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Which Group are YOU In?


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#1 Sator

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 11:57 PM

I must say I found this article in January 30, 1953 issue of The Tailor & Cutter to be rather depressing. It sounds like a lot of the discussions we have been having here already - only it is from almost 60 years ago.

So, which group are you in?

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#2 jukes

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 12:16 AM

I cannot see the bespoke trade surviving, the old school tailors / cutters are getting very low in numbers and there is a generation gap to the very minimal numbers that are in training today. There is hardly any documentation to pass down and the books that are available are very old using outdated literature and methods.
I would like to be in the "progressive" group, but given the present state of affairs you can put me down for the "despair" group.

#3 Martin Stall

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 12:53 AM

Inasmuch as I would rather not be classed in any of the groups, I do feel a need to say that my Evil Plan, if it ever comes to fruition, will obviate the question altogether. Check back in five years. Or ten. :)
Sure, I believe your work rocks, but... have you considered, how are you going to sell that stuff?

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#4 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 02:52 AM

Bespoke Tailoring is on the bottom now. The few that exist will remain and to be continued.
A new group will emerge, the ones who are smart enough to tech themselves out of books and forums.

Those groups are not exiting anymore, my master tailor was 'Despair', that was in 1989.
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#5 JMB

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 03:52 AM

Has there ever been a time when tailors, dressmakers and manufacturers haven't been bemoaning, carping and tearing their hair out about the loss of talented designers, beautiful fabrics, and a dependable labor force? Kvetching and anxiety are simply part and parcel of the rag trade. Rather than lumping yourself into this group or that, which is self-defeating, why not concentrate on making the best clothes you can using a combination of traditional methods of pattern-making, cutting, handsewing and technologically advanced machinery? It would also be of benefit to take a good look around you from time to time at the way people dress these days, which is pathetic. If you give them genuine style, beauty and quality, which has nothing to do with fashion, they will come.

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#6 jhenriksen

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 06:21 AM

Bespoke tailoring will rise again! After the financial crisis people have started to look for things worth saving. Quality. Long term items.
You even see it in high fashion...
The shop I'm with at the moment has tripled in income the past 6 moths ...that's a lot. We can't even keep up....

There's no way it will die ...not within the next 50 year anyway.

Tailors be openminded ...in any way.

If you want it to die, sure you can kill ...if not. Pass it on. There are a lot of youngsters out there willing to learn if you would only
teach them...

Progressive

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#7 Sator

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 10:13 AM

Has there ever been a time when tailors, dressmakers and manufacturers haven't been bemoaning, carping and tearing their hair out about the loss of talented designers, beautiful fabrics, and a dependable labor force?


Good point. I have a similar series of articles from my complete volume of the 1914 Minister's Gazette. However, they don't (yet) talk about impending doom but rather of the difficulty of getting well trained tailors into the work force.

#8 greger

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 03:21 PM

The history of tailoring, from whence it started, about 1354(?), is an interesting world of changing clothes styles and fashions. Most "modern tailors" haven't kept up with modern clothes.

What else is different is that money goes to many other products that didn't even exist 30s ago, much more a 60 years ago. In other words the competition for peoples earnings is several thousand times more than a 100 years ago.

Manufactured clothes is so cheap - need I say more?

As in the past big city tailors can largely pick their cilents,, therefore limiting what they make. Village tailors of the past make everything. I find it sad that most people think of tailoring being limited to a few garments, when tailors should be at the forefront of all garments for men, and some for women, as so many tailors were in the past. The village tailor can be stuck with lousy customers.

Because naturual fibers are unique I think tailoring will be around for a long time, unles tailors depart their historic methods and do manufactured methods. Manufactured methods is the end of tailoring. But, there will always be a few artist around to hang on to the old.

#9 Kevin Koch

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:21 PM

tailors should be at the forefront of all garments


I agree.

Moreover, if I only offered 2 or 3 styles in Middle America, I would never have survived this long. Still, I love introducing new customers to the world of refined tailoring AND if/when they come into my studio to get something else done, I want that wonderful world to hit them between the eyes, pierce their heart, and get under their skin! (is that too much?) ;-) that's my covert strategy...
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#10 greger

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 05:48 AM

I agree.

Moreover, if I only offered 2 or 3 styles in Middle America, I would never have survived this long. Still, I love introducing new customers to the world of refined tailoring AND if/when they come into my studio to get something else done, I want that wonderful world to hit them between the eyes, pierce their heart, and get under their skin! (is that too much?) ;-) that's my covert strategy...



I think you would be a good carpenter, too. Bam Bam, that quick, two nails sunk, because you nailed it right on the head.

I have never been a suit and tie kinda guy, but when I think of what my granddad wore- they were awesome. Every line matters and every shape. The physical fit is important, but so to is the visiual fit. Physical fit is mostly engineering. Visiual fit is pure art. Art needs to be layed upon sound engineering, or it won't last. Some art isn't made to last. Art is something beyond engineering. Some kinds of art is taste, feel, hearing, visiual, to name a few, they don't all look good, such as we don't see music, because we hear it. Food we taste and some of it taste excellent but some looks horrid. Feel doesn't always look good either. A good story that we read we see in out imagination that an artist describes with words. The art of the manufactured world is "one sizes" fits all. The art of the tailor, being for each individual, is very personal. Artist ponder the philosophy of art, as you see I never really stop thinking of it.

#11 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 07:08 AM

I very recommend the book: Simrick, The Art of Tailoring 1983

The whole topic is being analyzed there, as well as interaction between alteration and tailoring.
www.berlinbespokesuits.com

#12 Todd Hudson

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 04:19 AM

High end bespoke tailoring depends on availability of fine cloth. Not only is it difficult to make the the sale at all with cheap cloth, but there is only so much money people are willing to spend on a handmade suit when the cloth is the same quality as a department store (made in Taiwan/Korea). If you show nice cloth, the customer will want to buy the suit. Along with the nice cloth they will pay the extra cost of fine handwork. Without the high end weavers there is no business for high end cutters/tailors.

The irony is that the cloth supplier would rather I fuse my suits because then I could make more of them in shorter periods of time and thus buy more cloth. I continue to get more traditional with my sewing and I only buy the cloth every so often. I am grateful that they even agree to sell me such small quantities. Anyone that has spent as little as 5 years in this business has already seen mills either go bust or bought out by a more profitable company who then cut out certain offerings or lower the quality or change the center of production from UK to Asia, etc.

So this is what I tell people I know who can sew: You should do custom because it is a good business. All you have to do is show the finest cloth you can find, and the client will put in the order. Also, across all demographics there are people who have bodies that don't fit well in ready to wear. Some of them become clothes horses (people who buy clothes more often) because of the desperation to find clothes that fit well and make them look good. So as a tailor, you can operate anywhere and find these people. For the lower budgets, you may have to lower cost to produce by using a made to measure factory or and maybe fusible techniques. However, you should still try to offer the finest cloth because it makes the sale.

Here is the dirty secret about the value of cloth: Despite problems caused by the cutter/tailor such as anatomical misfit and sewing quality/cleanliness, most human beings will overlook those problems because they are dazzled by cloth color/texture and general silhouette of the garment. Good cloth makes the garment walk. Garments made from the wrong cloth never leave the closet irregardless of the quality of fit/make.

Cutting and sewing are very tough to learn especially with no system to teach you. A very long time ago you could find tailors from the old world that knew handwork. Then those tailors died out or went to work in suit factories in their homelands. Then you could find tailors that used to work in those factories in the old world that still knew some handwork and maybe fusing. Even on some of the forums you can find old tailors who used to work in those factories and they resigned to sell better quality they make themselves. Now the suit factories have very expensive equipment that requires less training. The machines faithfully imitate good tailors' handwork. I'm talking about $80,000 machines not your basic industrial. Can you imagine a young factory worker in a new factory feeling motivated to learn by intuition how to imitate by hand the perfect result of all the machines in the factory so he/she can make a good looking handmade suit and then getting a visa to move to your country to work for you? Don't count on it. Those days of plentiful experienced tailors available for hire are over. You need to train them yourself in your own country or go headhunt them. AFrica and Turkey I hear are good places to find trained tailors. For a training program locally, you can start a school. The modern student who is obsessed with learning skills of the past probably has mommy/daddy money to help them pay the way. Maybe you can get government money to start program to train underprivileged people to make suits. I see so many people sitting around doing nothing in my town. I always have more work than I can handle yet the newspapers complain about no one being able to find work. They could be sewing suits!

In conclusion, the future of fine handmade suits depends on the future of fine cloth. The future of fine cloth depends on more tailors existing who can make sales and make the garment walk by either by 1) lowering turnover times with using fusibles themselves or hiring factory 2)less sophisticated cutting (MTM service) than what the readers of this forum strive for or 3)headhunt pre-trained labor or 4)open "bench suit school" and have apprentices pay you (mommy/daddy money). In order for me to stay in business, I need the fine cloth source. In order for the mill to stay open, they need a higher volume of sales from all classes of cutters/tailors.

#13 rs232

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 07:55 AM

^ True. Sadly, many people born from 1975 onwards would have gone whole lives without having yet seen good cloth, and it would hence not occur to them to seek out something they don't know about.

#14 Youngsarto

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 03:06 PM

I know that I am not to wake up old threads but I am new to this forum and stumbled across this thread. I always find it intreging to read articles like this and other tailor's responses. It is almost weekly that I read of a tailor distrot over the fact that his craft is dying because there is no one to pass it on to. The reality of this mentality is that it will come to fruition if the tailors continue to make it near impossible to for one to become an apprentice. Knowledge must be handed down to the willing generation to generation or it will be lost forever. I can assure those who fear the death of tailoring that there are youth who want to learn it if only doors could be opened. Instead, those with the knowledge have barricaded themselves in with their own kind complaining about how their craft is dying. It is up to you to continue it's legacy. For this is not an art that can be learned online or through books it must be learned under a master. In my opinion it is only the tailor that can save this beautiful art and I think they are doing a lousy job of it.




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