What is Wednesday #11

What is Wednesday.


This weekly Wednesday post is aimed at answering some of the more basic and critical aspects of tailoring and the terminology we use to describe them. It stems from realizing that I’m constantly throwing out different terms with my clients and quite often they’re unsure as to what I exactly mean.  The goal of this section then is to alleviate this terminology gap and provide you with some know-how to talk tailoring with a little more ease.

What is…a sleave-head?

A sleeve-head is a rectangular’ish shaped strip of felt and canvas that supports the cap of the sleeve.  The idea is to create a soft and even fall at the top of the sleeve rather than having the cap collapse.

I say rectangular’ish because the sleeve-head is actually curved as it’s designed to support the round part of the sleeve as it goes over the shoulder.  The image below will give you a better sense of the actual shape before it is attached.


The white stripe on top is the felt while the bottom pieces are the canvas.  It’s important to note that the type of canvas is different than what we use in the chest of the jacket.  In this case it is a broken twill; it is denser and has more roll to it which is critical to properly support the top of the sleeve while still creating an overall soft feeling.

Sleevehead II

The above images will give you a better sense of where the sleeve-head actually sits.  At the top you see how the sleeve-head is inserted – do note that this example is an inside-out shoulder.  I’ve done this to show you how it is positioned in relations to the shoulder seam; the sleeve-head itself is the canvas bit that you see protruding out from the rounded area of the shoulder.  The image on the low left shows it laid over a finished jacket in the proper location.  Like I mentioned the key aspect is that it is set to protrude over the shoulder seam and into the top of the sleeve itself.  As the sleeve rolls downward over the shoulder the sleeve-head is what creates the roll enabling the sleeve to softly flow over the deltoid rather than collapsing and creating a divot.  The image in the right corner is a perfect example of this.

Make sense?  This one is definitely a touch on the technical side but is critical in helping you wade through the noise that accompanies suit terminology.  As always please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions. Better yet book a free appointment and we can banter in person and see if we might be a good fit to work together.

Take care – Michael


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