The trimmings
By Finnan on 10th September, 2012

Once the cloth for a suit is cut, the various trimmings need to be added to it before it can all be sent to the appropriate tailor.

There are three different parts to the structure of the chest: linen canvas, which runs down the whole front of the jacket; horsehair, which just sits in the chest; and demette, which lies under the horsehair and stops the hairs poking through. A piece of the demette is also needed for the sleevehead rolls – the padding that builds up that shape at the top of the sleeve. The demette comes in black and white, the choice depending on how dark the suit is.

Next, pocketings. This makes the pocket bags in the hip and chest of the jacket, and the side pockets on the trousers. There is one wide piece and one narrow in each bunch, and these also come in different shades to go with the tone of the suit.

Melton, again to match, goes underneath the collar, and an extra strip of linen canvas is used to line the collar. A heavier linen canvas is used in one or two places to reinforce the jacket, such as at the edges of the jacket pockets or along the edge of the trouser pockets.

Customers obviously have a bit more choice with the linings, and there is quite a variety, though many simply go with a matching lining and this is what we add by default. The sleeve lining will be the Anderson & Sheppard blue and white, unless it’s a porous cloth in which case it will match the body.

With buttons there is again some choice, either to match in the plastic or there is a range of horn buttons. It entirely depends on how much contrast the customer wants. If the tailor concerned does his or her own finishing, then we include some button twist as well, though many send the jacket back to us for finishing.

The buttons and twist go in a small plastic bag, they are wrapped in a little cross arrangment by the pocketings, and then everything else is wound around that.

Then it’s on to the tailor.