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Cloth of a Different Weave

Fiber, the smallest unit of cloth visible, is either a staple fiber (a short measurable length) or a filament fiber (a continuous length).  Fibers are natural or can be man-made.  Natural fibers are protein (meaning they come from animals) and cellulose (meaning they come from plants).  Man-made fibers are regenerated cellulose, today mostly purified wood pulp (rayon and acetate) and non cellulose, a petroleum product (nylon and polyester).  Natural protein fibers, wool come from the gathered or shorn hair of animals…alpaca, camel, cashmere, goat vicuna, angora.  Silk, on the other hand, is collected from the secretions of the silkworm. 

Fibers by themselves are not much use in making fabric.  They must be combined into strands then spun into yarn.  Yarns may be used singularly or twisted together as plied yarns.  Twist in a yarn will influence the fabric hand, absorbency, elasticity, luster and strength.  The spinning process first begins with carding…a process that cleans the fiber.  Following is combing (cotton), worsted (woolens) processes to straighten fibers to a uniform standard and to cull out the shorter fibers.  These processes are labor intensive but create a refined tighter construction for a higher-grade yarn.  Finally, the spinning process of which several systems are used (bobbins, spindles, cops, tubes, cheeses,etc.) to determine yarn size and ultimately thread count determining the density and quality of the fabric to be produced.  Fabric is formed by non-woven knitting and woven processes including a finishing process necessary to most fabrics before considered the finest of fabrics available to be used in clothing products.

Non-woven knitted fabrics share dozens of common processes, but all share one characteristic to differentiate them from woven…they each have just one set of yarns looping together to create the fabric.  Knits are not as strong as a woven, but they have more stretch.  The earliest knitting process dates to (A.D.250) a hand process until 1589, when Reverend Henry Lee invented the flat bed knitting machine.  Many knitted products are considered heirloom pieces, works of art…timeless styles, Argyle, Intarsia, Fairisle, Shaker, Fisherman and Cable knits.  Always everlasting favorites.   

Plain woven fabrics, on the other hand, have two sets of yarns interlacing at right angles.  Woven on a machine called a loom…warp (a single yarn is called an end), held under tension from the back of the loom to the front.  Weft (a single yarn is called a pick), filling yarns carried back and forth across the loom via a shuttle interlacing with the warp.  Unlike the many knit variations, weaves are few, three basic weaves. 

Plain weaves, the simplest fastest production and as such, most common, used in 80% of all woven fabrics.  Particularly shirting’s (Broadcloth, Chambray, Madras, End on End, Linen) and lighter weight clothing fabrics (Crepe, Poplin, Seersucker, wool worsted). 

Basket weaves, a simple variation of the plain weave…two or more yarns going the warp length and the weft width rather than one as in the plain weave (Oxford Cloth, Hopsacking and Repps).  Repp weaves are most often used for necktie production.

Twill weaves, the second most common of the three weaves, are characterized by pronounced diagonals on the fabric face.  Sturdy fabrics originated in Northern Europe for durability and warmth (Covert, Calvary Twill, Denim, Drill cloth, Tweed, Gabardine).  For variations in the weave, the direction of the diagonal is changed, creating patterns such as Herringbone, Houndstooth, Shepherd and District checks Glen plaid, common plaid, Windowpane, Tattersall and more.

Plain weave with a Satin finish originated in countries that trade in silk fibers.  Woven with a minimum number of staggered interlacing, the face of the fabric has more warp and weft than the back creating a smooth reflective surface (Blazer, Suede cloth, Chino). 

Plain weave with miscellaneous Dobby effects refer to fabrics with small woven figures, dots, geometric patterns and floral raised from the surface of the cloth.  Woven by an automated Dobby loom today, originally the hand loom relied on a “Dobby boy” who sat on the top of the loom and, by hand raised warp threads to form a pattern.

Plain weaves with a filling pile created by floating extra picks on the surface cut in and out of the loom to form tufts of pile.  When cut the pile appears in a row (wale).  Fabrics include velvet and corduroy.

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Artful Printing

Artful Printing

For the many years man has been making fabrics, he too has
been dyeing fabrics.  The process,
relatively simple, depending on the method, and over the years hundreds of
methods have been developed.  Each one
solving a need or bettering the first.

As such, so too has printing.  Think of printing as localized dyeing.  Designs are applied to a fabric through
varied printing processes.  Printing most
common to Steven Giles selections are:

BLOCK PRINTING is the oldest form.  Designs are carved into wooden, linoleum or
copper blocks, and separate blocks made for each color in the design.  This hand blocked (printed) operation is very
tedious, production is very low, cost tend to be rather high.  But the finished product is truly an artisan

DISCHARGE PRINTING is used to print medium to dark colored
fabrics with white or colored design. 
After the fabric has been piece dyed, the color in specific areas is
bleached out removing the ground color. 
The fabric is then direct-printed with the design.  Any design and color can be used; however the
bleach process may weaken the fabric.

DIRECT PRINTING (roller calender or cylinder) is a process
where white ground fabrics are fed into a machine to pass through color rollers
etched with the design.  This process is
the same way common for newspaper printing. 
The design is somewhat limited to traditional patterns and a relatively
small repeat size.  

DIGITAL PRINTING for textiles started in the late 1980’s as
a possible replacement for screen printing.  
Described as any ink jet-based method of printing designs and color on
fabric.  Design is processed by a
computer, and then printed directly on to the fabric.  Digital, while improving, is yet to replicate
the depth of color provided by older methods, and economies currently favor
other forms of printing for larger minimums, however small runs are relatively
cheaper with digital.

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Click link to watch THE GOOD ITALIAN I

It is not a question of creating a commercial masked as an art-house film, but a far more ambitious project.

The objective of Caruso’s short movie is to represent and promote, through the most universal media that exists, the brand’s inspiring concept.  THE LIFESTYLE OF A GOOD ITALIAN.

Caruso wants the world to know that the whole of Italy, not just the most famous tourist destinations, is imbued with that and that have made the “italian lifestyle” so natural, yet so extraordinary to appear almost unreal.  And this is why the narrative uses the language of fairytales and “suspenion of disbeleif” as artistic approach.


Nature, Art, Opera, Architecture, Gastronomy, Tailoring… are all expressed to the best in Soragna and its immediate surroundings, to be visited on foot, by bicycle or in a horse-pulled carriage like the noble families that were once the masters of these lands. Caruso, which carries the best of the Italian tailoring tradition in a contemporary setting, wanted this fantastic story to evoke the emotions and pleasure that give authenticity and meaning to the brand.

A couple of English tourists on bike come across by chance a small tumbledown farmhouse, which reveals, behind the creaking door, the interior of a princely mansion: the dining room of the of the Prince Meli Lupi of Soragna, featuring some of the most important baroque frescoes in northern Italy.

The prince, played by actor Giancarlo Giannini, is very hospitable and welcomes the two tourists to his table, laden with from the cellars of Italy’s top producer (the “Antica Corte Pallavicina” of the Spigaroli brothers) together with the typical local wines, from the cellar of a renowned award-winning restaurant in Soragna, “La Stella D’Oro”.



The final touch is the transformation of the guest, initially dressed in a cycling jacket and knickerbockers, who is accompanied by, the loyal butler and Caruso testimonial, to the prince’s dressing room and invited to put on an impeccably tailored blue suit.


All the clothes worn in the 5 minutes short movie, will be available at the CARUSO flagship stores in New York and Milan and online at, the luxury e-store offering a selectionof prestigious international brands.


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A New Suiting Staple: Caruso and Loro Piana’s Gobigold Collection

By Kareem Rashed

The two Italian heavyweights have teamed up to create an ultrafine new fabric that gives cashmere and vicuña a run for their money.

As far as fabrics go, you know the existing hierarchy: Cotton is good, wool is better, cashmere’s the best. That’s been the status quo—give or take some mohair and vicuña—for almost as long as looms have been spinning. But leave it to two storied Italian houses, tailoring brand Caruso and textile titan Loro Piana, to develop a new fabric contending for the title of world’s most exquisite textile. Their proprietary invention, called Gobigold, is crafted from the most exclusive pure camel hair.


Camel hair is by no means a new fabric. It’s been a choice material for topcoats since the early 20th century, prized for its softness and insulating properties. But there’s a reason why one doesn’t see camel suits. The fabric is particularly thick and heavy, which may be appealing in a coat but makes for a stiff, unbreathable suit. The master weavers at Loro Piana, however, have developed technology that allows them to craft a fabric from the finest camel-hair fibers sourced from camels in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. To give you a sense of this refining process, only 30 percent of camel hair is suitable for clothing, and Gobigold is made from the thinnest fibers of that 30 percent. This makes for an exceptionally soft, flexible, and lightweight fabric with a feel and drape akin to the very best cashmere or vicuña.

The pure camel-hair Gobigold is ideal for fall and winter suits, as it is notably insulating. But even better, the fashion houses have blended it with Super 170’s merino wool for a more versatile option, and come spring, there’s even a unique mix of Gobigold and Irish linen. Available in a variety of suits, coats, and sportswear cut with Caruso’s signature style—dapper tailoring balanced with an easy elegance—the Gobigold collection has us thinking that camel may be the new cashmere.

A New Suiting Staple: Caruso and Loro Piana’s Gobigold Collection

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The Art Of Menswear Making By Caruso

Written by:  Gentlemen’s Diary November 29, 2015

Caruso is an Italian menswear manufacturer which emblematises the traditions and principles of quality, handmade tailoring. Originally established by Raffaele Caruso, upon his move from Naples to Soragna in 1958, the small, family run tailoring shop came to exist in several different incarnations across the decades, eventually growing to become one of Europe’s biggest and most advanced menswear producers by the early 2000s.

Having come under the guidance of fashion world entrepreneur Umberto Angeloni, Caruso took the form it takes today, and has continued to go from strength to strength. It achieves this because of its unwavering commitment to fabrics and construction methods of the highest calibre: the principles which have garnered Caruso its fine reputation since the beginning.

Crucially, Caruso takes the utmost pride in the fact that all of its garments are handmade in Italy, a narrative which they claim is one part romantic, one part technical. The idea that a piece is made in Italy undoubtedly conjures evocative imagery, and perhaps even makes something all the more covetable. But the technical part of the narrative ensures that this extra desirability is not for any shallow reasons, but rather because Caruso always produces superior garments.

GDM team had the opportunity to visit Caruso headquarters in Soragna Italy and to see up-close the journey of making menswear for real gentlemen. It was a lifetime experience for us and we wanted to share it with you ladies & gentlemen. Take a look of the photos below and live the Caruso experience yourself.

For more information visit the official Caruso website here or follow them in their official social media accounts.

#CarusoMenswear #InMenswearDoAsTheItaliansDo








Photos: GDM team