Modern suit factory

One of the members of the Cutter & Tailor forum posted a link to his company’s website, a modern suit factory in Turkey, which had this video as well as some photos of their factory. It might be interesting for those who have never seen a modular engineered suit factory at work (and this is a well-equipped one), but since most operation may look unfamiliar, I’ll give a play-by-play below.

Cruzzo Fabrika 2 from hubego on Vimeo.

1.Pick stitch machine
2. Lining pockets. The operator places the lining front on the machine, an arm comes forward on which she places a flat piece of lining and a stay, which the machine folds into jets, stitches and cuts the pocket all in one shot. Homesewers will scream when they see this.
3.Flap jig. Specially-shaped jig molds clamp two pieces of cloth together in order to give fullness to the outer piece, then they are sewn and cut in one shot.
4. Flap press. The flaps are turned and stretched over a form which is then inserted into the press.
5. Welt tacking. The breast welt is zig-zagged in place.
6. Side seam. This is the side seam with a side vent being closed.
7. Shoulder seam. A top-feed machine is programmed to feed the fullness onto the shoulder automatically.
8. Sleeve setting. Again, home sewers will scream. A computerized fullness-feeding machine to set sleeves with the sleeve head already attached. The machine can be fully automated for the amount of fullness in the various parts of the sleeve cap or the operator can control the fullness with a foot pedal and knee lever.
9. Sleeve buttons. Self explanatory.
10. Joining sleeve head. The elbow seam has been joined and the sleeve head is attached before closing the inseam. Most machines of this sort will also shirr (full or ease) the sleeve cap at the same time, making setting the sleeve easier.
11. Buttonholes. Sew and cut buttonholes.
12. Shoulder press
13. Sleeve outseam (elbow seam) press
14. Front panel press. This machine has a shape for the chest and shoulder which is not visible from this angle. The suit designer usually designs the shape of the buck with the press manufacturer.
15. Lapel press
16. Touch up. Don’t try this at home, kids.
17. Final examination.

13 Replies to “Modern suit factory

  1. at 8min 22sec for the final touch up, they didn't even wear a mitt with that hot steam iron. well he's probably use to it, at least the condition of the factory is decent compare to the ones in asia.

  2. Not to quibble, but Izmir IS in Asia, and a lot of the Chinese factories are just as good (some better). But yes, decent conditions.

    And, yes, no mitt= trouble, but they are trained and used to working like that so they won't burn themselves. I don't like throwing steam all over the garment like that and would prefer a touch up with a dauber and a good heavy iron but they have to operate within costs and seem to know what they are doing. I would be interested to see a garment IRL.

  3. Reply to fatto a mano, since you mention Chinese factories, no offense or anything, but the Chinese do have these supervisors looking after the workers and they can take money away from your salary if the worker is not working good enough. Workers work overtime without pay and they also live and eat in the next building besides the factory. Most workers are from village areas. This is just to give you an insight if you didn't know about this, this is why i personally think that chinese factory is not better than the one in turkey. but then again, it happens everywhere i guess, even in Florence Italy where chinese worker sew luxury brands clothing and accessories. This is all unbelievable. and what frustrates me the most is that people don't get their suits fitted nicely.

  4. Interesting. So this would apply to Coppley, Samuelsohn, Canali and so on?

    Can you comment of the pressing and resting stages involved in the making of a garment – say a Brioni? I read somewhere that each seam is pressed and the garment allowed to rest before proceeding to a next step.

  5. no, it would not apply to coppley, samuelsohn, canali and other alike, i'm not talking about menswear, sorry, should've been specific. I'm talking about luxury ready to wear brand that sells female clothings like prada, burbery, coach, etc.

    How Luxury Lost Its Luster: Dana Thomas is a book i read and it explains a lot about luxury companies have their work manufactured abroad from low wage workers.

    tailoring is not my area of expertise, i'm sorry, i would not know much, but every sewer should know that as a general rule, each seam is suppose to be pressed before proceeding to the next step. i do appreciate the great art of bespoke and it's sad that it's not well appreciated or known by majority of the population. i'm not trying to be a smartass or pick a fight.

  6. The pressing bit without a mitt? Guilty. Definately did what when I worked in a tailor shop at a high end clothing store. Fascinating video!

  7. Absolutely fascinating. Mainly watching the operators spending as much or more time pressing the garments, whether by hand or machine. I believe strongly in doing this, and am really heartened to see that professionals understand how extremely important a step pressing is in garment construction. I wish that home sewers understood it as well. To me, doing a good press job on a garment is what seperates the "loving hands at home" look from "oooh, did you say you MADE that? Looks like you bought it".

    Loved the video. Thanks, Jeff!

  8. Wow, the pocket machine doesn't just make me want to scream, it makes me want to quit altogether!

  9. kazuhei I don't think Anonymous was commenting on your comment. Fatto a mano used to work at Samuelsohn so that was a question directed to him as to whether or not this process is similar to what occurred there. Not to pick a fight either, but not everyone can afford bespoke or MTM. In a market economy, there will be those who exploit and those who are exploited. However, we just have to be better consumers and shop from those that take are of their employees.

  10. Hmm, a few comments.

    First, I don't really want to comment on the social implications of producing garments in China (or anywhere else) but, having visited and worked with many Chinese factories (among many other countries) I can say that the physical environment is usually not the dingy, filthy sweatshop that most people envision. In my experience they are often very clean, well-lit, well-equipped, and more pleasant than most factories in North America.

    As for the production process, this video shows an engineered, fused garment so the process is different from the one you would find in Samuelsohn, Canali, etc. They will still study and engineer the operations to make them as efficient and precise as possible, so they work at decent speeds, but whereas this factory probably produces a jacket in around 90 minutes, a canvas garment is more likely to be four to seven hours. Part of this time is allowing things to rest- the cloth rests after it is spread and before cutting, the garment is allowed to cool thoroughly between pressing operations…..

  11. It is so interesting to see how a modular engineered suit factory works! I have never had this chance before I found your blog. Keep it up!

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