Roger

Super Member
We probably need Alex for this, but some other forumers may know the answer. Shirt cotton seems to come in two widths, 150 cm. (60") and 90 cm. (36"). I notice that with Alumo, for example, often what is shown as the same fabric will be offered in each width. But are they the same fabrics? Is there a quality advantage for cotton woven on the smaller looms? Or vice versa? Otherwise, why are two widths offered? (FWIW, a typical shirt would require about 2 m. or the 150 cm. width and 3 m. of the narrower.)

Note: I put this question out on the London Lounge and got zip. Is the knowledge base higher here? :icon_smile_wink:
 

Alexander Kabbaz

Tech and Business Advice Guru
Roger said:
We probably need Alex for this, but some other forumers may know the answer. Shirt cotton seems to come in two widths, 150 cm. (60") and 90 cm. (36"). I notice that with Alumo, for example, often what is shown as the same fabric will be offered in each width. But are they the same fabrics? Is there a quality advantage for cotton woven on the smaller looms? Or vice versa? Otherwise, why are two widths offered? (FWIW, a typical shirt would require about 2 m. or the 150 cm. width and 3 m. of the narrower.)

Note: I put this question out on the London Lounge and got zip. Is the knowledge base higher here? :icon_smile_wink:
60" has been the evolving European standard for at least 15 years.

Virtually no mill would even think of buying a 36" loom at this point. Some, I among them, would advocate that for certain cloths there is a quality advantage to the narrower width in that the weft yarn does not have to travel as far on its journey. It thus stands less chance of curving along the way.

None would argue that there is a great economic advantage in the wider width to all members of the food chain from the mill to the consumer.

Asia, on the other hand, was always standardized at 45" width. I know not what they are doing as I do not use asian fabrics.
 

constantmystery

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
alan flusser says...

tyhat fabric woven on the narrower looms is of higher quality. Apparently (if I remember correctly) the two ply higher thread count (120's, 140's etc;) materials can ONLY be woven on the narrower looms which are all based in Italy and Switzerland...hence the cache of "swiss or italian loomed "
 

Alexander Kabbaz

Tech and Business Advice Guru
constantmystery said:
tyhat fabric woven on the narrower looms is of higher quality. Apparently (if I remember correctly) the two ply higher thread count (120's, 140's etc;) materials can ONLY be woven on the narrower looms which are all based in Italy and Switzerland...hence the cache of "swiss or italian loomed "
Alan may have said that 10-15 years ago.

Remember 10 years ago? We all had 2.2k modems and dial-up connections hooked to our IBM-AT 286's. A large hard drive held 40 Megs; all Sea Island cloth was made in Japan by Threadtex of London.

Although wonderful niche mills such as Bonfanti do exist and S.I.C. Tessuti occasionally releases a 36" sample book from the looms in their back room, the majority of highest quality shirtings are today made on 60" looms.
 

Roger

Super Member
constantmystery said:
tyhat fabric woven on the narrower looms is of higher quality. Apparently (if I remember correctly) the two ply higher thread count (120's, 140's etc;) materials can ONLY be woven on the narrower looms which are all based in Italy and Switzerland...hence the cache of "swiss or italian loomed "
That's interesting. It's hard to see how Flusser can be right about that, however, when you pick up a piece of Alumo's "Soyella Duocento"--a 170s to die for--woven on 60" looms. Interestingly, the Alumo plain "Soyella," also a 170s (and lovely) is available in a variety of colors in the 60" width, but in white only in the 36" width. Perhaps this relates to Alex's point above, in that, in white, greater care needs to be taken to prevent the curving mentioned, which may be more obvious in white than in colors. Just a hypothesis.
 

Alexander Kabbaz

Tech and Business Advice Guru
Roger said:
That's interesting. It's hard to see how Flusser can be right about that, however, when you pick up a piece of Alumo's "Soyella Duocento"--a 170s to die for--woven on 60" looms. Interestingly, the Alumo plain "Soyella," also a 170s (and lovely) is available in a variety of colors in the 60" width, but in white only in the 36" width. Perhaps this relates to Alex's point above, in that, in white, greater care needs to be taken to prevent the curving mentioned, which may be more obvious in white than in colors. Just a hypothesis.
Soyella Duocento is Alumo's 2x2 200s, not 170s. Soyella is 170s. The curving is visible only in fabrics with an intermittently colored weft such as checks and plaids. The reason only white remains available in the 36" goods is because white is the cloth sold in the highest volume. Thus they can still afford to weave it on the 36" looms for the few remaining pains-in-the-ass like me who prefer it that way.

36" won't continue to exist for much longer. It is not economically feasible for either mills to weave in two widths or for shirtmakers to cut in two widths unless they are hand-cutting only one shirt at a time. I believe that the number of professional shirtmakers who consistently hand-cut one shirt at a time is one. Also, the existing 36" looms are getting older by the day and will soon be joining the Checker Cab in the annals of beloved history.
 

Roger

Super Member
Alexander Kabbaz said:
Soyella Duocento is Alumo's 2x2 200s, not 170s. Soyella is 170s.
Just seeing if you were paying attention.:icon_smile_big: After re-reading Gina Cattozzo's e-mail, I see that she notes that the Soyella is 170s, and I mistakenly assumed that meant the Soyella Duocento as well. At close to 30% higher cost, I should have suspected that the latter would have an even higher yarn number. Quick tangential question: Alex, would you use the Soyella, at 90 g./ sq. m., for a fall-winter shirt, or is it just too light?
 

Alexander Kabbaz

Tech and Business Advice Guru
Roger said:
Just seeing if you were paying attention.:icon_smile_big: After re-reading Gina Cattozzo's e-mail, I see that she notes that the Soyella is 170s, and I mistakenly assumed that meant the Soyella Duocento as well. At close to 30% higher cost, I should have suspected that the latter would have an even higher yarn number. Quick tangential question: Alex, would you use the Soyella, at 90 g./ sq. m., for a fall-winter shirt, or is it just too light?
I introduced Soyella to the United States in 1984. It wasn't even caled Soyella then. By 1987-88, I had converted the vast majority of my clients to Soyella. I use it for everything. Summer or Winter dress shirts, bedsheets, the curtains in my studio, even for the non-knitted parts of tennis clothes. Would I wear it in the Sahara in July? Nope. Whistler in January? Nope. Most other times? Yup.
Now, if you find yerself too cold, may I suggest some of the Zimmerli #802 Silk Interlock? Oops! Wrong forum.

And this is my dissertation. ;)
 

Shirtmaven

Inactive user
I hate to tell this to the purists, but... I have seen 2/200 made in mills in turkey as well as Japan. Both on 150cm looms. China is not far behind.

Are they as nice as the 2/200 from Alumo or Albini? no. They are also half the price. before you know it, you will be able to buy a J. Crew shirt in 2/200 marked down to $75.00 from $195.


Will I buy the 2/200 from the turkish or japanese mill? Sure. why shouldn't I. Will I tell you that is from Switzerland or Italy? No! I will just let you touch it and see what you think.

Carl

www.cego.com
 

Alexander Kabbaz

Tech and Business Advice Guru
Shirtmaven said:
I hate to tell this to the purists, but... I have seen 2/200 made in mills in turkey as well as Japan. Both on 150cm looms. China is not far behind.

Are they as nice as the 2/200 from Alumo or Albini? no. They are also half the price. before you know it, you will be able to buy a J. Crew shirt in 2/200 marked down to $75.00 from $195.


Will I buy the 2/200 from the turkish or japanese mill? Sure. why shouldn't I. Will I tell you that is from Switzerland or Italy? No! I will just let you touch it and see what you think.

Carl

www.cego.com
I completely agree. The new goods feel great. Simply double or triple the loom speed and halve the price. Simply double or triple the loom speed and X-tuple the microscopic breaks in the yarns which remain invisible until the X-th wash. Then take out your tweezers and start removing the pills. Halve or quarter ... or divide by 30 ... the mill employees pay and watch them pay just as much careful attention to quality control.

I'm not interested in feeling the goods off the roll. Let me feel them after the fiftieth wash, please. That is, if there's anything left to feel.

Again, this is my dissertation.

The Purist
 

kitonbrioni

Honors Member
This is one place where the maker seems to be the key to quality fabrics. I have dozens of Brioni and Kiton shirts--some for decades--and have never been disappointed with the fabric quality (or construction). And they do indeed seem to just feel better after many washings.
 

Teacher

Honors Member
Alexander Kabbaz said:
I completely agree. The new goods feel great. Simply double or triple the loom speed and halve the price. Simply double or triple the loom speed and X-tuple the microscopic breaks in the yarns which remain invisible until the X-th wash. Then take out your tweezers and start removing the pills. Halve or quarter ... or divide by 30 ... the mill employees pay and watch them pay just as much careful attention to quality control.

I'm not interested in feeling the goods off the roll. Let me feel them after the fiftieth wash, please. That is, if there's anything left to feel.

Again, this is my dissertation.

The Purist
Do I detect the slightest hint of sarcasm?
 

iyorito

New Member
Life time supply of 90cm fabric

Mr.Kabbaz,

I ordered a lifetime supply of 100m of Carlo Riva fabric (white twill voile which is my favorite), in anticipation of disappearance of 90cm machines. Was I stupid??
 

Shirtmaven

Inactive user
White fabric will yellow over time. I would ask Riva what you should do to retain the same shade of white. How white will your shirts be when you cut your last batch of shirts in 15 years.

Maybe Alex has an answer.

I am in agreement with Alex in relation to the quality of the 2/200 produced on narrow looms that are better attended. These second tier mills are proud of their acheivments. They will take great care to deliver a quality product.

Why would I use these fabrics while Alex would not? We have a different customer base. His customer will not question price in search of excellence.

My customer is more concerned with Price. I am not saying they are cheap, just more interested in better value. They have heard about these fabrics and would like to experience a shirt made in such a fabric. They just would rather spend $300-400 for such a shirt rather then $500 and up.

I myself prefer to make my own dress shirts from 100/2 or 120/2. Will I make a shirt for myself out of the 2/200. Yes, because I too want to see How the fabric performs after 5 washings.


Carl


www.cego.com
 

Shirtmaven

Inactive user
iyorito said:
Carl,

Thanks for your input. How about if I vacuum pack them?
May be that will help.
Maybe.... how about seeling the fabric in a cryogenic chamber..
I really don't know. Maybe alex or Riva will have an answer.

Carl
 
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