Suiting Material (Complete Guide) Update 06/2022

Wearing a suit might make you appear sophisticated, polished, artistic, or academic. A red velvet smoking jacket is an excellent alternative to a handmade cashmere suit for the office! Choosing the appropriate fabric for suits is critical because it makes a big statement about your personal style.

Wool woven in a variety of popular patterns, such as herringbone, twill, houndstooth, and sharkskin, is the greatest material for suits. Wool suits are known for their breathability and suppleness. Suits made of cotton, linen, velvet, and silk are very popular.

You’ll learn what makes an excellent suit cloth in this post. You’ll also learn about the most popular suiting fabrics and their fundamental properties. Finally, you’ll understand why synthetic suits are such a hot topic.

Best Fabric For Suits

8 Best Fabrics for Suits

Some of the most prominent attributes of suiting fabric include its softness and breathability, as well as its exquisite drape. For a quick reference, we’ve compiled the most common suiting materials in this section.

1. Cashmere

Goats endemic to Mongolia produce cashmere, a type of wool made from the silky under-hair of the goats. Because of the fabric’s incredible softness and breathability, it’s a terrific choice for active wear. It is possible to acquire cashmere suits in varied weaves that can be worn in a variety of temperatures. Cashmere is the world’s softest type of wool and one of the softest materials, with the probable exception of some forms of alpaca wool. The price of this substance is high, however, because to its scarcity. Cashmere is regarded as a high-end product.

If you take excellent care of your cashmere, it can last for many years. For cold-weather suits, it’s perfect because it’s even better at insulating than most sheep’s wool. The appearance is glossy, and it drapes gracefully when worn as a pair of slacks.

There is a good chance cashmere suits would take off if everyone could buy them.

Pros

  • One of the world’s most cuddly textiles.
  • Airy and light
  • Long-lasting
  • Both hot and cold climates can benefit from this

Cons

  • Only a little amount of genuine Mongolian cashmere is available for purchase.
  • It’s a fancy substance that costs a lot of money.

2. Cotton

Suits made of cotton are comfortable and lightweight, and they allow for plenty of airflow. They offer a laid-back vibe that works nicely for fall and summer outdoor gatherings. Cotton is not the finest material for winter suit jackets since it lacks insulating characteristics. As the fabric is thinner, it folds, wrinkles, or collapses more easily than a thicker suit, making it appear less official. This fabric, on the other hand, is extremely breathable and lightweight, even in the hottest conditions!

Cotton suits don’t drape as well as wool or linen, so you’ll need to press them frequently. If you’re on a budget, a cotton suit may be a good option for a fashionable summer outfit!

Pros

  • One of the world’s most breathable materials.
  • Is light and comfortable to carry everywhere.
  • Cost-effective compared to the majority of wool suiting fabrics.

Cons

  • When it comes to wrinkles, there’s no such thing as an
  • Not appropriate for formal events
  • Will not keep you warm if it is freezing outside.

3. Linen

There is a loose weave and a slightly nubbly feel to linen suits. This cloth is ideal for hot-weather attire. Even in high temperatures, the looser, lighter weave of linen keeps you cool. It’s impossible to avoid wrinkles in linen clothing. In the end, though, a slightly crumpled linen look is a fashionable one in and of itself! Think of a wealthy billionaire relaxing on a yacht in the Mediterranean while wearing a silk shirt and a linen jacket!

Relaxed events are the best place to wear linen because it has a casual, yet sophisticated, appearance.

Flax plants, the source of linen, are significantly more environmentally friendly than cotton plantations. The only drawback to this cool and breezy summer fabric is the higher price tag.

Pros

  • Easily permeable
  • possesses a distinctive sense of style
  • Ecologically sound source
  • Ideal for semi-formal or casual occasions in warm climates

Cons

  • Cotton is more expensive than synthetic fibers.
  • Not appropriate for formal occasions.

4. Silk

Silk suits in particular tend to communicate a specific statement about your sense of style. They are usually designated for a specific occasion or location, such as a night out at a club or a high-end party. There are a number of high-end suits that use a combination that comprises a high percentage of silk fibers. Nonetheless, An excellent example is the creation of a fabric that drapes better than either wool or silk alone by combining the two. Because of how effectively blended fabrics perform, you won’t find many suits made entirely of silk anymore.

As a result, silk is stain resistant, doesn’t crease like cotton or linen, and has an airy lightness that makes it ideal for dresses and blouses. When you touch it, you feel like you’re stroking butter across your skin.

Silk, of course, is a high-end material! Harvesting pure silk from silkworms and converting the silk thread into fabric are both time-consuming and expensive processes. Because of its delicate nature, silk does not hold up as well as other textiles.

Pros

  • Cool and light weight
  • Breathable
  • The surface is shiny and reflective.

Cons

  • Fabric that is delicate and necessitates extra care.
  • Exorbitantly priced
  • Suits aren’t as popular as they once were.

5. Tweed

Because of their thick, heavy weave, tweed suits, which have their origins in England, are still popular in colder climes. There are many types of tweed, but the most common is made from wool from Irish sheep in a thick, herringbone-like weave. Silk tweed is a softer, more lustrous alternative to wool tweed. Generally speaking, tweed suits are suited for both business casual and semi-formal settings. Depending on your workplace, they make proper office dress in certain regions. In other places, they’re restricted to university campuses.

Tweed suit coats conjure images of a sloppy professor with leather elbow patches in the United States. Tweed, on the other hand, is an excellent investment in cold areas due to its durability and warmth.

Even though tweed jackets handcrafted in England can cost a lot, they can survive for years with appropriate care! In addition to the fact that it is thicker and less fashionable, this warm suit material has no other drawbacks.

Pros

  • Set yourself apart from the crowd.
  • Provide a high level of insulation and warmth
  • Last for a long period if properly cared for.
  • Suitable for both casual and semi-formal attire throughout the winter months.

Cons

  • The cost of genuine tween material is prohibitive.
  • Bulkier in shape than other modern suits thanks to its dense weave of wool
  • Suitable just for informal occasions.

6. Velvet

Most velvet today is created from synthetic material rather than silk, in order to reduce the price. The thick, soft nap of all the broken threads is created by slicing apart two layers of fabric placed together during the weaving process. Velvet is a warm and cozy material for a winter coat. As a result of its dense pile, velvet does not lend itself well to hot-weather wear.

In the past, velvet smoking jackets were appropriate during certain hours of the day or in particular areas. A velvet blazer can easily be worn to many formal and black-tie events these days. A velvet jacquard with a raised design or a bright or daring hue can also stand out boldly to match your fashion preference!

Velvet is best paired with a tailored shirt and a silk tie for formal gatherings. You may wear your velvet blazer with a turtleneck or silk shirt for a more relaxed look!

Pros

  • Designer blazers that can be worn to everything from nightclubs to black-tie affairs, all while remaining trendy.
  • Beautifully silky and fluffy with a nice thick pile.
  • It’s a good choice for the fall and winter.

Cons

  • It is still common for people to wear formal attire for special occasions rather than everyday or work attire.
  • It’s not ideal for hot weather due of its thick pile and heavy weight.

7. Wool

All-natural suiting fabric wool has an inherent softness and breathability that makes it excellent for jackets in a variety of various styles. Anti-microbial characteristics and excellent water resistance make this material a great choice, but it’s not completely waterproof. Wool’s unique ability to regulate body temperature means that it may be worn in both hot and cold conditions. A light wool fabric would be ideal in warm weather, while a heavier, tighter-woven fabric would be appropriate for colder temperatures.

Wool cloth is often available in two different styles for suiting needs. An uncombed yarn used in a woolen fabric has a lot of little puffy ends that break loose and give the cloth its fluffy, airy appearance. As a result, it has a more sweater-like feel and may be scratchy to the touch.

Instead, woven wool is made from shorter, more tightly twisted fibers, resulting in a denser yarn with greater sheen, as well as a smoother finished product. You’ll notice that most of the outfits you see are made of worsted yarn woven in a variety of designs.

Despite its many virtues, this fabric does have its drawbacks. Wool suits can be pricey, especially if you want a particular brand or design. Additionally, because wool isn’t the lightest and thinnest fabric available, it can result in a suit that appears a little more bulky.

Pros

  • Best-selling luxury suit fabric on the planet.
  • Breathable
  • Soft
  • draping is excellent
  • Useful for controlling the temperature
  • Some weaves are better suitable for mild weather while others are better suited for hot weather.

Cons

  • Depending on the quality of the wool, it can be expensive.
  • It is possible that some varieties of wool fabric can result in a more bulky suit design.

8. Worsted

To this day, woven wool is the most favored fabric for making high-end suits. There is no fuzziness or sweater-like texture to worsted wool, unlike the ordinary wool. It’s also got a nice, smooth feel to it, and it breathes well. As you’ve learned, long, combed fibers are twisted into dense skeins in this form of wool production. The fabric is smooth and elegant because of the tightly twisted threads. Worsted wool, on the other hand, has a light and supple texture that doesn’t feel oppressive or constricting even after a long day at work.

A high “super number” is a common characteristic of worsted wool as well. Every yarn has a different fineness. The super number of luxury worsted often exceeds 180, whereas the typical super number is closer to 100.

Worsted wool comes in a variety of weights, each describing the fabric’s thickness or thinness. An exquisite drape can be achieved by using a light worsted weight. The heavier the worsted, the better the insulation it will provide.

Wool suits are appropriate for both the workplace and semi-formal occasions. In addition to casual clothing, suits made of woven wool are ideal for formal occasions.

Pros

  • The world’s most popular sort of wool for men’s suits.
  • Lightweight weaves are commonly used for a wide range of temperatures.
  • Has a silky feel and a gleaming sheen.
  • Perfect for a variety of semiformal and professional occasions.

Cons

  • Depending on the fineness of the wool threads used in the fabric, this can be an exorbitant price to pay.
  • They look great in a professional or formal context, but they are not appropriate for a more relaxed setting.

Luxury Suiting Fabrics

If you’re looking for a high-end suit, you should expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 per suit for the most luxurious fabrics. Despite the fact that bespoke tailoring costs a lot of money, the true price of this suit is due to the scarcity of the luxury fabrics.

The majority of high-end suiting textiles are made from rare animals. Manufacturers are able to charge exorbitant rates for these rare and hard-to-find materials because of their limited supply.

In the wilds of South America, there is a kind of llama known as the vicua that produces the cloth. Because this animal does not perform well in captivity, it is released into the wild every three years and its soft underfur is gathered. Even better than cashmere, vicuna hair is the finest form of wool in existence.

Cashmere, too, falls into this extreme luxury category, although you’ll have to be on the lookout for low-quality items these days. The finest cashmere employs goat hairs with a diameter of less than 14 microns! If you can buy a cashmere suit, you won’t have to worry about a single itchy thread.

As with other uncommon animals, under-hair from rare animals such as the guanaco and qiviut is extremely rare and extremely delicate. Wool of this caliber isn’t sold in big-box retailers or even by well-known retail fashion labels.

These days, a wide variety of mixed fabrics are used by luxury brands, high-end designers, and bespoke tailors alike. In many cases, silk is combined with less expensive wool spun from ultra-fine threads, and vice versa. Even though this type of cloth is quite pricey, it has its own distinct look and feel due to the way it combines various fibers.

How to Choose the Right Suiting Fabric

What makes a good suit

The suiting fabric’s weight, breathability and softness, and weave type are the most significant attributes. However, even if you use a fashionable suit cut, the improper fabric won’t be able to compensate for it!

The season and climate in which you intend to wear the suit should also be taken into account. When it’s hot outside, cotton will keep you cool, but when it’s cold, it won’t keep you warm.

Finally, it’s critical to match the fabric of your suit to the setting in which you’ll be wearing it. Traditionally, some materials are better suited to certain environments, while others are universally accepted. In terms of clothing, wool suits, for example, can be worn anyplace.

To ensure you make the best possible decision in suiting fabric, take a look at the following important criteria.

Fabric Weight

Different types of materials utilize different dimensions, so it’s easy to get confused about what a certain fabric weighs. Lightweight fabrics are better for hot weather, while heavier-weight fabrics keep you warm in the colder months. This is the key to this category.

GSM (grams per meter) and oz (ounces per yard) are the most common units of measurement for most sorts of materials. The weight of a specific length of material can be determined using these measures. Using thicker yarns or a tighter weave will result in a heavier garment.

You’ll also see adjectives like “light,” “medium” and “heavy” used frequently. These measurements aren’t scientifically precise, but they’ll give you an idea of the fabric’s overall thickness. Tweed, which has a weight of 14 oz, is commonly referred to as a heavyweight fabric.

Is there anything more to consider besides the hot/cold issue when it comes to fabric weight? Yes, in fact. The suit’s drape and style are also influenced by the suit’s fabric weight.

A medium-weight cloth may drape better than a very thin fabric. Superfine wool may be too soft, nearly to the point of transparency, because it has a high degree of elasticity. It could also become brittle or develop glossy spots.

A heavyweight cloth, on the other hand, can appear stiff and stodgy due to its excessive heft.

Breathability

Breathability can make all the difference in a well-fitting and stylish suit. To avoid feeling smothered under numerous layers of material, you need a fabric that allows air to circulate through its weave, keeping body temperature at a comfortable level all day long!

Both cotton and linen are ideal options for summer attire because they are both breathable. Wool, on the other hand, is known for its excellent breathability.

In terms of its ability to regulate temperature, wool is a great choice. When you become overheated, it allows hot air to escape and insulates you when you become chilled.

In a setting where you’re likely to get hot and bothered, cotton is a great choice. Wool, on the other hand, will swiftly absorb the moisture and release it into the outer air!

Softness

You don’t want your suiting fabric to feel rough or scratchy, therefore this is an important consideration!

Depending on the substance, a fabric’s softness might vary. Cashmere, for example, is extremely soft and will always feel softer than sheep’s wool. In this case, the natural fiber diameter of the fabric-making material is to blame.

However, there are other elements that can affect the suppleness of a fabric. The finer the threads used to weave the fabric, the higher the thread count per square inch. Adding a bit of softness to the cloth results.

Depending on the thread count, cotton can have varied degrees of softness.

The texture of the cloth also contributes to the overall softness of the garment. Softness is always associated with a smooth surface, such as silk, as opposed to the prickliness associated with certain types of wool.

Type of Weave

The weaving of a piece of fabric is what gives it its distinct appearance. Houndstooth, twill, gabardine, and herringbone are just a few of the popular suiting weave patterns.

What exactly is a weave pattern? You’re probably picturing a standard basketweave pattern when you think of weaving, with threads crisscrossing each other at right angles. The plain weave, or over-under pattern, has a number of more elaborate rivals.

A houndstooth pattern resembles a jigsaw puzzle of small dog heads with long ears and sharp jaws. When two distinct colors of thread are woven together in a twill weave, the result is a broken check pattern.

Many varieties of suiting fabrics are still made with a twill weave. A diagonal rib motif is used in this pattern, which is commonly done in two colors of thread. Blue and white threads, for example, are used in the twill weave of denim.

To get the beautiful appearance of a gabardine weave, more warp than weft threads are used in the twill weave. On the surface, there is a raised, diagonal design that is smooth on the back.

A broken twill weave is another name for a herringbone weave. While the diagonal pattern appears to be twill, it isn’t since the lines slant in one row and then the other row! This pattern’s striking contrasts make it stand out from the crowd.

Men’s suits use a distinct set of suiting fabrics than women’s suits, which usually contain styles that draw attention to different portions of the body. High-end women’s suits often have worsted wool as the primary fabric.

Satin or silk suits, particularly those with a jacket and pencil skirt, are very common among females.

Women’s suits made of vicuna, cashmere, and high-end worsted wool are also available as luxurious textiles.

What is the Best Suit Fabric for Summer?

For summer or warm weather attire, linen, cotton, and lightweight worsted wool suit materials are the finest options.

You should go for a suit made of lightweight material with a looser weave for the summer. In an ideal world, you’d also go with something that’s incredibly permeable to air.

In terms of breathability, cotton and linen are excellent choices. A good, lightweight wool can keep you cool as well! Wool is the best all-natural fiber for temperature management.

It’s possible that the suit’s design and construction will also aid to keep you cool. For warmer weather, you should wear an unlined suit jacket.

What’s Wrong with Polyester Suits?

Polyurethane suits are widely available in mass-market merchants, but high-end companies typically avoid using this fabric due of its affordability. Polyester is a low-cost synthetic fiber derived primarily from petroleum-based resins. The shiny appearance of low-quality polyester suits lends them a cheap appearance.

This is no longer the case, however, as textile technology has improved tremendously in the last few decades, and some polyesters are able to replicate many natural fabrics. There are more than half of all retail apparel items in the globe that are made out of polyester!

So, basically, the dispute over polyester suits is open to interpretation. ‘ If you’re looking for cheap suits, do it! Wool is a costly all-natural fiber, but it’s worth it if you want a high-end brand and superior quality.

Whether or not polyester is as soft and breathable as natural fabrics is a common dispute. Cotton, on the whole, provides a gentler hand feel than 100 percent polyester clothing does. Wool, on the other hand, is more permeable.

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to fashion. Even if you can’t afford a handmade worsted wool suit, there’s nothing wrong with wearing an attractive polyester suit to work!

Conclusion

Wool, linen, and cotton are the most preferred fabrics for men’s suits. To find the perfect fabric for your suit, think about the material’s softness, breathability, weight, and weave type before making your purchase. Depending on their appearance, some suiting fabrics are better suited to particular events than others.

There are a number of ready-to-wear apparel brands that sell polyester suits. Despite their appealing appearances and trendy silhouettes, these suits are made of synthetic fabric, which gives them a less expensive appearance than suits made of more traditional materials like wool.

What’s the material of your favorite suit? What’s your favorite place to put it on? Let us know what you think by commenting below!

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