Inside A Made-to-Measure Factory
T22 Goes to Montreal
Stephanie had never been to the Samuelsohn factory and it's been quite a few years since I visited...so off to Montreal we went!
I'm telling you, we must have said "Wow" about 75 times each during the 2 hour tour. It was even more impressive than I remembered.
We took this kind of goofy picture of our "tour guide", William. He was an extremely serious and knowledgable guy and the questions we fired at him were numerous and frequent. He seemed to love talking shop with us and we could have stayed there all day.
We weren't allowed to take any close up detailed photographs, which is a shame because I think you would be blown away by how intricate the work is. For example, in the photo below, in the background you can see the man in blue...
...he is HAND CUTTING made to measure garments. Let's just say that again. Hand cutting!! Think of the clothing you are wearing this very moment...what are the chances the cloth was cut by a human? Very. Very. Slim. (unless you are wearing a T22 MtM!)
Still Hand Made
Other than a few industrial machines (i.e.: a laser cutter for off-the-rack garments which can cut multiple garments at a time) almost every aspect of the Samuelsohn garment is sewn by 250 individual seamstresses and tailors.
Each and every person is able to switch tasks; so their knowledge of the whole garment is solid. It's a breathtaking operation.
Many processes are actually done with no machines at all! Y'know, sewn with a needle and thread.
William is holding up a garment-in-the-making...notice how the cloth looks prior to building the inside canvass. Without the all important interior, what you have is a wool shirt.
He is showing us how the taping on the armhole is hand sewn and how that enriches the curve on the piece.
Thousands of garments pass through hundreds of hands every month. The paper trail needs to be strong to keep track of every piece. One of the most impressive aspects was the process they use to track a garment. I cannot reveal any details except to say: they GOT you. I can call any day of the week and ask where a jacket or pant is in the factory and they know the exact location. Wow.
These suits are ready for pressing. The machine Samuelsohn uses looks more like a transformer than any iron I have seen. The resulting suit is never over pressed (y'know, when you get that shiny look) and has a naturally rolled lapel.
Ready to ship!
It was an incredible morning of both learning and inspiration. And this guy loved the tour too! The love of wool starts early, friends!