Thomas Mason has a fresh 2018 catalogue that has reinvented gentlemen’s style with their premium shirt fabrics. Not only focusing on office wear, Thomas Mason’s leisure and special occasion fabrics marks a distinct sense of couture for this Italian fabric mill. Their finest quality fabrics are represented in their Noble line, with Giza 45 cotton.
Oxford and Piquet
Infinitesimal details camouflage the wearer of Oxford and Piquet fabric. From afar, the pinpoint design with a warp 140/2 and a threefold weft by Thomas Mason blends into a subtle warmth. When up close, the intricate design can be seen in all it’s tailored glory. Shades of blue and white are perfect for sneaking in a fashionable touch for the work place, while utilizing the striped look of the Piquet for those days off.
The working horse weave of shirt fabrics, Poplin gets a dignified face lift from Thomas Mason. Its flat weave allows for greater air circulation, making them perfect for those summer months. The latest options provide unique offerings from David & John Anderson, the brand acquired by Albini Group in 1992 which specialises in the finest yarn counts and fabrics in the most exquisite materials. Styles with a tighter structure, like the Cullinan 300/2 make for smart lines when looking your best is important. Looser structures such as the Buckingham 140/2 could be mistaken for linen, but offer supreme comfort and breathability.
One of the oldest weaves developed in England, Twill’s diagonal pattern still dazzles with its illusionary sheen. Subtle criss-cross patterns in the cloth shows off Thomas Mason’s attention to detail in their signature Twill weave, Hampton. Ranging from stripes, checks and plain, the Hampton twill is a testament to Thomas Mason’s eye for skill and design. A close up comparison of the Super Hampton and Hampton highlights the differences between two seamingly same light blue fabrics.
Thomas Mason Seasonal Collections
2018 brought out the wilder side of Thomas Mason. The Warwick and Wallpaper lines of cloth are a playful addition to any wardrobe. Bright colours and amusingly questionable patterns show that just because you have an eye for the luxurious, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it. Twill checks and patterns also feature heavily this year, as does the Balmoral weave.
Some of these playful patterns require more complex stitching and dying than most fabrics. Turning the fabric over can reveal much about how the cloth was produced. Jacquards as seen in the examples below are the most complex weave due to the non-repeating images woven within the normal weave of the fabric. Thomas Mason’s Jacquard example, with navy blue dots, uses a technique called fil-coupé (literally means “cut threads” in French) which requires the pattern’s to be trimmed to remove excess threads on the underside. The detailing is most noticeable on the reverse side of the fabric. Rolling up your sleeves would reveal such elegant intricacies in your bespoke shirt.
Printed fabrics are becoming more popular as the process and technologies used to dye the surface of the fabric improves. The results are becoming more photo realistic as a result. These floral patterns below exhibit different styles. One with painting-like qualities and while the other mimics a stitched look.
What seem like your standard office wear fabrics are made special with their fabric contents and treatments. With the Balmoral incorporating cotton with cashmere, the breathability and wearability of Cotton is combined with the softness and warmth of Cashmere. Thomas Mason have also created a “Natural Comfort” fabric whose secret is enclosed in a special treatment that confers a natural elasticity without using any synthetic components.
Denim options are brought to us by Albiate 1830 selected by Thomas Mason. Their treatments are unique, such as enzyme washing and single or double bleaching, that bring out a charming vintage effect in the fabric. For those that travel but always want to look crisp and fresh, the Journey fabrics do not crease. Perfect for those who travel and don’t have time to iron or take their shirts in for a pressing.
To round off the new Thomas Mason catalog, there are fine zephyrs, as well as some relaxed linens. After over 300 years of meticulous quality, the 2018 collection holds true to this tradition with a spectacular collection. Arrange an appointment to feel the quality yourself here, and check our touring schedule here.The fabric mills of Senszio
At Senszio we are proud to hold the fine fabrics from these mills in our collections.
More famous for their designer line clothing, Ermenegildo Zegna has its roots in fabric. It was Zegna’s eye for fashion and fine cashmere, wool and mohair fabrics that propelled them to success. Now they are still at the forefront, pioneering the lightweight trend of worsted fabrics. The results of their artisans are always highly praised for their sumptuous sheen and impeccable style.
The Vicuña was saved from extinction by Loro Piana. This Alpaca-like creature from the Andes produces some of the finest wool creating a soft and luxurious fabric. Loro Piana also sources fine mohair and cashmeres from across the globe to supplement their offering of fine fabric. Loro Piana Zibeline is one of their signatures, using an ancient Spanish flower to create a unique hammered pattern, both stylish and incredibly soft to the touch.
Fratelli Tallia Di Delfino
“Luxury is not an exception, but a philosophy” This is the ethos that Fratelli Tallia Di Delfino designs by. Founded in 1903 in the beautiful Biella, they owe their fantastic fabric to the clear running water nearby. Specialising in the finer side of fabrics such as cashmere, silk blends and Super 130s and 150s. Their signature in absolute luxury is their 24K line, where they use real gold in their fabrics. Truly a fabric mill to outfit kings.
Started by three brothers, Tessitura Monti has survived through 2 world wars to create the finest shirt fabrics. They provide a wide range of very high-quality fabrics made with single-yarn, twisted and double-twisted yarn and with refined and rich raw materials, such as Giza Egyptian cotton and prestigious Flanders linen.
Thomas Mason has been an English fabric producer since 1796. Though they have been owned by the Italian-based textile experts of the Albini family since 1992, they continue to stay true to their roots. Creating shirt fabrics with a quintessentially British style, they set themselves apart with their Seasonal, Silverline and Goldline collections. Distinguished by its style and made with the very best Egyptian two-fold yarns, you can expect the finest in English gentleman fashion.
A Heritage Mill from the rolling hills of Yorkshire, England, Scabal prides itself in their fabric. Though not as lightweight as their Italian counterparts, their super 150s+ still hold a sheen and luster rival to none. A common sight on Saville role, Scabal has the privilege of suiting some of the most influential men of our time, and continues to do so with their truly timeless fabrics.
Holland and Sherry
Specialising in regional fabrics from their home country of the UK, Holland and Sherry have become known for their immaculate taste and tried tradition. Featuring heavy fabrics ideal for winter chills, their sumptuous wools to rugged Scottish tweeds became the benchmark for quality and craft in the nineteenth century.
Truly focused on perfection, Dormeuil sources their raw materials from all corners of the globe to be brought to their award-winning fabric mill in England. From the raw fibers to yarn then to cloth, the fabric they produce is the culmination of a laborious but rewarding process. Known best for their supple cashmere, Dormeuil is best when going for that undercover luxury.
Vitale Barberis Cononico
One of the oldest fabric mills, founded in 1663, Vitale Barberis Canonico has reinvented itself to stay on top ethical and social standards. With a large archive of different styles and patterns favored by past clients such as Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor, Vitale Barberis Canonico can constantly resurrect timeless classics to re-create with a modern twist.
Our relationship with trusted fabric mills across the globe allow us to service customers in unique ways. The options are virtually limitless. Reach out for you custom requests and we will work with you to provide whatever you need.Suit Fabric – The first decision for your custom suit
Quality suit fabric is the foundation of any good suit. The first thing any visit to the tailors will be flipping through stacks and stacks of cloth booklets. It can be a daunting task if you are not versed in the aspects that make each fabric unique. Here we hope to introduce you to the 5 main characteristics you should consider when selecting fabrics.
Your first choice will be the type of suit fabric, wool, cotton, linen, silk or blends. Wool will be most people’s preferred choice because of its versatility and office friendliness. For tropical countries, consider cotton for its sweat absorbing and light characteristics, or linen for something more casual. The luster of silk and its blends are best saved for special occasions. Read further on materials and their uses here.
The mill is where the suit fabric is made. Some mills have been around for generations, still creating fabrics from sheep to suit, ensuring a watchful eye every step along the way for absolute perfection. Mills such as Zegna, have built their brand from these enduring traditions and can attract the best in pattern weavers and cloth dyers to create truly iconic fabric. Of course, there are other mills that offer similar quality at a lower price point, but without the prestige and fashion edge. Learn about all the mills we source from here.
The weight of the cloth you choose affects everything from the warmth of your suit to the fit. Fabrics can range from something as light as 210 grams per square meter (GSM) to something as heavy as 300 GSM. The weight is not any indication of quality, super 150s and higher can all vary in weight. Where weight makes the most impact is in how you carry yourself in the suit as well as warmth.
If there is one thing that is constant, higher quality means a finer thread, a brighter sheen and a more luxurious feel. This is most prevalent in wool and silk and its blends, though linen and cloth still have their best examples. Silk may be blended with other cloths to add versatility and to also bring down it’s price, while the quality in pure new wool is dictated by its fineness (or diameter) of the wool fiber, either in microns or Super 100s -180s.
The final choice, but the most lasting will be the colour and pattern. When first starting out, its best to fill your wardrobe with classic styles that can be worn to a variety of occasions and venues. These will be your blue, grey and charcoal wool suits. When venturing further, we have a weekly style guide that features unique match ups to inspire you. You can also browse our online database of the more popular suit fabrics we offer.
If you have any further questions, our master tailors will be more than happy to answer your questions. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.orgFabric weight and GSM explained for suits and shirts
With fabric, there are several types of numbers to consider that define it. Why is weight important to understand? The weight has a great deal to do with how warm you will be and how the fabric drapes, wrinkles and responds to your movements. The raw material and quality of the fabric also effects these things, but a 180GSM vs. 300GSM of any material will definitely contribute to how it feels on your body.
Fabric weight is usually measured in ounces or in GSM (grams per square meter or gm/2). Metric is more common but you will still find some mills measuring their fabrics using imperial measurements (ounces – oz or oz/yd2). Light weight fabrics would be from 180GSM to 230GSM. These would include your linens, silks, cottons and fine wools. Medium weights would be from 240GSM to 290GSM, including wool, some thicker cottons and certain silk blends. Heavy weights would be anything higher than 300GSM such as thick wool and tweed.
The lighter your fabric is, the more breathable and summer suited your suit will be. It is no surprise that tropical climate fabrics like linen and cotton are also very light. If you are looking for something to wear all season, or when purchasing your first suit, stick to a wool in the 210-230 GSM range. This should keep you cool in the summer, and be thin enough to sneak a cardigan underneath in the winter. The heavier you go in GSM, the thicker the fabric tends to get, making high GSM fabrics ideal for keeping warm in the winter.
The weight of the fabric also affects the fit of your suit. Tailors love to work with heavier fabrics as they hold their shape more readily, and drape downwards easier. This creates a very clean and fitted look when being worn. As the fabric gets lighter, it sways more in the wind, creases easier and is more likely to get snagged on your shoulders, belt or shirt sleeves, causing a disheveled look. Heavier fabrics are usually thicker, which might cause one to look portly.
While cottons, linens and silks will not vary too much, you can find wools in a wide range of weights. Many are aware that wool comes in different thread counts, usually labeled as Super 110s – Super 160s+, but are unsure how this affects weight. It is true that as wool goes up in thread count, it will usually be lighter, but as the threads themselves can vary in size, you can still find Super 150s from 220GSM all the way to 290GSM. Italian super 150s+ usually favor the ultralight side of wool (as low as 220gsm), while British fabric mills will create a heavier variety.
Shirting Fabric Weight
Shirt fabrics will follow the same principals as suit fabrics however with less complications. Due to the various fabric materials and uses of a suit, jacket or blazer, the fabric weight choices are much more. A quality dress shirt will typically be made of cotton, linen or a blend of each. The thickness will vary less and typically range in the 100 – 200 GSM range. To separate the nuances of fine shirting and understanding of the weave and origin of the raw material is more important determinant of quality.
Fabric weight can get a bit technical, if in doubt during your first fitting your tailor will always be happy to advise you in the right direction.The art of a fabric weave
Choosing the right fabrics for your suit or shirt from 3000+ options can be overwhelming. Especially if you know nothing about what the fabrics are and what makes them unique. Different types of fabric weave have unique structures, patterns and functionalities. This article is less about the material the fabric is made from, like wool, cotton, silk, etc. We discuss that in our post about selecting fabrics for your suits. Today, we are showing you a few fabrics that are popular to help you in choosing the right fabric for your tailored suit or shirt.
Warp and Weft
The Warp refers to the vertical threads (or Ends) in a fabric. Weft refers to horizontal threads (or Picks) which cross in various different weaving patterns on the loom to form different types of fabric. Both Warp and Weft may be coloured to incorporate stripe and check patterns into the fabric.
Piquet or Piqué, from the French term, is a fabric usually woven with two warps to produce characteristic parallel cords, diamonds, horizontal ribs and other interesting effects. Invented for use with cotton, the fabric is usually very richly constructed to emphasize the raised structures. Almost used exclusively for shirts and polos, piquet fabrics are often knitted as well as woven and can be quite formal (for evening shirts) or also sporty.
Oxford was traditionally a very basic fabric woven together by interlacing two threads on a coloured warp with a thick white weft, giving a chalky textured appearance. Oxford fabrics have been refined and produced using two-fold and three-fold yarns woven together in complex dobby structures to achieve the typical Oxford appearance. The finer versions of an Oxford are referred to as Pin Point or Royal Oxford and are used primarily for shirts with cotton. While rare, some suits have seen oxford (wool) used as well.
Twill is an English term that is used to identify fabrics with a diagonal structure. Main characteristics of a twill fabric is that by using the diagonal weave, as opposed to a plain weave, it’s possible to incorporate more threads and therefore the resultant fabrics are heavier and thus more suitable for cooler weather.
The pattern is reached by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on. Every time a “step” is left between rows to create the characteristic diagonal structure. A vast majority of suit fabrics are some kind of twill weave.
Some notable examples of fabrics that fall under the diagonal “Twill” family are flannel, tweed, herringbone, houndstooth and many more.
Poplin is a light cotton fabric with a higher number of yarns in the warp than in the weft, which makes it especially suitable for striped designs. The name is derived from the french word “papaline”, namely a fabric that was created for the Popes in the Middle Ages. Poplin is usually made with cotton but any fabric can be made into a poplin fabric.
Two-fold means that two very finely spun yarns have been subsequently twisted together to form a two-fold yarn, which is much stronger, smoother and more durable than the original single-fold yarns.
Fabrics woven from two-fold yarns are soft but also crisp, and have an unsurpassed lustre, drape and handle, as well as good resilience.
There are of course many more fabric types other than these, but now you know some of the basics. And you don’t have to panic at all, as our bespoke master at Senszio will assist you in finding the ones that suit your preference perfectly. Check out the next touring schedule here.What is a yarn count?
The count (or thickness) of a cotton yarn is based on the traditional English system and is equal to the number 840-yard (764 metre) skeins required to weight 1 pound. (0.453kg) Under this system, the higher the number of yarn count, the finer the yarn and thus more precious the fabric will be.
When two yarns are twisted or folded together the yarn count number is halved so 1/50s and 2/100s are actually the same thickness.What is the best type of wool for a gentleman’s office suit?
Gentlemen’s bespoke suits are a staple of office life. They give confidence and project an aura of self-assurance that’s like a suit of armor. But what’s the best fabric for your office suit? In general, suits and jackets are made from one of three fiber types: wool, cotton, or a synthetic. Cotton and synthetic suits tend to be hardwearing. Wool is less so.
Exposure to heat and chemicals can damage wool suits – even getting caught in the rain can spoil the fibers. But wool is still the finest material for men’s suits. It’s versatile and can be woven thickly, unlike cotton. It is also rich, full of body and great at holding heat. And tailors love it because it keeps its shape so well.
All that remains now is to decide which wool to opt for.
In office suits, the most common type of wool tailors use is Worsted. It’s a good choice because it’s midweight and hardwearing. You can wear Worsted all year round. The yarns normally come in a 60-80 twist – the higher the twist, the finer and lighter the fabric. The highest twist fabric is Super 180. The number relates to the number of threads per inch of fabric. High numbers mean high quality and higher prices.
Another type of wool for office jackets is tweed. This is heavy and coarse and best suited to Nordic climates. On the other end of the scale, tropical wool works well in summer but is prone to wrinkling.
Flannel can be used in business suits but is not a good choice for offices or in hot weather. Flannel is a soft, woven material that’s brushed for super-softness. A fine metal brush is used to rub the fabric and turn the loose yarns into fine fibers.
Virgin wool is freshly spun and, with its natural oils, is seen as water repellent. With minimal processing, virgin wool is soft and fine. It also absorbs dye easily. This makes it ideal for men’s suits.
But the finest wool for gentlemen’s business suits is Australian merino wool. It contains many natural properties and is remarkably soft and luxurious. Merino wool is also very elastic – suits stretch yet retain their shape. Merino fibers are also very breathable and react well to body-temperature changes. That means you stay warm in winter and cool in summer.
So, in short, the way to choose the wool for your office suit is to consider the following:
Thought your bespoke suit had to be all-wool? Think again. You have a range of fabric material options, with your ultimate choice depending on the time of year, weight and how much care you want to lavish on your suit.
Selecting fabric the non-wool route and you have four main fabric options: linen, cotton, silk and mohairs.
Linen, coming from the plant Linum Usatissimum, is produced through the retting process of the stalks. It is the only textile fibre that grows in Europe, and it was the first to be cultivated and transformed by man. It has a series of outspoken benefits:
First, linen is “heat-regulated”: it absorbs body-heat and expels it to the outside, leaving a sensation of freshness and dryness.
Second, it is “antiallergenic”: it is non-irritant, does not harbor dust, detergents or limestone residue.
Third, linen is “resistant”: linen is the strongest natural textile fibre. It lasts a long time without deforming and becomes softer to touch the more you wash it.
At last, linen is “ecological”: it is a plant that requires less water than other crops and necessities just a minimal quantity of fertilizers.
Linen is a classic summer fabric. It looks great at a garden party or wedding – cocktail in hand – or in tropical climates where its light feel takes the edge off the heat. On the downside, linen can wrinkle easily and needs plenty of care. Darker shades can fade in direct sunlight. Selecting fabric made of linen in bright colors is a wise choice for those who choose to spend their hot days in the sun.
Selecting fabric made of cotton suit will allow your skin to breathe, so it’s a good choice for the summer. As it’s a natural fiber, it feels pleasant next to the skin. However, like linen, cotton suits can wrinkle easily. That said, the crumpled look can be quite appealing.
Cotton suit fabrics can come in a variety of styles. Plains and corduroy are your most common. While the corduroy suit is reserved for stylized distinction, the jacket and blazer is much more common, especially in colder weather.
For a wrinkle-free and cost-effective suit, try mohair. It’s a silk-like fabric or yarn that comes from the Angora goat. With its roots from Turkey, the Angora goat has been exported as far as Texas but now South Africa is where the finest quality animals can now be found. The mohair suit is a light cloth with an attractive sheen and lustre and a soft and silky texture. Mohair’s main characteristic, apart from its shine, is its resiliency, making it the most crease-proof natural fiber and therefore the most suitable for producing permanent-press clothing.
Finer fabrics are made of kid mohair, the fiber from the animal’s first clip, which is done in the first six months. These produce the finest and most beautiful batches, with smooth, shiny transparent white fibers. Kid mohair is only about 19% of South Africa’s annual production.
And silk? Silk is a pure fabric with soft fibres that breathe well. They keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. Silk are also available in various weights, so you can wear heavier fabrics in cool weather and lighter fabrics in hot weather.
Wool suit fabrics
Selecting fabric made of wool means the material is processed using worsted or woolen yarn. Worsted is spun tightly, for a strong and smooth feel; woolen yarn is weaker and bulkier.
Another option is tweed, a warm fabric that’s hardwearing and a good choice for the winter. Tweed has a coarse texture and often comes in checks.
A good choice for sports jackets is herringbone. The pattern of this fabric is a broken weave, shaped as its name implies like the bones of a herring. This fabric is less popular now and enjoyed its heyday back in the middle of the last century.
Flannel is a middleweight fabric that comes twill or plain weaved. Ideal for the winter, it can be produced by worsted or woolen yarn. Even though flannel is a soft fabric, it’s long-lasting and has a classic, timeless feel.
Virgin wool has never been previously spun or woven and is taken straight from the lamb’s fleece. With no recycled wool, it has a silky feel.
Merino wool comes from Merino sheep and is finer than worsted. It’s a short, thin fiber that many consider to be premium wool.
Lambs’ wool is taken from very young lambs, to give a very fine and soft feel. You can wear lambs’ wool all year round as it’s comfortable and allows your skin to breathe.
Now that you know a bit more about the materials of suiting fabrics, make sure you understand how to care for them. For a broader understanding of suit fabrics and all things to consider when choosing one for your bespoke suit, make sure to read our guide all about suit fabrics.Bespoke suits: The world’s leading fabrics
At Senszio, we use the world’s leading natural fibers to craft our bespoke suits. That means Merino wool from Australia, cashmere from Mongolia, silk from China and Vicuña from South America.
Australia is home to around 70 million sheep, making it the world’s leading producer and exporter of wool. The finest wool in Australia comes from Merino, a breed that forms around 80% of the sheep population.
Merino wool’s natural qualities make it well-suited to high-end bespoke suits. It has natural breath-ability, is warm in winter and cool in summer, drapes well and is hard to crease. Merino is tough to stain and maintains its color.
What about cashmere? For the world’s finest, you can thank the nomadic herders who tend Mongolian goats. Mongolia has a tough climate and the fleece of cashmere goats is thick and long with a fine-down undercoat.
Every spring, the down is combed out and three or four ounces of cashmere are taken from each goat. This is barely enough for half a sweater, when an ordinary sheep offers enough wool for up to four sweaters. No wonder a pair of cashmere pyjamas costs about $1,000.
The finest silk comes from the ancient Chinese, who kept the secret from the world by sentencing anyone to death who smuggled worms or eggs out of the country. Silkworms spew out thread from their jaws and spin it into cocoons to hold their eggs. They can produce up to 1200 silken threads in just 72 hours and lay at least 500 eggs every spring. It’s a production line that’s unlikely to break down any time soon. Chinese silk produces outstanding-quality bespoke suits.
But possibly the most luxurious fabric in the entire world is the coat of the South American Vicuña, a relative of the llama. It’s a rare and endangered animal and harvesting its coat is by no means easy, which is why vicuña wool is the world’s most expensive.
Vicuña wool is also very warm, as its scales interlock and trap insulating air. Vicuña wool tends to be sold in its natural color as it’s sensitive to chemical treatment.
In 1974, the Vicuña population fell to about 6,000. This number has risen to around 125,000 since the species has been protected under Peruvian law. One Vicuña produces just a pound of wool every year and it can be harvested only every three years. No wonder a yard of Vicuña wool can cost up to US$3,000.7 tips on dressing up to true mad men style
To say that the television show, Mad Men, which is broadcast on American cable network AMC, has had an impact on the fashion industry would be an understatement. The American television show that fashion editors love
Seldom have we seen a television program been given its own news and coverage section in New York magazine, its own Look Book on GQ magazine (for Don Draper) for every season, or its clothes so extensively covered in the media, ranging from entertainment and fashion titles to business news. Examples include Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Glamour and even Forbes. Even President Obama referred to the TV show when he was addressing workplace polices in his State of the Union speech in January 2014.
How do the show’s characters like Pete Campbell, Don Draper, Lane Pryce and Roger Sterling, manage to look so dapper and cool to us now, even though the styles belong to the 1960’s?
Here are some timeless tips on how to dress as dapper as the men on Mad Men, from the perspective of a bespoke tailor: