140005-319OProductCotton Twill Blazer
Tailoring Semi construction
Tailoring Semi construction
Semi construction is a tailoring method typically used for men’s and women’s blazers or coats with a more relaxed yet still polished silhouette. It is characterised by partial lining on the front of the jacket, sleeves and back shoulder, as well as half-canvas construction – which provides layered support and structure to define the shoulder and chest.
The half canvas gives semi-constructed jackets their elegant drape. It uses fusing – a thin layer of fabric attached to the back of the jacket material – along the front panel to give it more body. And it has a piece on the shoulder and chest made up of four or five layers of natural materials like canvas and wool – instead of foam. Sitting between the outer fabric and the inside lining, it creates the round shape at the top of the sleeve head and supports the shape of the shoulder.
Combined with binded seams – a sign of quality and craftsmanship – semi-constructed pieces are favourites all year round, but particularly in summer because they are lighter in weight.
Beste was founded in Prato, Tuscany, in 1992 by then 28-year old textile technician Giovanni Santi. Using techniques traditionally reserved for crafting exclusive wool and cashmere weaves, the company set out to innovate the production of high-quality cotton fabrics. Now based in the small town of Cantagallo, just outside Prato, Beste is a vertically organised manufacturer and developer designing both woven fabrics and final garments. The company specialises in elaborate dyeing and finishing techniques, such as rope dyeing, piece dyeing and natural-fibre technical weaves, and supplies three fabrics for ARKET outerwear.
All ARKET suits, blazers and trousers are made ready-to-wear but are tailored to allow alterations.
Sleeves – The blazers have a closed bottom buttonhole on the sleeve to allow easier shortening. A tailor can remove the stitching and add a new hole above the original row. The other three holes are open and functioning (but should remain buttoned).
Back – An extra allowance in the centre back and at the side seams allows a tailor to open and widen the back. This can be done to avoid fabric bunching up in the back, which is otherwise common especially on those with straight and square shoulders.
Pockets – The chest pocket is sewn shut but can be opened. The flap pockets are also shut, and should not be cut open (keys, wallet and other items will ruin the shape of the jacket); instead there are three inside pockets that can be used for small belongings.
Trousers – All trousers have a 5-centimetre hem allowance which means that they can be lengthened by up to 4.5 centimetres. The fit follows standard lengths where a size 50 is 81 centimetres long, plus or minus 6 millimetres for each size up or down. Similar to the blazers, there is an allowance at the back seam to enable widening, as well as an extra seam in the waist band to make it easier to open.
Whether a blazer or suit jacket fits or not, according to convention, is most obvious in the length of the sleeves and at the waist. As a ‘rule of thumb’, the shirt cuff should end about 3 centimetres from the thumb knuckle (mcp joint), while the jacket sleeve should end about 1.5-2 centimetres above the shirt cuff, on the wrist bone.
The jacket should fit slim but not tight, with little excess fabric at the sides. If the upper button can be closed without either a large gap between the body and the jacket or a horizontal crease over the chest, the fit is right. (A common test is to put a finger between the chest and the upper button; one finger is a good fit but if there is room for two, the jacket is too big.) Two- and three-button jackets are cut with a slight flare from the waist, which means that the bottom should always remain un-fastened to ensure a proper fit and drape.
The shoulder seam should run exactly on top of the shoulder bone and meet the sleeve where the arm meets the shoulder – not above it or outside it, both resulting in a ‘ripple effect’ with creases and wrinkles around the shoulder.
A suit trouser should be either ‘classic’ length or distinctively cropped, not somewhere in between. The classic fit means that the trouser’s hem rests slightly on the shoe, falling a touch longer in the back, with a subtle break in the fabric above the foot.
Supplier Time International
Based in Bucharest, Romania, Time International is a family-run garment manufacturer using ethical production methods. The company, founded in 1994, operates two production units close to the Bulgarian border, and its 1,500 employees specialise in making tailored menswear with the highest complexity and precision. They handle everything from pattern making, grading and prototype manufacturing to sewing and finishing garments. For ARKET, Time is making men’s blazers, coats and trousers.