Sometimes It’s What You Can’t See That Matters More Than What You Can

June 1, 2020 | By Alejandra Yzaguirre

Sometimes it’s what you can’t see that matters more than what you can. Our Harper & Jones Bench Made clothing uses Bespoke technique sewing to create a garment that fits and wears like no other. A coat should fit close at the neck and fit smoothly from that point down. The drape, or the way the coat hangs on the body is dictated by the balance and tailoring of the coat.  Most of the tailoring or sewing of the garment is on the inside hidden from view. Think of a luxury watch with all its intricate parts hidden from view by the case. Thousands of hand stitches give the coat its shape and flow, unlike rigid machine stitches that lock and limit the flexibility and movement as the coat is worn. Our superior Bespoke stitching forms a continuous coil, joining fabrics in a flexible method that moves with the wearer as almost a second skin.

Detailed black and white view of hand-stitching fabric

Hand stitching gives the garment shape and memory that cannot be replicated by a machine. The lapels of a Harper & Jones coat have over a thousand special hand stitches to give them the luxurious roll and expression of a Bench-Made Coat. Our tailors stitch directionally to ensure the canvas in the lapel curls properly to the primary button and buttonhole. You can hold the coat by the hanger loop and see our superior make. This hand stitching is only found in the finest clothing made. It is an art form found in tailor shops like ours, and other Bespoke Tailors. It is not found in factories of the majority of the so called Custom, or other self-proclaimed bespoke operations.

Many of the hand stitches on our coats are “pinning” stitches that are temporarily in place to hold parts together before they are permanently hand stitched together. This allows minor shifting of the layers so they come together just so, to create the masterpiece that is a Bench Made Coat. In most manufacturing, these are substituted by heat sensitive glue strips also known as fusing. Fusing does not allow these minor adjustments and leads to inferior wrinkles and puckers, unlike hand sewing.  

In addition, our hand stitching is augmented by several hand pressing procedures that also impart memory and shape to the coat. A tailor will stitch a while, and then using a heavy steam hand iron, press the desired shape into the parts just sewn. There are many hours of these hand pressing operations that you can’t see until you wear your coat. The way the collar fits, the curve of the shoulders, and the way the sleeves hang are all influenced by this hand pressing. Again, this is a tailor shop benchmark, not a factory benchmark.

Custom fabric options in black and whiteSo the next time, or the first time you wear one of Harper & Jones Bench-Made Coats think of all the things you can’t see that went into crafting it.

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