What is Wednesday #5

What is Wednesday.

What is #5

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…the roll line?

The roll line is the point on the jacket’s front that the lapel folds back on itself.  It extends from the collar at the neck down towards the button stance whereby the lapel ends (or begins). The roll over the chest should be soft, smooth and never buckle at any point – this type of strain indicates the jacket doesn’t have enough length to fall gracefully over the chest.

Untitled design

In the image above you will notice the little stitches in perfect rows on the lapel itself – this is called padstitching (they will have their own “What is” in a few weeks).  They have two functions – the first being to attach the canvas (the beige material which will also have it’s own “What is” soon!) to the front of the jacket. The second function relates to the roll line specifically – the tension of the stitches are increased as they get closer to the roll line as this assists in creating a natural roll back on itself.


The image above shows how the stitches can actually shape the roll.  With proper tailoring it is definitely not a case of simply folding the lapel back and pressing down with an iron.  Rather it’s a combination of padstitiching and a very soft, subtle iron to create a very soft and lively roll.

Last but not least is what is done at the roll line itself.


The actual roll line in the image above occurs to the immediate left of the white piece of twill tape that runs diagonally through the image.  It runs from the upper middle of the image (the neckline) to the lower left (to the button stance).  This half inch wide piece of cotton tape stabilizes the roll line and keeps it from stretching and loosing shape over time.

This one might have been a touch more technical than the last few weeks – if that’s the case 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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