Silk suits

Carlo Canali

Starting Member
What are silk suits like to wear for comfort? I have a 120s suit which has the coolest feel to the pants as soon as I put my feet through the leg holes bliss! I wonder how silk suits compare?
 

Rossini

Honors Member
Depends on the material. Zegna's Trofeo Silk is lovely, combining the best of both worlds. Other inferior silk blends betray the inadequacies of silk.
 

medwards

Honored Professor | Moderator, All Forums
Silk has a very tight weave. Consequently, it breathes rather poorly and can be quite warm, which surprises many people who intutitively feel it is a light, summer fabric. Silk blends differ depending on their make-up.
 

Bob Loblaw

Super Member
Another needlessly complex explanation.

What are silk suits like to wear for comfort? I have a 120s suit which has the coolest feel to the pants as soon as I put my feet through the leg holes bliss! I wonder how silk suits compare?

The coolness you are feeling is because the tight weave does not have as high an air content as wool and cotton. Silk takes more energy to heat up than air so your pants feel nice and cool in the morning. However, this same tight weave will trap in heat.Silk suits are not going to leave you in cool comfort.
 
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Sator

Honors Member
Silk has a very tight weave. Consequently, it breathes rather poorly and can be quite warm, which surprises many people who intutitively feel it is a light, summer fabric. Silk blends differ depending on their make-up.

Shangtung is meant to run cooler, although I have never tried it. I would also imagine that Dupioni silk might run a bit cooler. So the type of weave obviously plays a role in whether a silk breaths well or not. The rougher non-shiney finish of these cloths (partly a function of looser weave settings) also make them more wearable. However, all silks seem to be more tightly woven than most other fibres.

Furthermore, I think that wool and mohair come from animals which retain their fur coat year round. Nature does that for a reason - to protect the beast from the harsh elements of both excessive heat and cold. In short, these fibres keep the wearer warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I am not so certain silk has this property.
 
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medwards

Honored Professor | Moderator, All Forums
I would also imagine that Dupioni silk might run a bit cooler.


Yes, I find Dupioni to run a bit cooler. It should be noted that these differences are ones of modest degree (no pun intended) and may not be evident to many wearers depending on their sensitivity to heat, the cut and color of the garment, how the suit fits, and the other items of clothing and accessories that accompany it.
 

Sator

Honors Member
Yes, I find Dupioni to run a bit cooler.

I take it you have tried Dupioni silk? What colour and source, if I may ask? And how did you find it?

I rather find the crispness of this cloth and the unique way you get subtle slubs running through it to be very interesting. It is an acquired taste but I like the look for a casual summer suiting.
 

misterdonuts

Senior Member
Shangtung is meant to run cooler, although I have never tried it. I would also imagine that Dupioni silk might run a bit cooler. So the type of weave obviously plays a role in whether a silk breaths well or not. The rougher non-shiney finish of these cloths (partly a function of looser weave settings) also make them more wearable. However, all silks seem to be more tightly woven than most other fibres.
True. They are often found in various traditional dress across Asia, both for men and women. That said, I am not quite sure how a western suit would turn out with a dupioni silk shell (although I do have a coat lined with dupioni silk). However, one thing is for sure: it will make Martin Fry turn green with envy.:icon_smile_big:
 

misterdonuts

Senior Member
I take it you have tried Dupioni silk? What colour and source, if I may ask? And how did you find it?

I rather find the crispness of this cloth and the unique way you get subtle slubs running through it to be very interesting. It is an acquired taste but I like the look for a casual summer suiting.
Australia has the highest concentration of Indian immigrants. You should be able to find a sari shop or two who would have plenty of dupioni bolts to examine.
 

Sator

Honors Member
Australia has the highest concentration of Indian immigrants. You should be able to find a sari shop or two who would have plenty of dupioni bolts to examine.

I very much doubt it. Proper Dupioni silk suitable as suitings is woven by about one mill in Italy. The last time I saw a Dupioni silk lounge suit it was a Brioni.

Do you honestly buy your coatings from a small local sewing store???
 

Sator

Honors Member
Prince Charles wears an Anderson and Shepherd Dupioni silk lounge suit:

Charles_DupioniSilk.jpg


Doubtless A&S went to an Indian 2 bob sewing store to pick up the cloth.
 

misterdonuts

Senior Member
Prince Charles wears an Anderson and Shepherd Dupioni silk lounge suit:

Doubtless A&S went to an Indian 2 bob sewing store to pick up the cloth.
LOL!! My profuse apologies, your Highness! How dare I suggest that your Highness source cloth from those wretched, backwards little brown folks!!!
 

Bog

Super Member
I very much doubt it. Proper Dupioni silk suitable as suitings is woven by about one mill in Italy. The last time I saw a Dupioni silk lounge suit it was a Brioni.

No self-respecting traditional Chinese or Japanese man would wear dupioni silk for their national dress, as it is considered in those countries to be an inferior, defective, sort of silk cloth, most unsuitable for making clothes for the refined man. In fact, the defects are quite visible in the cloth: irregular batches of silk mixed in with the fine weave. This is the reason this cloth became widely exported to Europe and made its way into to become a staple of summer suitings.
 
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