Suit Fabric Selection

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Nothing cleans up a gentleman like a well tailored suit. If you are suit shopping and want to amp up your style you better know a thing or two about fabrics. This article will guide you in making the correct selection that will suit your tastes.

The Basic Fabrics


Wool is immensely functional because of its wrinkle-resistant properties, and ability to absorb moisture. (aiding in body odour minimalization). This moisture absorption property also makes  wool an all season fabric that can be worn on the coldest of days, and on those warm sunny afternoons. Cashmere, Merino, and Angora are the most common wools that are used in suits.


An exceptionally durable fabric claiming the lion’s share of American made suits, however, not as popular in Europe. This fabric also has the ability to absorb moisture. The best time to wear a cotton blend suit is during the spring and summer months. Egyptian cotton is famous for its silky smooth finish and fine properties, however, not many people know this but Sea Island cotton is actually a step above Egyptian cotton because it is blended with silk to add an extra touch of luxury.


Ideally suited for the summer months because of the lightweight nature of the fabric, linen suits look great while relaxing in the tropics. But if you invest in a linen suit, be prepared to iron frequently because the creasing nature of linen makes it extremely high maintenance.


Suited to cold weather, flannel suits have declined in popularity because of the peeling nature of the fabric.

The Weaving Patterns For Your Suit

So now that you have been introduced to the basic fabrics, you will need to learn a bit more about the various weaving patterns that are available on the market. We shall only take a look at the patterns specific to wool suits (Wool suits dominate the European fashion scene).

Twill Pattern

The twill pattern can be demarcated by the fact that it is weaved in a diagonal pattern.


The iconic Houndstooth resembles a teeth like structure because of the jagged edges. This pattern takes its roots from the Scottish Lowlands, and was popularized by Edward VIII while he was Prince of Wales.


A classic design of extreme sophistication is the Herringbone with its V shaped pattern.


A more rare design the Glenurquhart can be identified by the smaller checks which together constitute a larger check.

Window Pane Check

The retro Windowpane check is now popular on many dress shirts. But when chosen in the correct colour combination it can lead to a suit with a lot of punch because of its retro flare.


The pinstripe design was a common choice of gangsters such as Al Capone, and is identified by the use of fine stripes of a light colour regularly spaced over a darker colour. The finer the stripe, the more the sophistication.

Thread Count
The higher the thread count, the finer the quality of the garment...and also the higher premium you must pay for this luxury. "Super 200's" are fabrics of ultimate luxury, however, the fabric will be extremely delicate and require very high maintenance. The Super 200's have a micron count of about 12.5, making it finer than cashmere. Suitmakers do not usually divulge information about threadcount, however, some do and the best place to look for this is in the inside pocket of the suit. If you are purchasing an Italian suit the information may be written in Italian ("lana" means wool in Italian).
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