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Difference in tailoring and Hong Kong tailoring


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#19 Kevin Koch

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:32 AM

Kathleen, though you make a very good point that "fitting in" and peer pressure are to be taken with due care, I want to stress the fact that bespoke tailoring is not limited to business suits. Trousers (including jeans), jackets... many kinds of garments can be made by a tailor. Some tailors do shirts too, and if not bespoke shirtmakers sure do, and there is a lot of fun to have with shirts. A tailor is a garment maker, we should be able to do nearly everything.

YES! I couldn't agree more.
While a tailor can influence his local clients "a bit", unless you are in a very large city, making only business suits may mean he starveth!
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#20 greger

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:57 PM

There have been since rtw those down the ladder who didn't wear bespoke, or very often. And there are those who are on different ladders, so why have bespoke. And in the past it was the rich who bought the fashions the poor didn't. With rtw the poor could buy some fashions. So many rich don't even buy fashions anymore.

A cousin was in Thailand waiting for his flight back. The wait one hour. In one hour these tailors made him a very nice 3 pieces suit for $100. I saw it. It was very nice. It was not as nice as what some that I have seen, but nicer than some tailors make.



#21 jeffrey2117

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:51 AM

Hello,

Concerning the quality of the Hong kong tailors.

I have worked alterations on a British Officers formal uniform jacket and trouser that was made for him in Hong Kong in the mid 1950's.

The garment was mostly machine sewed, but good amount of hand stitching. I was impressed by the quality and detailed workmanship of the interior make up of this jacket.

Unfortunately I did not take photo's. I have forgotten the establishment that made it. I salute the tailor who made this garment.

Concerning the suits that I have seen from the Asian regions for more modern times are below.

Fast work, low cost, okay only for a low very budget.

Natural materials are low cost substitutes that wears out quickly in the cuffs, elbows and major wear points. threads that fades or changes color when dry cleaned and dry rots quickly.

These materials make the buyer think they are getting good price, but the materials are coarse compare the the real deal.

Example: A real camel hair, should feel like running your hand over a long haired cat, not a burlap coffee sack.

By the way, I am not advocating that you bring your cat with you for sampling the materials. You cannot say your are blind and it is a seeing eye cat.

Most shops that produce budget suit of clothes, seem to use Synthetic materials and threads nowadays, that eliminate these problems.

The majority of these garments look okay to the unschooled eye.

The Interior of jacket makeup, cut and hacked fronts, seams split to give ease, pre-formed shoulder pads, tacked down canvases that are not even canvas anymore, etc.., lining that will shrink when cleaned and does not breathe well for hot and humid climates.

I could go on about the U.S. and European, east and west, but restricting myself to the Asian regions.

I also give praise to the fine tailors who still follow the finest tradition of bespoke in these markets.

regards,

Jeffrey2117
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#22 SealKing

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:54 PM

I've seen a dissection of a (presumably)HK suit on Jeffrey Diduch's blog,
which he viewed rather positively:
http://tuttofattoama...stery-suit.html

So I guess the quality does vary,
Not sure though if they could churn out one like this within one day.

#23 Gordon C Wong

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 06:09 AM

Hi all,

There have been much dis-information on Hong Kong tailor. I would like to make clear what is a Hong Kong tailor and how are they trained. Hong Kong was and still is a colonial British city. The old tailors were trained in the old fashion standard equivalent to Savile Row. For some well off tailor, they sent their sons to England to further their skills and education in the tailoring trade. In short they are trained to use the Tailor and Cutter pattern system. Their main text for reference is the Red book put out by Tailor& Cutter. Most but not all tailors memorized the patterns in that book will draft the customer pattern on the fabric with a soap stick while the customer look on that is how skillful and experience those tailors are.

In short they are English trained Chinese Tailors. Their main business serving the English expatriates living and working in HK. Over the years the customer based for bespoke tailoring included the Chinese business men trying to emulate their English counterparts. Triad gangsters were another rich customers base and still is today. Much have change today in HK, but still things are the same. For well heed business men going to racetrack clubhouse or members club, they have to be dress in bespoke suit or they friends think that person is down on their luck, which is really bad. It is social thing and its about face which is paramount in any social setting for the Chinese.

The new customer today are well heed Chinese from mainland china looking to gain prestige and status from having a English Bespoke suit without going to England and money is no object. A German tailor will make a killing in HK simply because he is German which is a step up from the English style.

Hong Kong is tourist destination, and the ever enterprising Chinese tailor looking to exploit this type of customer built a system of making which is quick and easier. How much short cut on a suit jacket depend on the price. The lower the price, the more fusible interface is use in place of horse hair canvas and all seams are machine sew. Pattern are cut from a general block pattern with larger seam allowances. Most tourist are non-discriminating and can't tell what is good but wants the bragging rights back home. Cheap suit make with ready to wear method is just fine as long as it fit just don't go to a country club.

For the discriminating tourist who is willing to pay more, the suit is a high end RTW construction like Belvest or Brioni. In place of hand pad stitch, they use pad stitch machine for collar, chest interface and hems. Button holes are machine stitch from a button hole machine. The customer pattern is from a suit block and the canvas interfaces were manufacture ready to use cut to shape as needed. There are some hand stitch touches like pick stitch lapel that is for higher price tourist suit. Its not bespoke in the perfect sense for most tourist they are bargain hunter for a high quality suit make in one or two days. A bespoke suit jacket takes months to complete.

Over time Hong Kong tailor which serving the tourist become more a mini factory with several tailors working on one suit and use factory machines. The person got exploit is the tourist what they purchase is bragging rights and not a bespoke suit.

True bespoke Hong Kong tailor still working in Hong Kong back alley serving high-end customer. Why back alley or a hole in a wall? The logic goes like this if a tailor spends all his money paying for rent in high end location, he will spent less time on the suit to make a greater profit. The Chinese customer is very smart often they go to hole in the wall restaurant on a recommendation , because the food most be excellent since they spend nothing on the decoration of the restaurant. Some old Hong Kong tailor working in back alley are very well off and don't need to work, but still because of the customers refuse to leave. They have to work until they get a stroke.

Regards
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#24 Todd Hudson

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:19 AM

Some old Hong Kong tailor working in back alley are very well off and don't need to work, but still because of the customers refuse to leave. They have to work until they get a stroke.


Ha! This is universal now since good tailors are so rare. Customers abhor starting a new relationship that is so intimate and requires so much trust they have already built up with the old tailor. My cloth rep said that good cutters try to retire but then come back to work in a few months. Typically they die while working.

Some people I know from Hong Kong said they buy from a tailor who provided less fittings for less important suits. For a marriage suit, they used a tailor who gave more fittings. I was very impressed by the fit and construction of that marriage suit I examined.
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#25 napoli

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:24 AM

The Hong Kong tailor has a cutter who cut out the pieces with Rock of Eye and a tape in 20 minutes directly on the fabric. Then they have 15 slaves working on that suit. Almost everything is made by machine. Everything is fused wiht no front canvas. Probably the suit looks awfull in the end, but is cheap.



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#26 MKennys

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 06:07 PM

That Hong Kong’s tailors are the best in the world is indisputable, both quality and price here are unrivaled. Hong kong tailors match your personal preferences with clothes suited to your professional and social lifestyle and will pay meticulous attention to each detail of fabric and stitching.
 
However there is nothing so much of difference between the tailoring and hong kong tailoring it is just that hong kong tailors got famous due to the extra efforts and good work shown by them in the past. 

Brock, Bespoke tailor @ M Kenny's Fashions


#27 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 10:50 AM

 

That Hong Kong’s tailors are the best in the world is indisputable, both quality and price here are unrivaled. Hong kong tailors match your personal preferences with clothes suited to your professional and social lifestyle and will pay meticulous attention to each detail of fabric and stitching.
 
However there is nothing so much of difference between the tailoring and hong kong tailoring it is just that hong kong tailors got famous due to the extra efforts and good work shown by them in the past. 

 

 

Sounds good to me, hopefully American customers have made all their garment tailored there. America, anyway, has to many expensive tailors and cannot fullfill their customers needs, so they better go to Hong Kong now.


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#28 SealKing

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 11:33 AM

I simply don't see a point in generalizing. Of course, due to its nature as a transition center, where expats and tourists come and go, Hong Kong is naturally prone to having a lot of tailoring scams, which deceive people with fake measuring and churn out suits within hours in Shenzhen factories that don't fit.
 
Then there are old reputable houses such as WW Chan and Gordon Yao and the like, which are reputable houses that existed for decades that give you the proper 3 fittings and take months to finish the suit if one is in no hurry. Their price is around US$1500, which is justifiable for the lower expenses in HK, but definitely not dirt cheap. It just has that competitive edge when people are traveling through HK anyway.
 
All in all, there are great and lousy tailors in every major city around the world. Say for instance, Grand Tailors, from my native Taiwan, won the World Federation of Master Tailors in 2009 and even made the front cover of Runschau, and Taiwan isn't even known for its tailoring!
a_78.jpg

Edited by SealKing, 13 February 2014 - 11:35 AM.

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#29 Schneiderfrei

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 09:17 AM

Has it been wrong for me to train our cats to collect mice for my workshop??

 

In my town It seems that the only people who wear bespoke suits are lawyers and politicians so there are a few high end bespoke tailors with English affiliations. There is also a group of traditional Italian tailors whose number is decreasing every day. They mostly work from their homes these days. There are a number of Vietnamese tailors; of those whose work I have seen I have not been very impressed, especially in the selection of fabric and the crispness of their finishing.


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#30 Manou

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 05:07 PM

Hong Kong was and still is a colonial British city.

That changed 17 years ago in 1997.
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