Spirits of Suits – Lapel
Have you even seen a valiant and high-spirited eagle with sharp eyes, a chest-puffing figure with confidence and courage, and a temperament of proudly heroic spirits only belonged to male species? For men, if saying suits as battle robes in this competitive business battlefield, then the lapel is exactly the part of suits to show men’s spirits and confidences.
The collar lapel can be seen as the soul of suits. A stylish lapel can successfully give suits vitality, shape a dashing bust line just like a high-spirited eagle, highlight the chest so as to switch the visual focus, and modify a slightly prominent abdomen. Consequently, those who wear suits with a perfect collar lapel always look gorgeous, handsome, and confident.
Not all suits, however, are stressed on the making of lapel; only a hand-stitched lapel can give suits such a wonderful charming and appealing temperament.
I asked Mr. Shiung: “what are the specialties of a hand-stitched stitched lapel?” My asking reminded him of his rigid-training apprenticeship life…
“The first training requirement given by old tailor masters to entry-level apprentices was “Pad Stitching the Lapel” by rolling up the bast lining of a lapel while sewing it with a tailor's basting stitch; in order to ensure that a shape-memory lapel can be made, each stitch should be laid completely, and later not be raised up only until touching the index finger of the left hand. “Why?” said apprentices. “Keep doing it!” answered old masters without giving any clear answer. Thus, I had no idea but keep doing it day and night and day after day; I did not get any knack at this technique and principle until working on it for over half a year.”
Under the influence of modern technology emphasizing on the rapidity of action, lapel linings of most suits are sealed by ironing machines accompanied with hot-melt adhesives. This way indeed can improve the production efficiency and reduce costs, but would not be able to show either the original beauty of what lapels should look like and energies granted only by a hand-stitched process. For those slightly high-level suits, fabrics and linings are seamed together by blind stitch sewing machines professionally used in trouser sewing.
So, the craftsmanship of pad stitching the lapel is a very labor and time consuming work; nevertheless, Mr. Shiung still insists on taking linings weaved by natural bast fibers to make all lapels by hand so as to give the elasticity of linings to fulfill the ergonomic standards. Also, a lapel with a shape-memory characteristic can give a perfect shape to a suit; even if a suit made by this immaculate craftsmanship has been wearing for many times or squeezing in a closet for a while, its original shape can still be maintained , giving the wearer a gentleman temperament all the time.
After 30 years of economic development, the demand for suits by Chinese people is growing, and the ready-made suits produced by the assembly line cannot meet the new generation of Chinese gentlemen.
The craftsmanship, workmanship and continuation of the traditional suits will provide a higher-level suit experience for men seeking taste.