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Constructing a guide to cloth requirements


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#1 hymo

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 02:32 AM

I often see people asking how much cloth they should buy. And nowhere have I seen this question addressed in a technically satisfactory way. I thought of coming up with an abbreviated table as a reference to bespeakers of clothes. Here it a starting point for our discussion:

Posted Image

The very structure of the table is open to discussion, as well as individual values (I used dummy values). There shouldn't be too much of a margin of error allowance, i.e. the values shouldn't be padded, as most tailors are wont to do.

Edited by hymo, 23 April 2010 - 02:34 AM.


#2 jcsprowls

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 05:45 AM

Many (oh so many) tailoring books provide this information. It varies from book-to-book. And, it varies tailor-to-tailor.

Tailors (and, dressmakers) typically pad the cloth requirements when working with "own goods" for a multitude of reasons. In my experience, the issue is that the customer always provided too little of what was needed.
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#3 Terri

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 07:36 AM

I've kept tally with drawings and descriptions for about fifteen years now for everything from leather doublets to frock-coats/suits to modern tailored clothing. I need to be able to tell designers specifically how much to buy and having documented past projects helps a great deal, especially with larger sizes, narrow fabric, tall people or for the garments that we don't make very often. I recommend it.

#4 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 01:17 PM

Before I will order the fabric I will draft the pattern and lay it out nicely in the widths of the fabric on a table.
And then I know how much fabric I will need. It's that easy?
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#5 Sator

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 01:28 PM

Please note that this thread is by and for a client who sources his own cloth rather than being for tailors. It isn't meant to be for tailors sourcing their cloth.

There are a couple of issues here. Firstly, it needs to be made clear what width of cloth we are talking about. The chart is probably talking about double width cloth. If it is single width you need to double it. Secondly, if it is a general recommendation for clients sourcing their own cloth then you need to err on the side of recommending a little too much.

I find the table to be odd. 2.7-3.5m of double width for a waistcoat seems way too much - more like what you need for a lounge coat. The recommendation for what you need to make up a two piece lounge suit seems a touch on the conservative side as general recommendation for clients. Some tailors would be happy with it, others won't.

At the end of the day, clients sourcing their own cloth must check with their tailors how much cloth they want.

#6 hymo

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 03:21 PM

Sator, the values are dummy values. Placeholders. I am soliciting for plausible values to fill in the table with, amongst the tailors here. The table isn't for me (I already know my own cloth requirements): it's for any bespeaker of clothes who wishes to source his own cloth. This is a common question among bespeakers on the internet.

Your point about double width is good. I'll include a remark in the table.

Does it makes sense to give 2 values, one for lean and another for fat people?

Please tailors, do share what you think are plausible values for me to put into the table!

#7 Sator

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 03:40 PM

OK, I thought this was something that had been published somewhere. So you are proposing to produce a table by consensus for clients and homesewers who are purchasing their own cloth?

#8 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 07:40 PM

I find the table to be odd. 2.7-3.5m of double width for a waistcoat seems way too much


This is way too much! :Shocked: I think we can all agree, for the fashion fabric on a waistcoat, can be done with one metre (double width), even for the biggest of sizes. :good:
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#9 hymo

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 08:20 PM

OK, I thought this was something that had been published somewhere. So you are proposing to produce a table by consensus for clients and homesewers who are purchasing their own cloth?

Exactly.

#10 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 08:34 PM

Well in order to obtain this "consensus" perhaps each of the practising tailors could provide a list of lengths, then he can pad them as he sees fit and can publish his averages. Sound like a plan?
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#11 hymo

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 09:01 PM

Sounds good. I know definitely the values for normal BMI + 165cm + plain 2-piece is absolutely correct. 2.7m. I've had 2 lounge suits made in this length.

#12 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 09:20 PM

Still sounds like a a lot, the last morning coat I made for someone 6'1" / 42" chest only took 2.5 metres. But then again there is a little more ease in modern coats.
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#13 jcsprowls

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 05:52 AM

Why are you introducing BMI into the equation?

I don't think BMI is a reliable factor to determine the topographical surface of a body. Bone density and other factors distort the BMI result. It's too volatile to be considered a predictor or indicator.
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#14 Terri

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 09:16 AM

I think there is a co-relation between both height and breadth- and the suit being asked for.

You need more fabric for a DB jacket in larger chest sizes. I think it also matters if the jacket is cut with or without a side panel, I know that most jacket are nowadays and whether the client is interested in narrow, low rise trousers or higher waisted, pleated ones.

It would help to start with a chart that indicates the parameters, say SB jacket, modern cut flat fronted trousers, plain double width fabric. Then DB jacket, then three piece SB and so on.

I certainly am willing to share the information I have, if it is of any use. For example, I just cut a set of tails for a 44 chest , 6' 4" tall and trousers 36"waist - high waisted, double forward pleats-3.75m in fabric 150cm wide. I just don't know if anyone will find this particular info useful or not.

#15 hymo

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 01:38 AM

I have considered some of the information here and have made a revised framework. Terri thinks she can provide some personal data. I hope I can find a way of generalising it.

Here's the latest framework:

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