Fabric Guide

Table of contents


 

Navigate by category:
I. Introduction 

II. Main considerations when choosing a fabric

III. Suit fabric types 
              Natural fibers 
              Super 100’s, Super 120’s, What does it mean?
              Plant-Based fibers 
              Synthetic fibers  

IV. Suits patterns 

I. Introduction


 

The following guide’s purpose is to help you understand our fabric offering in order to tailor it better your customer’s needs. The fabric is undeniably the most important element of the suit. If there is a term or fabric you would like added or have any comments, please let us know here.

Through this guide, you will become a fabric expert and learn to:

  1. Understand your consumer’s main considerations when choosing a fabric

  2. Understand suit fiber types

  3. Understanding fabric elements and their quality

  4. Learn to recognize suit fabric patterns

II. Main considerations when choosing a fabric


 

Buying a suit is a big investment.  Customers will want something that will suit them perfectly and will last them a long time. This means that it is important for us to get it right, the first time. Tailoring the fabric choice to your personal consumer’s needs should be a priority. When a customer approaches you for a custom suit, your first questions should be about his expectations. Soon after, they should be about the customer himself. What’s his work? When is he going to wear the suit? Why is he buying it? These questions will help you guide the customer on the right path so that he can choose the perfect fabric for him.

Breathability Of The Fabric

Breathability is the ability of the fabric to allow moisture to permeate through the fabric.
In the summer, we need to avoid overheating and the sweaty back at all costs.
In the winter, we need to avoid the wind breezing through the jacket for a bone-chill. Consider the following when choosing a suit fabric depending on your region or season.

Fabric Softness and hand

Fabric softness and hand is another very important factor as of why we consider that the made-to-measure experience hardly translates digitally and that it is important to go to a store to choose a fabric.

Do you want to deal with itchy suit pants? Deal with a fabric so slippery that you slip off your chair everytime you sit down? Stuck and trapped in an over-stretched jacket that will snap because the fabric doesn’t adapt to your body like you thought it would? Not every fabric is made for everyone - the hand and the properties of a fabric should be one of your biggest preoccupations and your biggest selling point.

Personal Requirements

Seek to understand - not to charm: Ask open ended questions, and let the customer talk. People will be happy to tell you about them - let them unravel to you so you can understand what is best to them.

  1. Is your customer Vegetarian or Vegan?
  2. Does he have an aversion to synthetic fibers?
  3. Does he want to have a low environmental impact?
  4. Does he does not want mixed fibers?
  5. Is the customer intending to lose / gain weight? Is stretch important?
  6. What’s the customer work? Will he need certain features of the suit’s fabric?

III. Suit fabric types


Natural fibers

Worsted Wool

  • Breathes easily
  • Keeps you warm in winter and keeps you fresh in the summer
  • Does not soil easily
  • Resists wrinkling
  • Water resistant
  • It tailors well (Moulds better to the body)
  • Compact and smooth
  • Strong and durable because of the spinning and combing process

Worsted wool comes in many different yarns and fabrics: Worsted wool is flannel, tweed, gabardine and other similar fabrics. It is created by spinning the wool fibers until they become a strong and resistant thread.


We recommend this type of fabric to be worn all year-round

Super 100’s, Super 120’s, What does it mean?

They are a quality identifier of wool. It is used by Italian mills in order to grade fabrics.  It means the thinness of the fiber, measured in microns.

However, a higher number does not mean a better fabric (for everyone). For example, a Super 150’s is very expensive, soft but needs a lot of attention. For a suit that is worn once or twice a year, it is a good choice. For a weekly wear at work, not so much. We recommend Super 100’s and Super 120’s as your daily drivers instead, which will give you better durability and will be easier to care for.

Other types of wool

Woolen Wool 

  • This type of wool is the wool everyone is reminded of when thinking of grandma's sweater.
  • Itchy, has a rougher texture.

We recommend this type of fiber to be worn in fall and winter

Mohair Wool

  • Luxurious fiber
  • Similar to wool
  • Slightly scratchy
  • Does not wrinkle
  • Recommend mixing with other fibers

We recommend this type of fiber to be worn in spring

Cashmere Wool

  • Luxurious fiber
  • Can sometimes shine
  • May be more suitable for leisure than for work and formal events
  • Recommend mixing with other fibers

We recommend this type of fiber to be worn in fall and winter

Plant-Based fibers

Cotton

  • Much more appropriate in warmer temperatures because it is lightweight and breathable
  • Easier to care for and very easy to iron
  • Generally cheaper
  • We recommend them with unconstructed jackets, such as the V-Body
  • Vegetarian fiber

We recommend this type of fiber to be worn in summer and spring

Linen

  • Breathable
  • Vegetarian fiber
  • Wrinkles-chic. It wrinkles easy, but very naturally. It is part of the charm of this fiber
  • Great for casual occasions

We recommend this type of fiber to be worn in summer

Silk

Silk has a wonderful hand and feels very light, airy, soft against the skin.

It is an extremely luxurious fiber and it is considered a luxury item.

  • It is a natural temperature regulator, meaning it will help you retain heat in cold weather and breathe in the summer
  • It can be worn at all seasons
  • We recommend silk with wool blended in, so that the fabric stays strong and soft.

We recommend this type of fiber to be worn in spring and summer.

Synthetic fibers

Polyester

  • Lower quality and lower price
  • Tends to wrinkle and does not breathe very well
  • Fabric might shine a bit

Should only be worn in spring and autumn in order to avoid extreme temperatures (hot and cold alike) because it won’t breathe and won’t keep you warm. If you decide to go for a polyester jacket, we recommend that you use a blend with wool to make it breathable and comfortable to wear.

We recommend this type of fabric to be worn all year dependent of the blend used.

Viscose / Rayon

  • Viscose was first known as ‘Artificial Silk’. It blends extremely nicely with other fibers.

Viscose absorbs moisture and body oils, which can cause discoloration. With that in mind, be careful when recommending it for summer jackets. Creases are also hard to get out, this is why we recommend it blended with other fibers.

We recommend this type of fabric to be worn all year dependent of the blend used.

Nylon / Polyamide

  • Originally manufactured to be an alternative to silk, it is now the second most used fiber in the U.S..

It is easily cleaned, water resistant and elastic, but is shiny, not recyclable and environmentally unfriendly due to the chemicals used in it’s production.

We recommend this type of fabric to be worn all year dependent of the blend used.

IV. Suits patterns


Striped patterns

Pinstripe

Pinstripe is a pattern made of very thin, single stripes that are woven into the warp of a fabric. They are generally made of worsted wool. It is called ‘Pinstripe’ because the line is never wider than a pinhead. Stripes can sometimes be a imposing look which might not be ideal for someone who doesn’t want to stand out.

Chalk Stripe

Slightly bolder than the pinstripe, the chalk stripe is called as such because it is similar to tailor’s chalk. As opposed to pinstripe, the stripe is made out of multiple threads that form the stripe.

Seersucker

A loose and lightweight fabric pattern used for summer wear. It is very thin and is woven in a way that some threads bunch up together, creating a wavy and textured effect.  

Checked patterns

Windowpane

Windowpanes are straightforward and easy to pair. Since windowpanes are usually taller than they are wide, they will elongate the silhouette.  Recommend highlighting the color of the windowpane lines of the jacket by suggesting a tie or pants from the same color family.

Gingham

This pattern has dyed yarns on the warp before it is woven. It is typically checked, in a white and bold color.

Glen Plaid

This pattern is a mixture of small and large checks. It also may contain a houndstooth at the intersections. It is usually made of contrasting or monochrome colors 

Textured patterns

Herringbone

This pattern is distinguished by a zigzag pattern in two colours.  This eye-catching pattern has a weave with V-shapes running through it. When looking at the pattern as a whole, the pattern looks like a fish’s skeleton, hence the name.

Houndstooth / Puppytooth / Pied-de-Poule

It is a large checked pattern with notched corners that resembles canine tooth. Puppytooth is the similar looking, but smaller pattern.It is a classic pattern that has been around since hundreds of years and is still very prevalent today.

Cor-du-roy

Cor-du-roy is a pattern made of tufted cords. Thick and with a strong texture, investing in a well tailored corduroy suit is one of those items that gets better with age.

Birdseye

Birdseye is a simple pattern, composed of small, repetitive diamond-like shapes that resemble the eye of a bird. From a distance, it looks solid.

 

Velvet

Velvet is mostly used for a smoking jacket, sometimes with a shawl collar.

The texture this fabric is luxurious and breathable, but not as aerated like some other fabrics. Keep it very far from the office but you can use it to attract attention at a slightly less formal event. Some mills will create velvet out of cotton, polyester, silk, or blends. It’s important to pay attention to fabric composition.

We recommend this type of fabric to be worn year round.