my visit to Napoli & Mina @ Napoli Su Misura

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by medtech_expat, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Many problems with shirts can be repaired easily. Like that fell stitching on the sleeve caps could be replaced with a machine stitch very easily, assuming the thing wasn't allowed to unravel completely. Even then it wouldn't be impossible; the most time consuming part would be refolding the seam.

    But such a repair would not replicate the original workmanship or functionality of the handstitching. Even Kabbaz has admitted that it is exceptionally difficult to get an armhole as soft or flexible using a machine (naturally, of course, he is one of the few able to).
     
  2. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    The sleeve attachment is by far the weakest seam on the shirt. "Functionality" there is keeping the sleeve attached, which the machine-sewn seam is unquestionably better at. Yeah, two rows of tight stitching makes the seam stiffer--but who cares? Unless you sit there rolling the seam between your fingers you'll never notice the difference.

    It's not like closing the seam with a blind stitch is some kind of magic, anyway. It's like hemming pants, isn't it? I bet half the housewives over 50 could do it. Hell, you could probably do it on a household sewing machine and get a similar appearance.
     
  3. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    The sleeve attachment is by far the weakest seam on the shirt. "Functionality" there is keeping the sleeve attached, which the machine-sewn seam is unquestionably better at. Yeah, two rows of tight stitching makes the seam stiffer--but who cares? Unless you sit there rolling the seam between your fingers you'll never notice the difference.

    It's not like closing the seam with a blind stitch is some kind of magic, anyway. It's like hemming pants, isn't it? I bet half the housewives over 50 could do it. Hell, you could probably do it on a household sewing machine and get a similar appearance.


    But the point isn't merely to put together a shirt that stays intact. Yes, machine stitching is stronger, but a machine-stitched collar and machine-attached sleeve do not feel as nice. You may think the difference is marginal, but that marginal difference is precisely why many buy a handsewn shirt to begin with.
     
  4. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Many problems with shirts can be repaired easily. Like that fell stitching on the sleeve caps could be replaced with a machine stitch very easily, assuming the thing wasn't allowed to unravel completely. Even then it wouldn't be impossible; the most time consuming part would be refolding the seam.

    Plus, I don't know about you guys, but I always save enough fabric to replace the cuffs and (usually) the collar of a new shirt. Ask for it--the maker has no good reason to say no.


    I would fix it myself with a needle and thread if it was mine.

    Replacing cuffs and collars doesn't seem to be a good option for myself because when I get around to needing new ones the color of the body of the shirt would have changed slightly. It is particularly noticeable because I mostly wear white shirts. This means I would have a greyish, yellowish body with a glowing contrast collar and cuffs. Not a good look.

    Question:


    Does having a machine stitched collar and sleeve change the way the shirt shrinks and stretches with wear and washing ? Also, does the size seem to change with wear and all? For example, I would think the sleeves would tend to elongate and such more throughout the day giving you a bit more cuff at the wrist than you normally would.
     
  5. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    t a machine-stitched collar and machine-attached sleeve do not feel as nice.

    How many people who make this claim have actually had two identical shirts made, one sewn by hand and one sewn by machine and worn them without knowing which was which? This would seem, to me, to be the only way of really knowing if there is validity in this statement; the perceived comfort when wearing a hand-sewn shirt could be attributed to many other things, notably proper fit, better cloth etc. How much is your belief that a hand-sewn seam should be more comfortable affecting your perception of its comfort?
     
  6. mmkn

    mmkn Senior member

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    Third option.

    Of course. I know of folks like these. They don't go to the makers, the makers come to them. They order fifty suits - just for their summer home.

    They also don't have the same sensitivity to the product and appreciation of the skills it takes to create what they are wearing - as folks do here.

    machine-washed in warm water once a week with regular Tide detergent, and hung dry.

    Interesting that this is what Alex also recommended. True, he doesn't own the recipe, but I remember him writing about trying all the various detergents out there and powder Tide works best.

    I'm just saying . . . the true handmade tradition comes from a time where hand sewing and making your own chemise was normal culture. That, and hand washing. I suppose a machine gentle cycle wash with the shirt in a delicates bag would simulate the same thing.


    - M
     
  7. Slewfoot

    Slewfoot Senior member

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    When shirts die, they die...that's when you get a new one.
    This is probably the healthiest attitude towards the issue I've ever seen.
    Except, when you're paying several hundred euros per shirt, it's not an attitude many can afford.
    It's these reasons that I can't really justify spending more than $100 per shirt. I view shirts as somewhat disposable especially in my line of work where way too many shirts have had drops of red wine literally attack them.
     
  8. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It's these reasons that I can't really justify spending more than $100 per shirt. I view shirts as somewhat disposable especially in my line of work where way too many shirts have had drops of red wine literally attack them.

    I agree with this. I used to get custom shirts, but I feel like they go in little time as cotton does, washing discolors and changes the shape. They are closer to my body and therefore more prone to interferring with subtle changes in my body and ultimately inexpensive to tailor. Since I am not a flowery shirt guy and mostly stick with white I don't bother much anymore with super lux shirts. I have done it and I don't think the extra money is well spent or goes very far in the long run compared to getting high end suits, shoes, ties and especially my enjoyment.
     
  9. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    How many people who make this claim have actually had two identical shirts made, one sewn by hand and one sewn by machine and worn them without knowing which was which? This would seem, to me, to be the only way of really knowing if there is validity in this statement; the perceived comfort when wearing a hand-sewn shirt could be attributed to many other things, notably proper fit, better cloth etc. How much is your belief that a hand-sewn seam should be more comfortable affecting your perception of its comfort?

    This is a very fair point. All I can say is that I've worn many different shirts--RTW, MTM, bespoke--with varying degrees of handsewing and across a wide price spectrum, and a handsewn sleeve attachment seems to consistently feel nicer. It also looks better to my eye. It seems to me that the tension of machine stitching keeps armholes a bit tauter all around, thereby preventing them from conforming to my shoulders quite the same.

    Of course, I'd easily pick a well-made, well-fitting machine-sewn shirt made from better cloth over a handsewn shirt that is made worse out of worse fabric that fits worse. But I certainly never suggested the difference between hand and machine stitching was anything more than marginal from most perspectives.

    Interesting that this is what Alex also recommended. True, he doesn't own the recipe, but I remember him writing about trying all the various detergents out there and powder Tide works best.

    I'm just saying . . . the true handmade tradition comes from a time where hand sewing and making your own chemise was normal culture. That, and hand washing. I suppose a machine gentle cycle wash with the shirt in a delicates bag would simulate the same thing.


    I do remember his guidance on washing shirts. I even went out and bought 50 bars of laundry soap bars from his recommended, and now defunct, maker. However, we don't use powder detergent and we no longer scrub with the bars. My wife just Shouts the collars and cuffs, throws the shirts in lingerie bags, and washes them with everything else. No special treatment.

    The second part of your comment also comes straight from Kabbaz. It's a compelling story, but it does not match reality. In reality, my handsewn shirts hold up perfectly fine under regular washing by machine--they have outlasted several of my U.S.-made Brooks OCBDs, which are very sturdy shirts themselves. That firsthand experience ought to be worth more than any tale told by any shirtmaker, no matter what he charges per shirt.

    It's these reasons that I can't really justify spending more than $100 per shirt. I view shirts as somewhat disposable especially in my line of work where way too many shirts have had drops of red wine literally attack them.

    I can sort of understand this, but my shirts have been a decent investment (as far as clothing goes) and remain stain-free.
     
  10. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    Of course. I know of folks like these. They don't go to the makers, the makers come to them. They order fifty suits - just for their summer home.


    - M


    Did you run into them at Kabbaz's place? I have heard he has many many clients like this.
     
  11. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    I have heard he has many many clients like this.

    From Kabbaz?
     
  12. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It seems that the tension of machine-stitches tends to keep the armhole a bit tauter all around, thereby preventing it from conforming to my shoulders quite the same.

    I concede that it makes sense in theory, but I have been surprised in the past when things had actually been put to the test. Maybe it's time I made myself a pair of shirts...


    , my handsewn shirts hold up perfectly fine under regular washing by machine--

    That would depend on the type of hand sewing. The examples posted here show a fine prick trough to the right side; this is much more solid than the completely invisible stitch that is used at Hermès, for example. In fact, when I asked the woman who was doing the armhole finishing whether she thought this kind of stitch would hold up to machine washing she nearly spat at me- of course one would not subject such a work of art to the indignity of a washing machine, and no, she did not think it would hold but a stronger stitch would be visible from the right side and this would look sloppy, in her estimation.
     
  13. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    From Kabbaz?

    Well, from his posts on AAAC detailing his uber-hitter clients. I believe you've read those.
     
  14. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Well, from his posts on AAAC detailing his uber-hitter clients. I believe you've read those.

    I don't think any of Kabbaz's clients are as uber hitting as Kabbaz himself.
     
  15. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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