Ordering a made to measure shirt isn’t like ordering any other kinds of shirts. Lots of details, for both design and fit, need to be taken into consideration and one of those is a cloth book. But what is a cloth book? And do you really need it when ordering custom clothing?

A cloth book is a sampling of different cuttings and swatches of fabrics that is typically mailed to you from the designer menswear store that you are ordering your shirt from. The idea behind the cloth book is that you can touch and feel the fabric and really get a better idea of what it will look and feel like while you’re wearing it. With cloth books, you can also test the quality of the fabric, simply by seeing how thick it is and how well it’s put together. But, are cloth books necessary?

Cloth books have largely been removed from the marketplace. This is because, even though you’ll be able to tell how nice the fabric is and whether or not you like the feel of it, you still can’t tell everything about the fabric. How will it wash? And how will it wear? It’s hard to say from just a swatch of fabric, which is why cloth books aren’t typically used anymore.

If you have the choice of receiving a cloth book from the store you choose, and you have a real eye for thread count and quality of different fabrics, choosing to receive a cloth book could be a good idea. If you don’t however, getting a cloth book isn’t really necessary.

July 13, 2012 — D W Haberdasher Limited

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