How to Repair Your Suit – Reweaving

Reweaving

Reweaving

Recently, we received a great question from one of our readers about repairing his suit:  “I have a beautiful Canali suit that has suffered minor damage. The local tailor/cleaner said he’d just patch it (cut a small block, stitch the same fabric, kind of like patching drywall…) It will be slightly noticable, but will work. That doesn’t work for me and I started to look for a reweaver, but they don’t seem to exist anymore. Any suggestions in NYC area? Did this art vanish due to throw-away culture?”

First, for those that don’t know, “Reweaving is the process of restoring damage in woven garments. There is no reweaving machine! All work must be done  by hand with special needles, one thread at a time. A state-of-the-art microscope allows Phyllis Brown, our reweaver, to view the threads close-up and repair finely woven fabrics.” This definition was derived from Reweave.com which, incidentally, also offers reweaving services.

When considering repair of clothing, the two important questions are:

1) How big is the damaged area
2) Where is the damage located?

If the damaged area is small or if the damaged area is close to a seem, then weaving/re-weaving is definitely an option. If this is not the case, weaving would be difficult. The whole weaving model of fixing suits has become scarce as of late. For example, there was a time in Montreal (Canada) that some tailors used Nuns at Convents to do this kind of work during their spare time. In return for their services, tailors would make donations.

It is a fact that reweavers have definitely declined in population – although, there are still a few left. Here is an intersting article about a reweaver in NY that gets business from all over the US: http://www.nysun.com/on-the-town/reweaver-spins-his-yarns/9832/

Some research also pointed us to an interesting company that helps you repair damages on your clothing. We’ve never tried it out at SuitUpp, but it might be worth a look.

http://www.withoutatrace.com/ – Just Send your suit by mail and they’ll fix it up and send it back.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “How to Repair Your Suit – Reweaving

  1. Michael

    That was exceptionally helpful. Thanks again!

  2. Pingback: Prevent Moth Holes in your Clothes (especially your Suit) « SuitUpp – High Fashion Tips for Men

    • seaamigo

      You don’t have to go to New York to find quality reweavers. I live in Houston, and I have quality reweaving done, and at more than one tailoring shop. Martins on Feagan Street in the Houston Heights has done a couple of jobs for me, and the results were outstanding.

      The company was founded in 1955 and is now run by the founder’s kids. I met the original Martin’s son in a resale shop, while I was trying on a gorgeous Hickey Freeman Loro Piana suit with the rediculous price of $10.00. He was there shopping for himself, and as I slipped the jacket on, he turned to me, with the practiced eye of an expert born to the work, and said: “Good fit! Needs to come in on the sides, but otherwise perfect.” I could tell he knew what he was talking about, and we started chatting. I need to add that he wasn’t looking for work: Later when I went to his shop, the place was packed with a three-week waiting list.

      The suit had a hole on the inboard edge of the lapel, and rather than weave it, he simply reset the fold and it was gorgeous.

      Later, I brought him a brand new Hickey navy blazer that looked like a cat had climbed the sleeve while it was hanging in the closet. He fixed it for about $40, and I couldn’t find anyone who could see the repair. It was solid navy, but still an impeccable job.

      Departing from Martin’s skill for a moment, I need to disclose that I sell quality used clothing, and bring up an ethical issue:

      Resellers need to disclose these repairs, no matter how perfect, because shoddy dry-cleaning and pressing can make the repair stand out over time.

      I’ve looked at a lot of clothes, and have seen weaves on suits that were expertly done, but when over-pressed, stood out.

      A good natural fabric suit rarely needs to be cleaned. Air them, brush them, and they will last for years without dry-cleaning. Commercial dry-cleaning, in the way it’s done today, will shorten the life of a quality suit.

      Shine on suits can result from wear and rubbing, but in most of the clothing I see it is literally burned from pressing.

      An excellent alternative to cleaning is a product called “Dry Cleaners Secret” made by Woolite. It’s a moist dryer sheet, and you can tumble two suits for a cost of about $2 in a cool dryer for 20 minutes, and get damage-free deoderizing. Hang it up immediately, and you’ll see no wrinkles.

      I’ve found and sold 20 or even 30-year-old Oxxford, Canali, Brioni and other quality suits with a current replacement value of $4,000 or more in literally mint condition because of the care they were given.

      In short, a cheap department store suit – even those with famous names and “Super” thread counts may only last a few years, but quality, conservatively styled expensive suits will be wearable for decades with minimal care.

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