This week, at The Suitstainable Man, I am delighted to announce a new series of articles looking extensively at cloths used in, but not limited to, tailoring.
This new project is a result of two factors, and, perhaps, is also the reason why this guide will be different from articles of the same breed that you have come across before.
First of all, this series aims to fill in a gap that currently exists in the literature. From what I have observed, there are two main varieties of articles on cloths.
One, style blogs that approach the topic from the angle of history, styling, and the craftsmanship (weaving) of the cloth. Two, academic papers that examine textiles scientifically; mainly from a lifecycle assessment perspective, similar to the methodology I have used in the first half of my 'How Sustainable is Bespoke Tailoring?' article.
Nonetheless, there aren't guides that dive into this conversation from both narratives, or, at least, examine both areas comprehensively enough to be informative. Or worse, some guides place too much emphasis on one aspect, which ultimately contributes to an imbalanced argument on why a certain cloth variety is good or bad.
The second reason is that this line of write-ups is a continuation of several of my well-received articles that specifically look into both style and sustainability of tailoring cloths.
Apart from the kind comments I have received from the aforementioned article, the positive feedbacks on the Tengri yak cloth series have also proven that my dear readers are interested in reading more in this area.
All of this inspires me to start this series.
Now, there are three particular areas of interest that I intend to address in these articles ― the history and styling, the sustainability (in the sense of societal and environmental), and the performance of the cloth.
The first part ― the history and styling ― serves to provide a brief overview of how the cloth has historically been used in menswear and tailoring, as well as how it has been styled. I reckon this would be useful to readers that are new to tailoring fabrics.
The second section, which focuses on sustainability, aims to translate the scientific findings on different cloth varieties into layman's terms. This would be largely similar to the first half of the 'How Sustainable is Bespoke Tailoring?', if not presented in a shorter and more concise form. This would combine existing literature, as well as my own findings, where data is unavailable.
Finally, for the performance section, the idea behind it is that just because the cloth produces less environmental impacts through its manufacturing process, that does not necessarily equate to great performance. We will examine questions such as 'does the cloth drape well?' or 'could the cloth withstand hard surfaces?'. Hopefully, this would make the argument more balanced.
One last point ― similar to 'The Guide to Wardrobe Building' series, there will be a tap underneath 'Guides' on the horizontal menu designated to this mini-series once a few write-ups are available on the site.
As per usual, we want this series to be as engaging and interactive as possible. While there are certain cloth varieties which we aim to address, we are also open to ideas and opinions you may have. So feel free to drop me a line, whether in the comments section below, or through Instagram or email.
And with that, this marks the end of this short introduction. I simply can't wait to roll out this series, which truly manifests what The Suitstainable Man strives to be about.
Take care, and bye for now.
Photography: by Matthew Poon, Wix, and Unsplash respectively