A Linen Odyssey - Part III
Read Part II here.
Confident that things would go to plan, the team were in high spirits - nothing could get in their way. Then, out of the blue through a shortly-worded email, news broke that the mill the team were relying upon to weave the linen would be unable to complete the job - their machines were simply incapable of handling the cloth.
With much reluctance, the decision was eventually made for the entire suit project to be postponed. Even if the linen could be woven elsewhere, it wasn’t clear what a suit made from such heavy linen would actually be like since no one had ever seen one before. Of course, the principle was sound; two suits, one deliciously heavy linen weave, three colour-ways to accommodate all tastes. But, how could they know for sure?
So, with the decision to push back the release of the suits came the opportunity to get things right. Shirts designed to be worn with the suits would be released as originally planned to offer the vintage-loving community a luxurious, breathable and soft linen shirt, in a weave heavier than usual, for wear throughout summer and beyond.
Eventually the mill got back in touch with Simon and the team. Although they had made progress, a second key issue with weaving the linen had become evident - the desired texture, something entirely unlike conventional, modern linen shirts and suits, wasn’t turning out as intended. Such was the unusual character of the linen that the mill had been left with no other choice but to employ the use of industrial-scale looms - those usually used for exceptionally thick winter coat cloth. After this final hurdle had been cleared, production of the linen was finally viable. The team were able to pick up where they left off, and the suit samples were commissioned.
Some weeks later the first samples arrived in the London headquarters. As expected, there were some changes that needed to be made. All the lessons learnt from the previous iterations had been put into practice, and all the necessary tweaks and adjustments were confidently made in good time. The linen itself was perfect. With that, and after what had become years of anticipation, it was the first time that there was a real sense that their dream was about to become a reality - that all their efforts were about to pay off.
It was mid-afternoon on Monday in early August. The bulk suit shipment was due towards the end of the week - Thursday, or Friday maybe. Suddenly, the doorbell went. The shipment had arrived early! With nervous excitement, the parcels were opened by Simon to find that the suits were, fully in-line with expectations, possibly the best tailoring that he had ever made. The feel and finish were superb, and the team soon found that the fit was excellent also.
‘Good things come to those who wait’ - although it certainly didn’t feel like it at the time leading up to that day. When the stock shipment finally arrived, all of the built-up frustration instantly subsided, and a real sense of accomplishment was felt amongst the group. With the release of the revised Vanderbilt and King Cole we see two styles of suit in three colours intended for all-year-round wear, embodying all the hallmarks of classic men’s tailoring from the decades that are truly what Simon and those around him are all about.
Delighted with the final result, we’re proud to announce that the suits are now available to buy in the shop. Wearing an SJC linen suit is not only special due to the quality and nature of the cloth, or the unique charm of the best styles and features in men’s tailoring - there is also a real story behind their evolution and creation that we invite you to share in each and every time you wear one.