The Guide to Picking the Perfect Trouser Cloth

The key attribute to any pair of trousers is that they hang well. You could use the most expensive, luxurious fabric in the world but if the trousers don’t hang right, they don’t look good. They need to drape cleanly, throw a sharp line and retain their shape when you walk, stretch move and sit. This usually comes from a material that is denser. The more of the yarn woven tightly into each inch makes the cloth itself much more dense and more likely to be crease resistant, shape resistant and have some natural stretch.

There are exceptions, of course. If the yarn is strong, there doesn’t need be as much tight weaving. Fabric can be too dense. If there is too much fibre, the trousers will feel dead and stiff. Tailors will often talk about how much life there is in a fabric, as in how it responds to pressure.

Though there are exceptions, density is still a good rule of thumb to follow. Feel your favourite sports jacket. Sense how the weave feels looser, the fabric feels softer and has more movement in it. These are factors that would be devastating in a pair of trousers.
One trick we recommend using to see if trousers are made of suitable fabric is the check the risk of piling. One way to test this is to take the cloth between your finger and thumb, gently rub it in circles 10 times and see if a little fluff comes off in a messy way.
This is a good indicator that the material will pill later, particularly where there is most abrasion, for example between the legs. If fluff comes off the fabric, it just is not suitable for trousers.
As always when describing and talking about fabrics, there are the original, narrow definitions and then there are more modern uses.
Often the definition describes only one part of the process such as weave or finish but it takes on other aspects over time .
The key thing to remember when visiting a tailor or bespoke clothing designer is to know the kind of cloth you want and preferably the name. There will always be variations and exceptions and don’t panic if you haven’t got every type memorised. Your tailor should be able to work with you and figure out the best material for your needs.

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