Today, I would like to talk about what makes our suits so different from all the other suits brands out there that are using the factories in China, Vietnam, India and all the Southern Asian countries.
You need fabric to make a suit, right?
I am not even talking about the quality of the fabric here. Using great fabric is a must, but another step we take is something very important in my opinion, it is the “Sponging” process.
The fabric is usually come in 140cm wide x 50m long, wrapped around on the cardboard roll, this is how the fabric mill keeps in the warehouse.
As they get an order, they cut the piece (usually about 3.2m for a suit) and send it to the factory in made-to-measure process.
As for the bulk production, the fabric mill would send the above mentioned rolled fabric, covered in plastic and send it to the factories.
The renowned fabric mills will go through the “Sponging” process after the fabric was woven. However, some fabrics are moving quite fast, and others are slow. The fabrics that are not moving so fast, will stay in their warehouse for a while, in different temperature and humidity, as days go by, the fabric will change its shape.
The factories in Southern Asian countries, including China, whether bulk production or made-to-measure piece production, they would start the production as soon as they receive the fabric. Which means, it is cut and sew process just like making a T-shirt. They cut the fabric as 2 dimensional and sew as 2 dimensional, there is no volume, it is flat.
We go through another “Sponging” process in Japan, upon receiving the fabric from the mills. This process will reassure the fabric being straight, no wrinkles, no weave skipped, no stretch, no shrinking, in the same environment as the production factory. The fabric was woven in Italy or England, where environment is completely different from where our factory is.
Once the “Sponging” process is done, it gets sent to the factory.
Another important thing is to keep the temperature and humidity in the same condition throughout the whole production. Our factory keeps the humidity at around 65 degrees, also using the “aging control box” that humidifies important points in order to stabilize clothing at the middle stage of sewing.
Another important thing is the sewing technology that is indispensable to make flat clothes three-dimensional.
These above mentioned aspects are even outside of the production, by going through these extra processes to assure the garment wouldn't change its shape after you wear and dry clean.
We get often asked if the finer fabric tends not to last longer. All depends how often you wear the same garment is one thing, but the fabric and factory environment are not treated properly at those factories in southern Asian countries that it doesn't really matter how fine and good the fabrics are in my opinion.
The cutting process of our made-to-measure suits are all done by hand. Of course, patterned fabrics like checks and stripes, they are cut according to the pattern matching, also consider the thickness of the fabrics.
Let me talk about the canvas.
I am not sure how many average consumers would look inside of the jacket, not many I assume. Even the vast majority of sales people here in Australia probably haven’t seen the inside of the garment to fully examine how it’s made.
You may know the purpose of having the canvas inside of the garment. It is to support the front panel. The suits that are made in southern Asian countries tend to have just a piece of material inside, it is floating, but very thin half-length piece of material, that I am not sure how that is going to hold the front panel properly.
Some people might like that only because it is light weight. However, you shouldn't expect it to hold the front panel good.
Japanese and English tailoring like to use full length, fully made canvas, which has the base canvas, chest piece layered, shoulder piece added, chest felt added.
People often say that the canvas is made of horsehair. I am not sure if anyone here has actually felt the canvas made of horsehair, but it is not very comfortable material.
Back in the day things were done properly and well, even American factories were using the canvas with horsehair, and often times the fibre comes through the main fabric.
I remember they even used pure linen in the collar, which Jewish people couldn't accept and need to have it changed to something else but linen.
Now a days, I am not even sure who uses horsehair in their canvas. It is common to have a base full length canvas made of cotton and wool blend.
Our canvas is made of base canvas, chest piece layered both made of cotton and wool blend, shoulder piece is made of horsehair and cotton blend which is made by Bertero in Italy known to be the best manufacture for the interlining. Then chest felt is made of wool 40% or more.
Then here comes the technical part of the garment.
Every piece of our garment is iron worked before the assemble. This is when 2D flat fabric becomes 3D to the body structure.
Especially, the shoulder lines are very important part of the garment. Adding the extra 1 to 1.5cm into the shoulders of the back panel, gathering to have extra volume for the movement and comfort.
Then gathering is pressed by the iron, push the extra volume up to the front of the shoulders for a typical Asian shoulder structure called “front shoulders”, this is something that western body structure don't have and won’t understand how it feels.
Shoulders, neckline and armholes are hand stitched to have extra comfort.
We use the machine for the majority of the production, but individually hand operated, important parts are stitched by hand. We balance our work with machine efficiency and hand stitch comfort.