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Tips On Choosing Cloth

At Henry A. Davidsen we are more than retailers of high-end suits in Philadelphia, we’re image consultants, committed to providing men with advice and choices on how to refine their appearance. Whether you’ve visited a bespoke tailor before or are visiting one for the first time, the process of picking a cloth for your suit can seem a little daunting. We proudly carry thousands of options in our inventory in a variety of designs, materials, weavings, and finishings, and invite our clients to take their time perusing our selection. In this blog, we are breaking down the important qualities to consider when choosing cloth for your next piece.


This mill in which cloth is weaved is good place to start. There are thousands of fabric mills around the world whose job it is to combine wool fibers into the intricate patterns to make the cloth that makes up our suits. Henry A. Davidsen proudly works with the some of the most luxury mills in the world like Dormeuil and Scabal to bring our clients the very best fabrics that can be found. Each mill has thousands of options to choose from so having an image consultant assist you in cultivating a selection is the easiest way to find the right cloth for your needs.

blue pinstripe custom suit cloth


There are many ways that cloth is classified like color, crimp, and sheen. Many people have heard of a super number which refers to width of the wool yarns fibers. The higher the super number the softer and more luxurious the fabric. But focusing on this detail alone is short sighted, the higher the super number the less durable the fabric. While a super 120 fabric would be amazing for the midnight blue tuxedo that will come out of the closet on special occasions it would be ill advised for a suit you plan to wear once a week for work. There is a time and place for every luxury fabric, but context is what matters most.

Another way that fabric is described is by weight. The heavier the garment the less air can pass through the fibers thus trapping in more heat. So an easy way to think about it is the heavier the fabric the colder the season it should be worn in. Remember that custom suits take a while to be made.  So if you are designing a suit on a hot day, try to image what the weather is going to be like when you are going to be wearing the suit most.

Cloth Offer

General Advice

Here are a few tips to aid in the selection process easier.

  • If you have a concept for a suit, bring in an example in a garment you own or in a picture.
  • Consider your choices and then narrow them down quickly to four or five favorites. Lay out your selections next to one another, seeing them contrast against one another can be a major help in making a decision.
  • See your fabric selection in as many lighting options as possible. Bring them into direct indoor lighting, low light and natural light; there are elements of fabric design that can be difficult to see in the wrong lighting.
  • Take time to feel each fabric. Feel its crispness, smoothness or how soft it is, consider how that will feel in a jacket and pants.
  • Particularly with dark colors like navy or forest green, compare them against truly black cloth. It’s sometimes difficult to see the characteristics of a dark color until it’s juxtaposed against black.
  • When viewing patterns, consider how they will look across an entire garment. It’s somewhat tricky to visualize a large pattern from a small cross section of cloth, but doing so can avoid surprises when seeing the finished product.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Our image consultants are happy to educate all of our clients; no question is too basic and understanding the different elements of your next suit can go a long way in ensuring that you enjoy it for a long time.

dark grey scabal custom suit cloth


There are so many factors that go into choosing a fabric for your next suit, and you should not have to face it on your own. Give us a call at 215-310-0219 or email info@henrydavidsen.com and the expert image consultants will be happy to help.

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