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Question on canvase & lapels

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by MilanoStyle, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Senior member

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    1. What is basted lapels?

    2. Do all full front canvased suits have basted lapels? or Can a canvased suit be constructed without basted lapels?

    3. Are there ways to tell quality of a canvase in a suit?
     


  2. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    (1) I think this is just another way of referring to lapels with stitched canvas padding as opposed to fusing.

    (2) All full canvas suits will have canvassed lapels; but not all suits with canvassed lapels will be fully canvassed. Get it?

    (3) Aside from tearing open the guts? I don't know. I do know that my best suits are Oxxford and Purple Label, and those have obviously very light and flexible canvasses inside. You can tell that they will mold to your chest when you put the jacket on. This is the best way I know of telling the quality of the canvas.
     


  3. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    A real tailor will no doubt come along and correct me, but if my info is good:

    A basting stitch is just a long, loose straight stitch. Thus a basted lapel is one with canvas loosely stitched into it to allow for some movement. I can imagine a cheaper suit having the canvas just put in there and topstitched, although now of course they would probably just fuse it and have done. I assume all makers that use canvas in lapels call them hand-basted now. The difference will lie in the amount of effort that is put into the basting. Look under the lapel of an Oxxford and see the hundreds if not thousands of stitches that ever so slightly change the orientation of the canvas w/r/t/ the outer fabric, in order to engineer a perfect rolled lapel. Whereas if a less competent tailor went at it, he might baste in the canvas with no regard as the effect his stitching had on the final shape of the lapel, but he could still call it hand-basted.
     


  4. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    To the best of my knowledge, "basting" refers to the process of stitching a garment together with cheap, white cotton thread. Â The purpose of doing so is to allow the customer to try on the garment before it is made. Â That way all the pieces can be taken apart, adjustmens to the fit can be made, and catestrophic errors (if any) can be corrected. Â Once the tailor is satisfied that the pattern and fit are correct, he will then stitch the suit together into its near-final form, using silk thread that closely reflects the color of the cloth, and add the lining, etc. I sometimes see "basting" used to refer to the process of hand-sewing the canvas to the lapels and chest of a jacket. Â I don't know if this is correct or not. Â I don't hear it used in this sense much by actual tailors. j is right that the best makers use a hell of a lot of stitches to attach the canvas to the lapel. Â At the very top level, they will have a precise pattern of alternation, sort of like this: / / / / / / /\\
     


  5. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Senior member

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    Should a canvase in a lapel should move independently like canvase in a body of the suit? In another words, should canvas in a lapel 'tightly' stitched on bottom fabric of the lapel?

    Thanks
     


  6. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    NO. It should hold its place on the underside of the lapel. The top layer of fabric obviously moves freely, since it is not stitched with any canvas. But the underside should be "one" with the canvas. But the point about the canvas being stitched with the propr tension is a good one.
     


  7. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Well, yes and no.  The purpose of all those hundreds of stitches is really twofold:

    1) By their sheer numbers, they ensure that the canvas stays closely attached from the top through the middle to the bottom, and from side to side;

    2) Yet, because the canvas is "attached" only at the precise points where the thread goes through the cloth, the canvas has something of a "life of its own" apart from the suit cloth.  A fully canvassed jacket appears more "fluid" and "alive."  (Sorry for the imprecision; I'm sure someone can do better.)  Also, that nice roll to the lapel called "belly" can is much better achieved with canvas.  Fused lapels are almost always too stiff.
     


  8. hermes

    hermes Senior member

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    am i correct in understanding that a canvas lapel but a fused chest is called 'half canvassed'?
     


  9. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Yes, this is of course exactly right. The front (or top) of the lapel is not attached to the canvas at all, not by one stitch. The botton or underside is the one connected to all the stitches.
     


  10. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Senior member

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    Ok. This is good so far. My limited observation seemed to be right then (?)

    Last night i examed underside of Zegna lapel. the bottom fabric was attached to canvas. It was tightly attatched so that I could not pull the fabric away from the canvas, but I could find some small spots where I could do 'pinch'. On my Brioni, not even pinch was possible. Is it safe say that this is physical example of Brioni have more stitching on lapel than Zegna thus Brioni is better made suit than Zegna?

    Thanks. and I'll shut up now..
     


  11. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Hermes, you are correct. There is a lot of misinformation on this score, such as that half-canvas refers to when the chest area does not have fusing on it but the bottom does. This is nonsense. Half canvassed suit have a fused body and canvassed lapels. I find that they are much better than fully fused, but far inferior to fully canvassed.
     


  12. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Everyone listen to Manton. On this subject, and on the subject of terminology in tailored clothing, I've never known him to be in error. Not once.
     


  13. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Senior member

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  14. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    [​IMG] Geez, I'm blushing. Thanks.
     


  15. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Probably. That is the most likely explanation, at any rate. I would not be surprised. Although I am not a fan of the silhouette, Brioni makes a hell of a good product.
     


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