Intro To Tailoring: The Fabric

Gentlemen let’s talk fabrics. The key ingredient to a long-lasting, comfortable and overall great suit. There are a variety of factors which must be considered and will influence the final fabric choice. The first and most obvious query is what the suit is being used for as this will alter the desired colour and weight. If the suit is for for work than consider your daily routine and what your occupation demands. For example if you are a real estate agent who is in and out of the car and office all day then a finer fabric won’t be suitable as it won’t wear very well. On the other hand if you are exposed to the climate then you want a fabric that’s breathable.

Talk with us and let us know where you plan on wearing your suit. We can then help find a fabric with the right colour, pattern, and weight for you and your budget. There are thousands of fabrics we can source for you, however to give you an idea of the the special few we like to work with I have provided a brief overview below.

Wool

Wool is the most commonly used fabric in tailoring, and for good reason. Its durable, comfortable and can be blended in a multitude of different ways making it perfect for suiting. We generally use Merino Wool from a sheep however many types are available such as Cashmere, which comes from a Kashmir Goat.

We’ve all heard of ‘super wools’ and their thread count of 100 or 130, and so on. This number effectively refers to the number of times the wool is twisted when created. The more times it is twisted generally the finer, softer and more breathable the fabric becomes, however the price usually reflects the extra cost in labour. For anyone looking for a suit for work I would recommend not exceeding a threat count of 140 as it will wear  quite quickly especially around the crotch.

Worsted Wool is the process where the threads are combed before being spun, leaving longer and more durable fabrics. This method produces those fabrics such as flannel, tweed, gabardine and fresco cloths which you may know for being thick and great for colder climates.

 

Wool Silk Blend

A blended fabric of Wool and Silk is a great option for a more formal suit such as a tuxedo or for a wedding suit. For example a fabric comprised of 70% Silk and 30% Wool gives the suit a luxurious shine and is extremely soft.

 

Linen

I love linen. It represents summer and relaxation, as well as providing a casual, unstructured look. It also breathes extremely well as it has a high air permeability. Linen has a molecular structure so it can absorb as much as one fifth of its weight before feeling damp. The downfall of linen is that it creases very easily and although this makes for a unique unstructured look, it isn’t appropriate for formal occasions such as work commitments. We generally recommend linen for summer jackets as it allows your body to breathe and suits more relaxed occasions.

 

Cotton

Cotton like linen is a natural fabric which is breathable and absorbs water without becoming damp. It also doesn’t drape well so needs more care to keep the creases away. The biggest difference between the two would be style or the occasion you wear it. Linen is generally more casual whereas cotton is smoother and can be a good alternative to wool. Let us know what you plan on using the garment for and we can discuss which may  suit the occasion and wear better.

 

If you want to chat fabrics further come for a whisky and have a look through our mountain of swatch books.

– Rami Mikhael, Head Tailor of The Bespoke Corner.