Do you know cut of your cloth? Suit fabrics explained

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Suit style is important but when it comes to buying a new suit, the cloth you choose should be the first consideration. Remember that a suit says a great deal about the wearer and is a great opportunity to showcase your style and personality to the world. A new suit should be chosen not only for the fit but also from the cloth from which it is cut.

Luckily there’s only a relatively small selection of fabrics which are suitable for suiting which helps to narrow down the choice but nevertheless a number of things should be taken into consideration when looking for that perfect cloth.

Breathability is important as no-one wants to feel hot and sweaty during the summer, whilst chattering teeth aren’t too pleasant when the temperatures drop in winter. Fabric softness should also be considered: itchy wool is likely to drive you made and a suit that feels to started and crisp offers little in the way of comfort. So what makes the ideal cloth for suiting? We asked for some advice from master tailors norton and townsend


Wool is the still the most popular choice when it comes to suits and this is largely down to its versatility and classic look. Wool is naturally breathable, making ideal for wearing throughout the majority of the year. Wool feels soft to the touch and is crease resistant; however it is sometimes dismissed as being bulky and unflattering by those who prefer more slimming fabrics.

Worsted wool

Extremely durable yet smooth to the touch, worsted wool cloth is a compact textile that does not need to be spun. Rather than being spun, worsted wool is combed using a carding process which leaves the longer strands of fibre to produce a fabric that is smooth yet tough. Worsted can be woven in a variety of ways to produce suiting cloth such as tweed, flannel or gabardine.


Cashmere is perceived to be the last word in luxury when it comes to suiting cloth but it can result in a shiny looking suit which is likely to make it unsuitable for work. On the other hand cashmere is unbeatable when it comes to creating the perfect suit for a wedding or formal occasion.


Cotton is still a very popular choice for suits and you might be surprised to learn that sales of cotton suits come a close second to wool. Like wool cotton is completely natural and offers natural breathability and ease of movement; however it does tend to crease easily which can make a suit look scruffy or ill-fitting.


Cool, crisp linen makes a wonderful suit for summer and is synonymous with laid-back languid style. However, linen does crease easily – especially in humid climates – and is prone to staining, calling for regular dry cleaning to maintain the look of the suit.


A silk suit offers the last word in luxury. Breathable and naturally able to regulate your temperature, a silk suit will keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. The ideal choice for wedding or luxurious event, a silk suit is undeniably expensive but should be considered a worthwhile investment if you attend lots of black-tie functions.


If a velvet suit makes you think of the 1970s and Liberace then think again. Luxurious, touchable and incredibly stylish when in the hands of a good tailor; a velvet dinner jacket looks can be worn year round.

A tailor made suit can prove an expensive investment so going bespoke means getting it right first time. When choosing fabric for a bespoke suit, think about when you’re planning on wearing it, your body shape and how comfortable you’d like to be. Take these factors into consideration and you’ll be fine.






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