Sunday, 12 February 2012
What is the Truth about Semi-Bespoke and Custom Tailoring?
You may be led to believe by some establishments that your Semi-bespoke is made like this...
...but in fact will be made here, and like this...
Most semi-bespoke or custom and definately all made to measures will be made in places like this from China to the Americas. It has been a natural progression to here as advances in technology made making a suit to specific patterns easier and the boom of import export materials world wide made better fabrics and linings cheaper to get with better and more frequent availability.
Having your sut made here does not mean that you will not get a finely tailored garment. That depends on the quality of the people responsible for translating your measurements to a machine pattern and executing that pattern. But some of the finest facilities can produce excellent garments that only 25 years ago would have been impossible.
In a lot of cases having something completely handmade (and I would say no tailors are likely to do 100% of the whole process hand sticthed any more...if ever) is pointless as, for instance, the side seams of the trousers. Is there any point to hand stitching this part of the trouser? Would it make them any stronger. Maybe, but as the tension on side seams is negligible unless spray on tight a machine stitch will do fine.
So semi-bespoke will always have a reasonably large amount of machine work in it but should have a lot of the important handwork done like the collar and lapels for a flawless appearance and fall, the floating canvas sewn in place to give the correct drape to the jacket, buttonholes for finishing appearance, solders and armholes movement and form and maybe hand stiching of the lining to the jacket for durability and a sign of quality. You will rarely have an expert cutter hand cut the panels of the suit from the fabric in semi-bespoke. Instead a computerised pattern will translate to a cutting machine in the facility where it will be made and cut to your exact measurements. The fit and drape should be far superior to that of M2M and off peg but full bespoke will always have that final edge and feel far different then semi. But it is still an amazing must for your wardrobe when you can't afford just yet to go fully bespoke.
Semi-Bespoke (or known as custom tailoring) will set you back anything from £700 - £2000 depending on fabric and amount of handwork done. If your paying less than that your more than likely getting Made to Measure of off the peg adjusted.