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classic garments with a timeless elegance
We are all different sizes and shapes, and there are always subtle differences in our posture, how we carry ourselves, and in the ways in which we move. A handmade gentleman’s suit makes allowances for all of these factors and usually starts with around 20 critical measurements being taken, allowing an initial pattern template to be created.
Off-the-peg and hand-finished suits only have three critical dimensions. If the off-the-peg customer is fortunate there might be an option to choose from short, regular, or long fittings. Hand finishing merely adds marginally to this, offering a small element of hand detailing (or customisation) to what is essentially a volume-produced garment, and to what is already there.
By contrast, on a typical handmade gentleman’s suit, after the design has been agreed, the cloth chosen, and the pattern has been made, the cloth is then cut individually. The various component parts are not machine cut in batches; they are hand cut one at a time to follow the pattern template, and include more generous tolerances, so as to accommodate pattern matching within the cloth, and to also allow for fine adjustments to be made to the seams during construction and fitting. As a general rule a handmade suit consists of at least 35 linear metres of stitching, with 28 metres of these stitches being made individually by hand.
With off-the-peg and hand-finished suits the internal structure is machine produced, with the structural component parts (the inter-lining) being bonded in place using adhesives. This process cuts costs by reducing the material and labour elements. On the other hand, the internal structure within the handmade garment involves preparing and hand cutting the horse hair, and then counter-directional soft stitching the horse hair and hand cut canvas, so as to form the structural inter-lining.
At a first glance the outward appearance of the off-the-peg, the hand-finished, and the handmade suit might all appear similar — especially to the untrained eye. However, the difference becomes apparent when the garment is studied more closely, and this subtle difference becomes very much more obvious when the finished suit is tried on and is worn. Handmade means the garment has been hand sculpted, hand crafted, and is as unique as the person for whom it was designed and made.