Tattan & Gregson Suit Construction
To the average person the quality of their suit is defined by their fit and quality of fabric. A extremely important factor is often overlooked; construction. Unlike fit and fabric which can be physically seen, a lot of people do not care about the construction of their suit. However, we at Tattan & Gregson care profoundly about the construction of the suit as well as fit and quality of fabric!
First, allow me to explain what does it mean for a suit to be “canvassed?” A canvassed jacket has layers of wool and horsehair (camel is also used) that is sewn in between the outer suit fabric and the inner lining of a suit jacket. The canvas allows the suit fabric to drape properly and will conform to your body over time, constantly bettering the fit. It is incredibly important in keeping the proper balance and shape of the suit. The canvas also adds longevity to the suit by distributing tension at stress points (such as the shoulders) and holds up to repeated dry cleaning.
A fully canvassed suit jacket is one that is constructed with the canvas fabric spanning the entire front panels and lapels. Full canvassed jackets are the most labour and time intensive thus requiring a higher level of skill to create – resulting in the suit being pricier. That said, you get what you pay for and you can be sure it is a fantastic investment – after all the suit will still look beautiful in 15+ years if properly maintained.
A half canvassed suit jacket has the benefits of a natural drape, the shape and structure of what a fully canvassed jacket has to offer. But at the same time, you enjoy cost savings in terms of materials and labour. The canvas is stitched into the chest and lapel and goes down to around the first button (as illustrated in the picture above.) The bottom part of the jacket is then fused. A half canvassed suit which is properly maintained will easily see the age of 10-12 years while still looking spectacular.
The fused suit was developed to appeal to the mass market; these are your off-the-rack suits. A fused jacket has an interlining that is glued to the wool shell of the suit – both in the front panel and in the lapels. Fusing gives the jacket SOME shape but it does not conform to the wearer thus lacks a natural drape of a canvassed jacket. These suits don’t require any skilled labour as they were designed to increase production capacity and keep down costs. A fused suit would typically last between 2-3 years if worn regularly, despite proper maintenance. Over time the glue degrades and the wool breaks free forming small bubbles in the fabric (this is known as delamination.) Bubbles are great for champagne, but not for suits, so beware!
How are T&G suits constructed?
At T&G our suits are made with full canvas as standard, but a client can request a half canvas if they desire. The reason we use full canvas as standard as we like to give our clients the most “bang for their buck!” We would not disrespect the fine art of tailoring or our clients by offering anything less than half canvas.
Suit jacket construction should not be overlooked. “Like all things in life, beauty starts from the inside out.”