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The Hong Kong BaoTou Tailors and Fabric Shops for CMT Thread

dukenukem4ever

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People who go to Baotou CMT, like myself, obviously I feel are more in it for the value proposition - better pricing by cutting out the middleman (tailor shops). I'm more of a "value" kind of guy. I don't think I would consider fabric hitting the 1k HKD and up per yard to make a CMT suit.

If I absolutely didn't care about how much to spend, then I wouldn't bother trekking around town to get fabrics, I'd just commission a suit at a bespoke shop or have them come to me instead haha... but alas that's not my world.
 

shirtingfantasy

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low price Zegna and Loro Piana = wasting time!

Good quality Zegna fabrics cost over $2k/$3k per yard, there are extra workmanship charge for expensive fabrics, that's why total price of over $11k/14k/$ is expected. Retailers charge over $60k for it.
By good quality Zegna you refer to the really great 13milmil and 12 milmil. From the stockist Hang Kong they cost HKD 4000 to HKD 5000 per yard. These fabric are at the supreme level not many Mirador Sifus - save for those who work for the best shops - have handled.

Just want to add that if one wants a pure cashmere jacket, then the fabric cost is easily > HKD 1000 per yard. I would like to echo @PekingRoadHK by saying that “pure cashmere” at less than around HKD 700-800 is also “waste of time”. The most economical cashmere fabric one can source locally would be some China cashmere in SSP (HKD 300-400 per yard), but, don’t waste your time, cashmere only starts to become usable if you buy proper stuff from 德泰 (Columbo cashmere coatings, the brand used by SuitSupply) and Samuel Chen 森耀行 (vintage VBC pure cashmere jacketing), and the price is about HKD 1000-1500 per yard.

Regarding good places to source fabric, I have some additional suggestions for the average consumer.

1. eBay is a good place to get some mid-tier stuff like Dormemil and Charles Clayton. A few British sellers (e.g. the shops British Fabrics and Royal Textiles, yes, tacky names always have some dead stock on sale, and you get very, very usable fabric for HKD 300-400 per metre - there is no need to blindly follow KOLs and buy from W Bill, Scabal, Harrison’s etc

2. I like Zegna fabric, but 80% of my Zegna fabric isn’t bought locally as the local dealer’s opening hours isn’t flexible enough for me. Usually I purchase them from Tessin Italy, a small webshop which stocks a lot of interesting brands like Solbiati, Atelier Romentino etc. Their normal price (ex-VAT) is already similar to Hang Kong and if you choose from their last length discounts sometimes you get really wonderful deals. I still remember a beautiful “premium cashmere” jacketing purchased by my friend at around HKD 2000 per metre - expensive, but possibly the best cashmere you can buy, as Zegna “premium cashmere” is the same grade as Loro Piana “baby cashmere”.

3. Don’t waste your time on Western Market. Mark Cho and other big buyers have already bought all the usable vintage stuff and what is left is only vintage-look rubbish. If you want to wear “superfine 200s, cashmere, mink and silk” (the usual fake composition on the selvedge of those vintage unbranded fabric) that feels like sandpaper, by all means, go for it... when I last visited their stock level of even these vintage crap has dropped, and they actually sourced Korean polyester-wool mix and sell to tourists at HKD 300-500 per yard...
 

shirtingfantasy

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People who go to Baotou CMT, like myself, obviously I feel are more in it for the value proposition - better pricing by cutting out the middleman (tailor shops). I'm more of a "value" kind of guy. I don't think I would consider fabric hitting the 1k HKD and up per yard to make a CMT suit.

If I absolutely didn't care about how much to spend, then I wouldn't bother trekking around town to get fabrics, I'd just commission a suit at a bespoke shop or have them come to me instead haha... but alas that's not my world.
Do try, it opens up a new world...

Many people didn’t know pure cotton shirt fabric can feel as smooth as silk and is still strong enough to wash in a washing machine - a prime example would be the DJA range under Albini which you can also buy from the local agent. Expensive? Yes. But I wear my shirts for 4-5 years (I use soap to carefully treat collar and cuffs, then machine wash in Ariel detergents), so I think the enjoyment is long-term.

Suiting fabric above HKD 1000 per yard can be a waste of money given how quickly a suit can wear down. Jacketing fabric at HKD 2000 or even HKD 3000 I would consider still rather reasonable - again, provided you take good care of your jacket and make a sensibly timeless style...
 

Nara_Deer

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my suggestion:
1) https://www.harrisonsburley.net/ , they offer brand name fabrics for low price.

2) check brand name shops, they have good discount sometime.
over 50% off is possible on famous British brands.
Thanks for introducing Burley, fabrics are very economical even when a delivery costs to HK has to be charged.

Wanted to do a herringbone tweed doubled breasted odd jacket or overcoat. Which color would you go for apart from the usual greys?
 
Last edited:

Nara_Deer

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It's easy to compare with the average market price. When we see something extra expensive comparing to similar things, it tells us to walk away.

Average market price for full canvas CMT (HK sifu cutting and fitting in HK, made in China) = HK$2.xk.
When we see HK$3.2k / HK$3.3k , that's expensive, but still acceptable. Above HK$3.5k, I suggest consumers to walk away.

Average market price for full canvas CMT (HK sifu cutting and fitting in HK, made in HK) = HK$3.xk. This price should include high grade canvas.
When we see above HK$4k, we go to someplace else. No doubt about it.

With this average price suggestion and comparison, and as I have suggested how to pick the right BaoTou, how bad can it be?

From what I see, BaoTou can't mark up too much, they don't offer fabric, they charge workmanship only. When we see a BaoTou offering fabric, it's a tailor shop. That's a good place to look at many fabrics and compare fabrics in one place, and they might mark up on workmanship or fabrics or both, this is an extra service.

I don't see a point for any consumer to make an order when a Mirador Baotou offers any price above HK$4k CMT full canvas. We walk away, this is consumer decision.

In most case, I don't accept offers above HK$3k CMT full canvas, I don't care it's made in HK or China. This is my acceptable price.
Thanks again for providing a benchmark, this is useful for consumers like me where budget matters.

Speaking of construction, I made a half canvas flannel suit before CNY, it was quite okay. Lots of people have mentioned the difference between full and half canvas construction, but from your point of view, does the upgrade contributes significantly to the aesthetic of the jacket? Also, if considering the weight of the fabrics, is it true that heavier fabrics already create fuller volume and drape, a full canvas would not have that much advantages over half canvas?

Hope you can share your experiences.
 

Memo

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Good quality Zegna fabrics cost over $2k/$3k per yard, there are extra workmanship charge for expensive fabrics, that's why total price of over $11k/14k/$ is expected. Retailers charge over $60k for it.
@PekingRoadHK Do you know why is it the case that a tailor needs to charge more for high value fabric?
By good quality Zegna you refer to the really great 13milmil and 12 milmil. From the stockist Hang Kong they cost HKD 4000 to HKD 5000 per yard. These fabric are at the supreme level not many Mirador Sifus - save for those who work for the best shops - have handled.

Just want to add that if one wants a pure cashmere jacket, then the fabric cost is easily > HKD 1000 per yard. I would like to echo @PekingRoadHK by saying that “pure cashmere” at less than around HKD 700-800 is also “waste of time”. The most economical cashmere fabric one can source locally would be some China cashmere in SSP (HKD 300-400 per yard), but, don’t waste your time, cashmere only starts to become usable if you buy proper stuff from 德泰 (Columbo cashmere coatings, the brand used by SuitSupply) and Samuel Chen 森耀行 (vintage VBC pure cashmere jacketing), and the price is about HKD 1000-1500 per yard.

Regarding good places to source fabric, I have some additional suggestions for the average consumer.

1. eBay is a good place to get some mid-tier stuff like Dormemil and Charles Clayton. A few British sellers (e.g. the shops British Fabrics and Royal Textiles, yes, tacky names always have some dead stock on sale, and you get very, very usable fabric for HKD 300-400 per metre - there is no need to blindly follow KOLs and buy from W Bill, Scabal, Harrison’s etc

2. I like Zegna fabric, but 80% of my Zegna fabric isn’t bought locally as the local dealer’s opening hours isn’t flexible enough for me. Usually I purchase them from Tessin Italy, a small webshop which stocks a lot of interesting brands like Solbiati, Atelier Romentino etc. Their normal price (ex-VAT) is already similar to Hang Kong and if you choose from their last length discounts sometimes you get really wonderful deals. I still remember a beautiful “premium cashmere” jacketing purchased by my friend at around HKD 2000 per metre - expensive, but possibly the best cashmere you can buy, as Zegna “premium cashmere” is the same grade as Loro Piana “baby cashmere”.

3. Don’t waste your time on Western Market. Mark Cho and other big buyers have already bought all the usable vintage stuff and what is left is only vintage-look rubbish. If you want to wear “superfine 200s, cashmere, mink and silk” (the usual fake composition on the selvedge of those vintage unbranded fabric) that feels like sandpaper, by all means, go for it... when I last visited their stock level of even these vintage crap has dropped, and they actually sourced Korean polyester-wool mix and sell to tourists at HKD 300-500 per yard...
@shirtingfantasy I have bought from Tessin before and what I didn’t understand is why the Monti shirtings never come with branded tags.

Separately, where can one source Carlo Riva shirtings online, and what’s the price range generally?
 

thesupremegrape

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How does one you about choosing a sifu? How can I tell what their skill level is like? Also are CMT suits bespoke or MTM?
 

thesupremegrape

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Thanks again for providing a benchmark, this is useful for consumers like me where budget matters.

Speaking of construction, I made a half canvas flannel suit before CNY, it was quite okay. Lots of people have mentioned the difference between full and half canvas construction, but from your point of view, does the upgrade contributes significantly to the aesthetic of the jacket? Also, if considering the weight of the fabrics, is it true that heavier fabrics already create fuller volume and drape, a full canvas would not have that much advantages over half canvas?

Hope you can share your experiences.
Anyone mind sharing photos of their suits? Would love to see how they turned out.
 

PekingRoadHK

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@dukenukem4ever

these are good reference for Baotou customers
#683 explained how we should compare the average market price for CMT
#684 explained target fabric cost for average end users
#633 #634 #635 tell how to pick the right fabrics!

@shirtingfantasy
$5k per yard, really out of my budget! I have seen retailers charging $90k for a suit with high grade fabrics. Not limited to Zegna and Loro Piana, many famous brands are offering fabrics for over $2k/$3k per yard, I am sure most casual consumers will walk away from out budget deals.

An alternative of pure cashmere is cashmere wool for a few hundred per yard, also available at Kwong Hing, not limited to Samuel Chen, Loo’s Trading, and long wear. For real pure cashmere, they cost over $1.5k per yard, available at the above shops and K.C. Lee.

I will update my blog this weekend. Please update me and provide more connections for HK consumers to get good deals. Please tell me things and contacts I have missed:
1) Baotou tailors for suit and shirt, not limited to Mirador, can be Mongkok, SSP, TST, anywhere in HK
2) fabric shops for suit and shirt, anywhere in HK

@Nara_Deer
My blog suggested a few more online shops, Burley is on my top list, there are a few more.

For odd jacket or overcoat if not grey or blue, I go for mid brown, not too dark and not too light.

You will see the value of full canvas in long term.

@thesupremegrape
not limited to Mirador Mansion TST, read from #1.
construction: fused, half canvas, full canvas
fabric: China fabric, Italian fabric, British fabric
Everyone has different taste and needs, there is no guarantee which one best for everyone. what do you need?
To go Baotou and fabric shops, you need to know what you want, they don't tell you what you want.
Go tailor shops, sales people tell you what you want. ask them your same questions.

You want to see end products of BaoTou, there are too many end products , suits and shirts hanging in their Mirador workshops. You can talk to them, see how they work, they are there everyday.

@Memo
from my understanding, no matter tailor shops or baotou, they pay more attention to fabrics that cost over $1k per yard , they consider that higher risk, they make cutting mistake , they pay for it. they charge something extra for the handling fee.
 
Last edited:

Nara_Deer

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Thoughts on my First CMT Suit

Price Paid (Suit + Fabrics): Less than HK$3000
Construction: Half Canvas
Fabrics: VBC Wollen Flannel 340gsm
Photos: https://ibb.co/album/jq83Aa

As its my first attempt at Mirador (my 2nd proper MTM suit), I opt for a more introductory Guangdong craftsmanship Sifu. He carries a few fabrics but I insisted that I want to get my own. He did 1 fitting. The suit was ready in 2 weeks. Milanese boutonniere would cost HK$150 each so I opted out, which I later regretted because the buttonholes just look bad. Sifu was patient, services was fine - most of what I requested have been achieved. Here are some points that might be worth sharing.

Back length - I am 5"6. Sifu recommended a 27' jacket, this is mostly due to my height. I once been to a tailor shop and the sales recommended me 29" or more to achieve a more classical British jacket style, with an elongated silhouette that would ultimately benefit my body shape. But this sifu thinks this will cause my legs to look over shortened. This was actually similar to what I usually hear from tailor shops / generic online materials before. But I was quite unhappy with the over shortened length of some of the jackets that I owned, I told Sifu to go for 28.5". The final product was 28". I regretted because I think the outcome is not perfect. 29" or even 30" would be suitable for a double breasted jacket even though it may shorten my legs. As I feel that it simply require more space for the 6 buttons on the jacket to achieve a better ratio. The missing 0.5" is a little regret.

Shoulder - lightly padded shoulder is much more suitable for my figure. I had moderately padded jackets and this one is simply more natural. I had a feeling that this Sifu is simple not used to handling Spalla Camicia (extra cost), so I just opt for a standard structure.

Vents - lots of people believe vents should open up to the seam of the pockets. I think the vent on this jacket is too short.

Trousers - It is a pair of high waisted trousers with inward pleats, 2" cuffs and 2" waistband. The weight of the fabric makes it drapes nicely. The back is clean and straight. The front is not an absolute perfect, maybe due to the shape of my legs, but I think its just fine. It was pretty tight at the waist when I collected the suit. This is probably due to my extremely "concave bending" back, which makes the back part of the waistband not able to stick close to my back. This may have resulted in a tight feeling at the front of my waist. But after several wear, it became fine.

Weight of fabric - Initially thought it would be too heavy for HK climate. I wore this suit in cooler days ranging between 8-17 degrees Celsius and it was comfortable. In other words, I don't need a heavier overcoat for assumably any winter days in Hong Kong. The fabric is a reliable insulator, as in cold days I felt that my body parts not covered by the suit are simply much colder than the covered parts. And I think when compared with <300gsm flannels, this will drape and resist crease in a slightly better way.

**The photos were purely for the purpose of recording my suit. I did not pay any attention to their aesthetics. Please note that I was wearing an odd trousers in the photos.

A couple of questions in mind: What would this jacket look if its fully canvassed? Would it look better on me if its 29" / 30"?
 

dukenukem4ever

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How does one you about choosing a sifu? How can I tell what their skill level is like? Also are CMT suits bespoke or MTM?
The way I went about it was I went to several sifus, got several suits made, and just stuck with the one I liked most.

Obviously you can go to any of the sifus mentioned in PekingRoad's blog. But he is right when he says can't give you a spot on answer and that you need to know exactly what you want.

What I would do, and I did this for first several trips, bring photos of the suit style you actually want, because cutting is super important. The measurement by the sifu, the cutting by the sifu, that's all very important to the overall aesthetic of your suit, how it will drape on you, how it will look, etc. You want open quarters or more classic quarters? How wide do you want your peak/notch lapels? Gauntlet cuffs? How high or low you want your gorges? Slanted pockets with a ticket one to boot? Barchetta pocket? Kissing buttons? etc. etc. etc.

If you're just starting off, figure out the style you like (browse suit company websites for lookbooks... I just went to Brioni's and Zegna's websites to get some photo inspiration for the sifus to take a look at. And if you can speak Cantonese, then you can discuss in detail how you want your suit cut and how it will look when it's all finished. Take time to discuss with sifu, it's really important. I guess you can also tell a certain aspect / quality of the sifu by how patient he is in discussing with you what you want. But again, familiarize yourself first about suits before going to a sifu, I realized that's huge. They are not tailor shops, they won't just sit down and EXPLAIN and DEFINE stuff for you and give you recommendations. I remember asking for recommendations with a couple of sifus and they straight up just told me "it's whatever you like, whatever you want, just tell me." IF you want people reocmmending stuff to you and giving you advice and tips then That's more of a salesperson's role.
 

thesupremegrape

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The way I went about it was I went to several sifus, got several suits made, and just stuck with the one I liked most.

Obviously you can go to any of the sifus mentioned in PekingRoad's blog. But he is right when he says can't give you a spot on answer and that you need to know exactly what you want.

What I would do, and I did this for first several trips, bring photos of the suit style you actually want, because cutting is super important. The measurement by the sifu, the cutting by the sifu, that's all very important to the overall aesthetic of your suit, how it will drape on you, how it will look, etc. You want open quarters or more classic quarters? How wide do you want your peak/notch lapels? Gauntlet cuffs? How high or low you want your gorges? Slanted pockets with a ticket one to boot? Barchetta pocket? Kissing buttons? etc. etc. etc.

If you're just starting off, figure out the style you like (browse suit company websites for lookbooks... I just went to Brioni's and Zegna's websites to get some photo inspiration for the sifus to take a look at. And if you can speak Cantonese, then you can discuss in detail how you want your suit cut and how it will look when it's all finished. Take time to discuss with sifu, it's really important. I guess you can also tell a certain aspect / quality of the sifu by how patient he is in discussing with you what you want. But again, familiarize yourself first about suits before going to a sifu, I realized that's huge. They are not tailor shops, they won't just sit down and EXPLAIN and DEFINE stuff for you and give you recommendations. I remember asking for recommendations with a couple of sifus and they straight up just told me "it's whatever you like, whatever you want, just tell me." IF you want people reocmmending stuff to you and giving you advice and tips then That's more of a salesperson's role.
I understand, thank you. As you said you had several suits made and stuck with the one you liked the most, did you start of with cheaper fabrics (since if you didn't love the suit it was less money wasted)?
 

Memo

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Thoughts on my First CMT Suit

Price Paid (Suit + Fabrics): Less than HK$3000
Construction: Half Canvas
Fabrics: VBC Wollen Flannel 340gsm
Photos: https://ibb.co/album/jq83Aa

As its my first attempt at Mirador (my 2nd proper MTM suit), I opt for a more introductory Guangdong craftsmanship Sifu. He carries a few fabrics but I insisted that I want to get my own. He did 1 fitting. The suit was ready in 2 weeks. Milanese boutonniere would cost HK$150 each so I opted out, which I later regretted because the buttonholes just look bad. Sifu was patient, services was fine - most of what I requested have been achieved. Here are some points that might be worth sharing.

Back length - I am 5"6. Sifu recommended a 27' jacket, this is mostly due to my height. I once been to a tailor shop and the sales recommended me 29" or more to achieve a more classical British jacket style, with an elongated silhouette that would ultimately benefit my body shape. But this sifu thinks this will cause my legs to look over shortened. This was actually similar to what I usually hear from tailor shops / generic online materials before. But I was quite unhappy with the over shortened length of some of the jackets that I owned, I told Sifu to go for 28.5". The final product was 28". I regretted because I think the outcome is not perfect. 29" or even 30" would be suitable for a double breasted jacket even though it may shorten my legs. As I feel that it simply require more space for the 6 buttons on the jacket to achieve a better ratio. The missing 0.5" is a little regret.

Shoulder - lightly padded shoulder is much more suitable for my figure. I had moderately padded jackets and this one is simply more natural. I had a feeling that this Sifu is simple not used to handling Spalla Camicia (extra cost), so I just opt for a standard structure.

Vents - lots of people believe vents should open up to the seam of the pockets. I think the vent on this jacket is too short.

Trousers - It is a pair of high waisted trousers with inward pleats, 2" cuffs and 2" waistband. The weight of the fabric makes it drapes nicely. The back is clean and straight. The front is not an absolute perfect, maybe due to the shape of my legs, but I think its just fine. It was pretty tight at the waist when I collected the suit. This is probably due to my extremely "concave bending" back, which makes the back part of the waistband not able to stick close to my back. This may have resulted in a tight feeling at the front of my waist. But after several wear, it became fine.

Weight of fabric - Initially thought it would be too heavy for HK climate. I wore this suit in cooler days ranging between 8-17 degrees Celsius and it was comfortable. In other words, I don't need a heavier overcoat for assumably any winter days in Hong Kong. The fabric is a reliable insulator, as in cold days I felt that my body parts not covered by the suit are simply much colder than the covered parts. And I think when compared with <300gsm flannels, this will drape and resist crease in a slightly better way.

**The photos were purely for the purpose of recording my suit. I did not pay any attention to their aesthetics. Please note that I was wearing an odd trousers in the photos.

A couple of questions in mind: What would this jacket look if its fully canvassed? Would it look better on me if its 29" / 30"?
A very solid product, I’d say!
 

thesupremegrape

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Are the tailors willing to tailor an existing suit? What prices can I expect e.g. to take in waist of a full canvas suit?
 

dukenukem4ever

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I understand, thank you. As you said you had several suits made and stuck with the one you liked the most, did you start of with cheaper fabrics (since if you didn't love the suit it was less money wasted)?
Yup, started off with VBC and Giorgio Vallino. Once I found a sifu I liked went up higher. Although with Hung Sifu I stupidly started off with Loro Piana and regret it for all eternity.
 

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