Material world: five fabrics for your bespoke suit

03 February 2014

Here at Hemingway Tailors, our bespoke and made-to-measure suits can be constructed from a selection of over 3,000 different materials, so you’ll be guaranteed to end up with a suit that is uniquely your own whenever you make an enquiry of our expert tailors. We appreciate, however, that 3,000 materials is quite a large number from which to choose, so to make things a little easier for you we’ve compiled this guide to the most popular suit fabrics and their uses. Take a look and see which fabric will work best for you...

Wool

Wool has long been the most popular material with which to produce a tailored suit, and remains so today. There are two distinct weaving techniques used in the production of a wool suit, with worsted the most common of the pair. Worsted suits employ combed wool fibres to produce a smooth finish, while woollens retain the loose fibres and thus boast a fluffier texture. Wool is comparatively cool, resistant to creasing and durable, making it ideal for use in tailored suits.

Cotton

Cotton is an extremely common fabric for the production of tailored suits in the United States, but has never really caught on in Europe. Cotton ‘seersucker’ suits are lightweight and useful for summer wear – hence their popularity in the sweltering Southern States. Seersuckers are characterised by fine pinstripes and a distinctive bobbled texture, while the properties of cotton mean that even bespoke suits can be machine-washed.

 Linen

Linen suits used to be particularly popular and every gentleman would have had at least one linen summer suit stored away in his wardrobe. Linen is extremely lightweight and breathable, making it ideal for the summer months, but the material isn’t particularly practical for year-round use. Linen has a tendency to crease easily, and the lightweight fabric means that rips and tears can be difficult to avoid.

 Tweed

Tweed is a more informal fabric for use in the manufacture of bespoke suits, and is thus infrequently used in a business context. Tweed is a relatively thick and sturdy material – warmer than a standard wool suit – and comes in a variety of colours and patterns. Tweed is generally associated with gentle country pursuits and, while full tweed suits are rarely worn today, a bespoke tweed suit jacket can be an excellent addition to your informal wardrobe.

 Silk

While silk is often used as a lining in tailored suit jackets, some suits can be made from silk alone. Silk has a number of properties that make it an excellent choice for a bespoke suit, with a natural lustre and supple movement making for an elegant garment. Silk is a delicate material, however, and can be easily torn when wet, while the properties of the fabric means that silk suits can be quite clingy.

 There are pros and cons to the majority of fabrics used in the manufacture of bespoke suits, and depending on the intended purpose of your garment then different materials may be more suitable than other for your needs. Why not contact us or take a look at our blog for more information on the differences between tailored suits?

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