FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How is your wool fabric produced?
The fine wools that Giovani supply have been produced from a carefully controlled production process that delivers the best possible results.
The raw wool is thoroughly washed before passing through a combing process that frees it from unwanted impurities. After the first combing the wool takes on the soft and very fine texture necessary for spinning; a second combing removes short fibers, leaving only consistent lengths that will guarantee the durability of the final product. Further combing reduces the fiber diameter to the ideal spinning size and the wool fibers are stabilized in a steaming process that straightens them and frees them of further impurities. The wool is then ready for dyeing, a meticulous process with each batch carefully matched against samples.
High-tech machinery using laser sensors are used to prepare the warp, controlling hundreds of yarns at the same time in an extremely specialized manner.
The weaving process combines centuries-old craftsmanship with modern technology. Horizontal threads (the “warp”) must pass over and under vertical threads (the “weft”) in a very precise configuration dependent on the type of weave and decoration required. Modern looms have electronic control centers that check each and every thread to lift and raise it at the correct moment, and with each transit of the shuttle the fabric is created. Following the weaving process the fabric is carefully checked, by hand, for any defects.
How is your cotton produced?
All Giovani cottons fabrics are produced from the “king” of cotton plants, Gossypium Barbadense, renowned for its longer staples that allow it to provide finer, stronger threads.
The cotton is firstly dried, to reduce moisture content and thoroughly cleaned to remove foreign matter.
During the spinning process the fibers are straightened, aligned and bound together and the shorter, less valuable fibers removed, leaving a strong and smooth material that will, when then provide a high quality, high value yarn. The spun cotton can then be dyed to the exact specification of the customer.
The weaving process then turns the yarn into the cloth, in a similar process to wool fabric production; a loom is used to weave the “warp” thread with the “weft” yarn in a prescribed manner depending on the type of fabric required. Popular weaves include, for example, Twills, Broadcloth, Royal Oxford, and Herringbone.
The final step in any fabric manufacture is “finishing” and cotton probably has more types of finishing than any other material. Some finishes will change the look and feel of the cotton, others will add certain characteristics such as durability, water repellency, flame resistance and shrinkage control. Several different finishes may be applied to a single fabric.
Any defects are meticulously sought out by experienced personnel, since the human eye, heart and hand cannot be substituted. The process is carried out in two phases - immediately after weaving and then again after of finishing phase.
How can I test a fabric for synthetic content?
A simple test to check for genuine wool or cotton is to burn the fabric:-
1. Place a 5 cm. swatch in a fire-proof container and ignite a corner of the fabric –
- Cotton will smell similar to the smell of burning paper.
- Wool will smell similar to burning hair or feathers.
- A chemical or plastic smell will indicate the presence of synthetic polyester materials.
2. Examine the cool ashes –
- Cotton ashes are soft and fine and turn to dust when rubbed.
- Wool ashes are black and brittle that crush when fingered.
- The melted remains of synthetic are hard lumps.
3. Hold a few threads of the fiber in tweezers and slowly move a flame towards them –
- Cotton and wool fibers ignite as the flame draws near.
- Synthetic fibers curl away from the flame and tend to melt.
What is the “S” labeling on a woolen fabric? (Super 150’s)
The “S” number on a wool fabric indicates the fineness of the fiber used in the garment; the higher the number the finer the yarn. Fiber fineness is one of the factors determining the quality and performance of a wool product and in recent years it has become an important marketing device used by many mills, garment makers, and retailers.
A garment with a very high “S” number feels better, much smoother to the touch, but is more liable to crease. S 100s and 120s should be the mainstay of your wardrobe, durable and resilient; S150s and 180s should be thought of like caviar – wonderful but not for every day!
Although there is significant difference in the feel between an S 100 and an S 180 fiber, both are very fine fabrics – ultimately it is the look and the tailoring that matters most. Everything else is just a number!
How can I ensure the fabrics used for my suit and shirts are not fakes?
In most, if not all industries, there will be a small number of businesses that trade in an unscrupulous manner, and the garment industry is not immune from this problem. On the whole, tailors in South East Asia enjoy a good reputation for their ability to produce high quality products at competitive prices; some though can be less than honest in their dealings with the public.
For example, an individual may select a 100% wool or wool blend fabric for a new suit. His tailor, however, may purchase a cheaper 100% synthetic fabric which, on an initial visual inspection appears to match the customer’s original expectations but, over time, will not maintain the quality look and feel of a wool product and will deteriorate more rapidly than expected.
Also, bear in mind that many leading ready-made apparel brand do not themselves manufacture fabrics for sale under their brand.
Some Tailors/Fabric sellers even adopt the branding of other goods such as perfumes, leather goods or accessories. It is always worth checking, via the internet or by contacting the companies direct in order to determine whether or not they manufacture fabrics under their brands.
Giovani supplies many top quality tailors throughout the region and has built up extensive knowledge of the industry. We are always happy to recommend an outlet in any major town or city where you can be confident that you will receive what you pay for. Feel free to contact us and we will provide any advice needed.
Does an “iron-free” cotton shirt really not need ironing?
True cotton shirts are definitely not iron free, but are often treated with special chemicals to make them easy to iron – they crease less but are not wrinkle-free, and tend to be more expensive than untreated cotton shirts.. The “easy-to-iron” effect will last for up to 20 washes before the chemicals lose their effectiveness.
If you come across an inexpensive “non-wrinkle” shirt it is highly likely to be a polyester/cotton blend.
What is meant by “2 Ply” cotton?
“2 Ply” cotton, as its description suggests, is made of two lengths of yarn that is intertwined. This is superior in quality to single ply cotton, with its greater density adding lushness to the finished garment.
Preferably that should mean the fabrics is made of two ply (yarns) in both warp and weft,
However, sometimes the term “two ply” is misused for fabrics where just one yarn, either the warp or the weft, have been spun twice whereas the other yarn was not – this is just a 2×1 and thus does not deserve the name “two-ply”. A good fabric will have both the warp and weft 2 ply