Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Pandora’s box of cloth

3 to 4 years ago a customer came in to collect his suit and whilst going through his final fitting the conversation moved to cloth and mills, He mentioned that there was a mill near his parents house in the west country and the next time he goes up there he’ll pop in for a look around and even see if they have cloth bunches. A few months later a 6 inch square box arrived from the mill with every cloth sample attached to loose pieces of card, not the ideal way for a customer to flick through and for this reason didn’t take into consideration when selecting bunches for an order. It wasn’t until we had a customer who had booked an afternoon off to select his cloth and was willing to pull all these pieces of cloth out of the box that we saw the full range, soft wool/cashmere mix jacketing’s to light donagal tweeds the fabric was amazing and made up fantastically. The mill is called Marling Evans and date back 400 years to the 16th century, they was originally a hand weaving workshop and by the 19th century became one of the most significant textile company’s in the west of England. They mainly weave for other cloth houses, especially in Italy and Spain and only really send cloth samples out if required which explains the box rather then the bunches which we are all more familiar with. I’ve spoken to other tailors at the MTBA about Marling Evans and most don’t seem to have heard of them which I find surprising given how good the quality is and how far they date back and I think all English Tailors should be using a mill that has so much heritage. So to all you patient soles who can take a bit more time, find your spot on our chesterfield, grab a cup of tea and explore The Pandora’s box which is Marling Evans.

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50 years of Bond style

Last night I took the short walk from well court round to the Barbican to see the ’50 years of Bond style’ exhibition and was not let down. As soon as you walk in you see Bond in a Douglas Haywood 3 piece leaning against his Aston Martin DB5, then walk straight into a scene from Goldfinger with Jill Masterson painted gold lying on the bed. As well as Douglas Haywood, Brioni had a lot of Bond suits on show the main stand out was the white tux from Octopussy in 1983. Even the swimwear like the blue shorts from the film Thunderball look as smart now then they did in 1965. From props to the art work it’s all worth a look. For those of you who have not ventured down to the Barbican as yet it runs until the 5th Sept.

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The Travel Suit

This is something that is getting more and more popular over the last few years, a suit that can be worn on board a flight and look good once arrived at your destination and ready for a meeting that same day. Fresco fabric really fits this bill in more ways then one, The cloth is woven in fine Marino wool in two different weights, the 9/10 oz is a 3 ply weave where as the 11/12 oz is 4 ply. This gives the fabric that loose look and makes it open and breathable but has a finish that makes it very durable and difficult to crease. The only downside I find is that it has a slightly rough feel and a half lined trouser is essential. On this brown fresco we done inverted pleats on the patch pockets to be more practical when carrying your bits and pieces you need for your flight from your passport and boarding card to your in flight reading book, also a storm collar just incase the weather at the other end isn’t what you was expecting.

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The two main bunches we use are Smith Woolens ‘Finmeresco’ and ‘fresco 2’ by J&J Minnus

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Harrison’s Moonbeam

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We are just finishing off a jacket in Harrison’s Moonbeam jacketing bunch and I’m sure Mr Chung in the US will be happy with the results, the hand buttonholes are the only thing left to do then it will be good to go. The cloth has a mix of 75% super fine lambs wool with 25% angora so it has that cashmere soft feel but at a fraction of the price, also the patterns and colours that Harrison’s of Edinburgh has put into this bunch is something you would rarely see in cashmere. As the cloth is 10/11 oz it tailors fantastically and holds its shape really well, a great option for a sports coat to those who want a change from tweed.

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A jacket in Harrison’s Moonbeam is £795.00

MTBA summer ball

Last night we had our Master Tailors’ Benevolent Association summer ball at our hall in Threadneedle street, The hall itself was build in 1347 but was restored internally in 1666 after having been damaged by the Great Fire of London and again in 1940 after being hit by a number of bombs but the foundations were never affected. Twice a year we meet here to dine, In winter is a formal sit down meal with a speaker and is full dinner dress which is mainly held in our hall, Where as the summer ball is much more informal, the dress code is much more relaxed with a barbicue and live band situated in our garden.

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Above, The Tailors hall, our fountain and the garden area filling up. Me and Russell ( i wore my Scabal herringbone linen Jacket with a pair of mid weight flannel trousers where as Russell donned his Dashing tweed ) and bottom Me and Davide Taub, Head cutter at Gieves & Hawkes who i trained with under Russell at Kashket & Partners some time ago.

For anyone interested in the Master Tailors’ Benevolent Association here’s the link to our site
http://www.merchant-taylors.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=70&Itemid=26

Marina Dalglish appeal charity golf day

In May this year we downed our shears and tape measures for golf clubs in aid of Marina Dalglish’s cancer charity. Marina, wife of Liverpool and Scotland legend Kenny was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 and now thankfully in the clear is raising money for machines and equipment needed to help others. The venue for the golf day was Southport’s Royal Birkdale, a tricky links course with bundles of history ( and even more bunkers ) so we was glad to see the sun shining and the wind down to a minimum when we turned up that morning. Unfortuntly we didn’t bring the winners trophy back to London, but as novice golfers compared to Mr Dalglish and Mr Hansen who did get the trophy, we left with our heads held high that we tackled one of golfs hardest courses and didn’t come last. Our suit in Lesser & son’s lumbs golden bale also made a tidy sum at the after dinner charity auction and look forward to making it. Anyone interested to read more info on Marina’s great work here’s her page. http://www.marinadalglishappeal.org/