The Truth About Custom Tailoring

Suit with spread collar shirt

When purchasing a custom-tailored garment there are so many available options with a range of different price points. In this article, I would like to share a few things to consider when purchasing your next tailored garment. 

Two of the most important things to consumers are generally the look and fit of the finished product but it’s just as important to consider garment construction and the methods and materials used to tailor your garment when making an informed purchasing decision.

Canvas

The canvas is a layer of sturdy interfacing between the outer fabric and inner lining of a jacket. The canvas comes in two types, floating or fused (glued). Traditionally jackets were made with a full length floating canvas using hair from horse tail bushings, similar to the process of sheering sheep (no animal harm in the process).

This floating canvas provides a structured look, ensuring that your jacket will hold its shape over time and form to your body the more you wear it. This method is the preferred choice for consumers who desire an excellent drape, comfortable fit and superior look.

Due to the increase in mass manufacturing, large garment suppliers began to employ the use of a fused half canvas to construct garments and mimic the structure of a floating full canvas. This process is considerably less expensive to produce but if poorly done can damage the durability of the garment creating a permanent pucker or bubbling as the glue degrades over time.

Branded Cloth

The second thing that many consumers overlook is understanding the benefits of selecting a branded fabric from a reputable mill. Very prominent in custom tailoring is fabric from mills that are unknown with no transparency to the practices or processes for cloth that you will wear on your skin.

Branded fabrics have a reputation to uphold. These companies have a strong focus on the quality of their product and the environmental sustainability of their processes. With the increase in synthetic materials and chemicals to provide cheaper cloth it makes a world of difference to select cloth from a brand that demonstrates traceability and transparency from raw materials to finished product.

It’s certainly not worth saving a few dollars to be exposed to potentially harmful material. Reputable fabric brands are more consistent with every aspect of how they conduct business. With this consistency comes reliability.

Economy of Scale

Finally, I always encourage consumers to “do the math”. Microeconomics 101 tells us that there are cost advantages to scale or increase production while being able to decrease cost per unit. A cheaply constructed garment may look good on the outside but economically only benefits the manufacturer as they don’t last as long and keep replacement expenses more frequent.

Often when consumers are presented products that looks good and cost less it is easy to assume that one is obtaining a good deal but as the saying goes, “good things are seldom cheap and cheap things are seldom good”. It is important to understand and make your purchasing decisions on actual value rather than perceived.

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