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What is best cotton or cotton blend fabric for a men's suit?

cotton fabric cotton suit suiting mens

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#1 SpaceMonkey

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 04:05 PM

Hi everyone. I've been thinking of making a men's suit for myself in cotton - does anyone have any suggestions regarding which types of cotton fabric would be appropriate? I've ordered a mystery fabric 'cotton twill' from Aliexpress (a good site for buying fabrics from China). Not sure how that will work out when it arrives... :/

 

What sort of cotton/cotton blend fabric would people use for making a men's suit for wearing a hot climate? 

 

Thanks!


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#2 tailleuse

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 01:59 AM

Hi everyone. I've been thinking of making a men's suit for myself in cotton - does anyone have any suggestions regarding which types of cotton fabric would be appropriate? I've ordered a mystery fabric 'cotton twill' from Aliexpress (a good site for buying fabrics from China). Not sure how that will work out when it arrives... :/

 

What sort of cotton/cotton blend fabric would people use for making a men's suit for wearing a hot climate? 

 

Thanks!

 

 

Poplin and seersucker are traditional choices. Seersucker makes more of a statement in some settings, poplin is more nondescript. I know you said "cotton", but linen is also a popular fabric, but it does wrinkle badly. I'm sure there are blends now.  A good, not-too-heavy cotton twill also sounds good to me.

 

For a more casual setting, a cotton madras jacket (not an entire suit), might be nice.

 

It will be interesting to read what the tailors suggest.


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#3 Henry Hall

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 05:04 AM

I've really gone off cotton for warm-weather trousers. Unless it's thin, gauzy stuff it has very little give in it and makes the trousers a bit uncomfortable until they're well washed and worn-in. Linen is far better, or linen/rayon.


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#4 SpaceMonkey

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 07:06 AM

Poplin and seersucker are traditional choices. 

 

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm curious about poplin - I generally only see very light poplin weaves around. Is it possible to get a poplin that is heavy enough for suiting? The only poplin I ever see is shirt-weight. Can it be woven thicker and heavier? 

 

I've made a few things in linen (trousers, and my first coat has been linen), and I love the coolness but yes, as you say - awful wrinkling. I read somewhere that a cotton/linen blend won't wrinkle as heavily - ? 


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#5 Schneiderfrei

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 10:01 AM

Yes, I agree with Henry.  Linen has the weight and handle for suiting.  I have never cared whether it looks wrinkled.  It looks like linen!


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#6 peterle

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 08:33 PM

Popelin comes in different qualities. Trenchcoats are usualley made of popelin as well.

But it is a very densely woven fabric and not that airy.

 

When wrinkels are a problem for you, you could use Fresko or Tropical. Made from loosely woven but densley twined worsted wool, they are airy and light and don´t wrinkle at all.( But although you won´t sweat wearing them, you will sweat working with them).

 

Wool cotton blends and wool linen blends reduce wrinkles as well.


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#7 cperry

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 04:34 AM

On linen, I have the swatch books from Baird McNutt. This is my exposure to the heavier weight linens. They have a few that seem like butter in your hands... (not sure how to describe it best.....wonderful is what I'm getting at).

I've noticed the better quality cottons do not wrinkle as badly... or they still look good when they do.

Acorn Fabrics might be a place to look on cottons.
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#8 Schneiderfrei

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 07:07 AM

Hi cperry,

 

Butter is a good description.  I think good linens feel soapy.  Might be similar?

 

Cperry should know a bit about linen since she has actually produced some on her property.  (Great blog).

 

Acorn do have heavier weights of cotton, including gaberdine, the heavier weaves like heavy panama might do (eg Gargrave).


Edited by Schneiderfrei, 10 January 2016 - 07:24 AM.

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#9 tailleuse

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 07:26 AM

 

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm curious about poplin - I generally only see very light poplin weaves around. Is it possible to get a poplin that is heavy enough for suiting? The only poplin I ever see is shirt-weight. Can it be woven thicker and heavier? 

 

 

 

Before responding yesterday I looked up "cotton poplin" and saw lots of men's suit examples. It's not my favorite fabric because it's hard and polished ( I prefer seersucker, linen, and summer wools), but it is definitely a popular choice for hot-weather suits.


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#10 cperry

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 01:41 AM

Thanks, Schneiderfrei....  Most things I do are for hands-on educational experiences for my kids (in small quantities).  The experience growing linen was interesting and fun.  We found the plant to be delightful to grow.  It shoots straight up and then has a pretty lavender flower for a few days.  We had to watch carefully to see when it was time to hand-pull it.  It wasn't bad pulling it by hand.  We walked through the entire process of retting, scutching, etc.  The part my kids did not enjoy for very long was the scutching and combing.  It is fun to try and know about, but it is down-right work, and we had to 'hang in there' with getting it done.  It is dusty and messy.  But once it is combed, the fiber is quite pretty.  It looks like blonde hair.  My daughter has spun a small quantity, but she has other priorities with college now.  We harvested the flax seed, and are still enjoying it in home baked breads....  It is wonderful, and good for you.  The consensus here, however, is that we won't do it again, unless we were to come into the ownership of industrial equipment.  

 

The hands-on experience gave us greater appreciation for those who create cloth.

 

I hope this is of interest.  I realize it is not related to technical information on cottons for suits.


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#11 Henry Hall

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 02:50 AM

It's very interesting and makes you think twice about the work that goes into producing cloth.


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#12 Schneiderfrei

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 11:42 AM

La fille aux cheveux de lin.

 

A great experience for kids to see.

 

I have only made castille soap with my kids, for the purpose of washing MOP button shirts.

 

Sorry, sorry . . . . cotton for suits.

 

Seersucker seems to me a uniquely American preference.


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#13 SpaceMonkey

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 08:51 PM

When wrinkels are a problem for you, you could use Fresko or Tropical. 

 

Recently I've had some good luck playing 'Budget Fabric Roulette' on a Chinese website called AliExpress. I bought this fabric because I think it might be a fresco weave, or something close to it: 

 

http://www.aliexpres...2448887526.html

 

It might be a hit, or it could be awful. I guess that's half the fun! ;)


Edited by SpaceMonkey, 12 January 2016 - 09:02 PM.

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#14 SpaceMonkey

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 09:01 PM

...

I hope this is of interest.  I realize it is not related to technical information on cottons for suits.

 

It certainly is - Fascinating! Thank you. 


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#15 Schneiderfrei

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 09:52 PM

Does AliExpress sell small amounts?


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#16 cperry

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 12:45 AM

La fille aux cheveux de lin.

 

A great experience for kids to see.

 

I have only made castille soap with my kids, for the purpose of washing MOP button shirts.

 

Sorry, sorry . . . . cotton for suits.

 

Seersucker seems to me a uniquely American preferen

 

 

I have only seen seersucker suit jackets in catalogs...  At least in the great white north, this is not common as far as I can tell.


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#17 cperry

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 01:00 AM

It's very interesting and makes you think twice about the work that goes into producing cloth.

Absolutely.  There are several good videos on this topic.  

 

 

Also Google Albini Group, 

 

 

Even from a U.S. agricultural angle, 

 

Good to be aware of the human element.


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#18 hutch48

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 07:34 PM

The video "Italian Industry Special: The Fabric Mill" was very interesting and it looks like very good quality cotton products but it tends to look like shirting material with the variety of colours and patterns. By no means a criticism but I wonder if you would make things like tailored summer suits from fabrics with patterns of that type. I have seen dresses made from similar patterns and if the design is good enough the results can be very attractive. It also tells me I have the taste of an "Iconoclast" as I tend to wear very plain and often dark coloured clothing.  :yes:


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