prized because of this reason.
The reason why Kiton and Brioni RTW retail for $5K is because of the hand rolled lapel. I'm sure Manton could go into a diatribe on the process of hand stitching, then ironing to get the right roll, and what that means to a garment. This is where the game of quality is won and lost. Outside of fabrics, work in this area determines the price of a suit.
the question remains, (and I'm asking because I am interested, not necessarily becuase I think you are full of it) where this supposed fusing is on, say, Brioni, if it isn't in the lapels or the chest. What do you mean by a "little" fusing?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So why would anyone suspect Brioni uses fusing?
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