King & Allen explains: The Finishing Process: Handle & Drape

Before the finishing process, cloth is usually hard, unworkable and unpleasant to touch. ‘Finishing’ is what gives a cloth its handle and drape – its two most significant characteristics.

 

Harris Tweed – a comparatively course handle but nevertheless exceptionally finished using water from the Outer Hebrides.

Harris Tweed – a comparatively course handle but nevertheless exceptionally finished using water from the Outer Hebrides.

Handle is how the fabric feels to the touch. Is it smooth or rough? Soft or hard? There are various ways to test a cloth’s handle such as weight, density and flexibility, but the handle of a cloth is less about scientific quantification and more about sensory response.

 

Look how the cloth runs faultlessly down from the shoulders and across the chest. This is perfect drape.

Look how the cloth runs faultlessly down from the shoulders and across the chest. This is perfect drape.

 

The drape is how a cloth looks on a human: the transferal of a two dimensional object onto a three dimensional object. It goes without saying that different cloths will drape in different ways. Heavier, harder cloths will, in general, drape better than lightweight, softer cloths… but will not be as comfortable. The process itself is also steeped in a contradiction: performed using a combination of century old techniques and cutting edge technology, of complex chemicals and the purest water on the planet.

In conclusion, the finishing process is the textile industry’s attempt at alchemy, where handle and drape work together as one

07 November 2019

Vegans with A-list style appeal

November is World Vegan Month, when vegans around the world celebrate their lifestyle choice and champion others to do the same. And it seems more and more of us are making the switch. In 2018, there were 3.5 million registered vegans in the UK, up from around 540,00 in 2016, according to a study by The Vegan Society, which just happens to be celebrating its 75th birthday in 2019.

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28 October 2019

Living the Life of Bowie

When it comes to style superstars, there is none more seminal, more chameleon-like and more innovative than David Bowie. As you may remember, we included the iconic star's ever-evolving look in our recent blog post on the suits that rocked. That’s why we were over the moon when Professor of Film and Cultural Studies, Dr Will Brooker, approached us to make a copy of Bowie’s legendary mustard-yellow suit.

Celebrity Style King & Allen News
27 October 2019

Amazing Aquarret

Creating the perfect suit starts with a high-quality fabric. That’s why we work closely with renowned  luxury cloth merchant, Holland & Sherry, to make sure we have the world’s best possible cloths available for our clients. While we place great value on traditional methods – for example some of Holland & Sherry’s pattern weaving hasn’t changed in 200 years – we also believe in keeping one eye firmly on the very latest bespoke tailoring technologies.

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