Unfunded Liabilities: a/k/a The Cloth Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. Grammaton Cleric

    Grammaton Cleric Senior member

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    Cheaper. Smith Woolen's Blue Riband (11oz.) is about 65 gbp direct from the mill.
     
  2. TheTukker

    TheTukker Senior member

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    Thought so, but can't understand why anyone is longing for English weather.
     
  3. yywwyy

    yywwyy Senior member

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    Can you guys share with me some of your favorite or go-to online sources for cloths?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  4. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Did you completely miss the Hegemony of Lesser thread?
     
  5. yywwyy

    yywwyy Senior member

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    Positively so! I'm just getting into bespoke, and I haven't researched very much about cloths other than rummaging through this thread.
     
  6. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    There's a search function at the top of this thread. If you do a search for ".com", you'll pull up most of the links, many of which will be to places that sell cloth. It'll probably pull up a ton of posts, but you'll soon notice that most of them link to the same five or so places.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  7. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    A couple of questions, can somebody recommend me some a good heavy serge, or gaberdine? ~13-14 oz Also, what is the difference between serge and gab? They kind of look the same to me.
     
  8. zalb916

    zalb916 Senior member

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    I think very good advice for someone just getting into bespoke is to not source your own fabric. Use your tailor's selection. A lot of people starting the bespoke process are cost conscious and think that sourcing their own fabric will save them money. It really is minimal savings, if any, and it's fraught with potential peril. Also, for newcomers to bespoke, it often becomes analogous to people buying RTW on sale. You'll find discount cloth that's not exactly what you want, but it's cheaper. All of a sudden, you've got a bespoke suit in the not quite right shade of blue, the slightly too heavy for spring wool, or a little too ugly plaid.

    Your tailor can find you the fabric that you need, particularly when you're talking about the basic stuff. Finding your own cloth takes some knowledge that just comes from experience with the process. I'm not entirely discounting sourcing your own stuff. I've done it successfully and have posted several examples in this thread. There are also some fabrics that your tailor may not have access to that you do. People have found some great discontinued stuff at places like Tip Top, and I've bought some Golden Bale on ebay for a great price. However, I've also struck out and had to resell or just chalked it up as a loss.

    The web sites for the sources you are seeking probably won't give you anything that your tailor can't already give you.
     
  9. coolpapa

    coolpapa Senior member

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    This is great advice.
     
  10. whnay.

    whnay. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Probably some of the best advice I've ever read since being on the forum. Good job z.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
  11. Gruto

    Gruto Senior member

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    Very good advice from zbromer.

    Later in your bespoke life, bringing cloth to the tailor, which you want to have made up in a certain way, is more fun and rewarding than just picking from the tailor's cloth books.
     
  12. gopherblue

    gopherblue Senior member

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    Excellent advice--I concur.

    I can testify to this--skip CMT and focus on fit and quality. When I first started down the slippery slope of MTM/bespoke, I read with relish the tales told herein about trips to Tip Top in Queens. Eager to join the ranks of the enlightened, I set out to visit Tip Top. It did not end well...ok, it wasn't an unmitigated disaster, but I digress. One must absolutely have the wisdom and knowledge to make such a foray worthwhile. I did not. I settled on a bargain jacket length of grey 100% cashmere with blue windowpane. 100%! Cashmere! Grey! With a subtle blue windowpane! At under $50 per yard!

    Bingo. It pills. Like an angora sweater.

    Sigh. But I still love that sportcoat. Fuzzy shoulders, arms, back and all.
     
  13. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Have a stack of cloth in the workroom that clients brought in that wouldn't tailor well, is poor quality, wouldn't wear well or wrong type of cloth for their needs and they leave it with me. Use it to cut fitting sleeves or use as the equivalent of a muslin fitting.

    Have a list of testimonials of "Why are the the cloths I get from you better than the ones I bought?"
     
  14. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Tip Top or equivalent is false economy unless one is as knowledgeable as, say, Manton about what to look for. In most places where quality bespoke clothing are being made, the cost of cloth is a small part of the total. Yea you might save a few bucks here and there but the risk of getting it wrong is very high. If you find some old Woodhouse or old Lesser's, by all means buy them if it is what you want and the price is right. More often than not, people buy what they did not set out for when visiting a place like Tip Top as they are driven by "good deals". Best to stick with what you really want, and the tried and tested books for the basics, and if you do want something special, look out for them on London Lounge or the like.
     
  15. Gruto

    Gruto Senior member

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    However, we should not dismiss the special joy and quality of finding a suit or jacket in a lovely lenght of cloth instead finding an appropriate piece of cloth for a jacket or suit we have in mind ... I think this thread demonstrates it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012

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