Custom tailoring vs. ready-made clothing: What is the difference?

die Naeherei Handwerk Näherei Schneiderei Nähmaschine Herstellung Nadel Stoff Material Bekleidung

Custom tailoring has already been existing since the early 19th century and refers to the handcraft production of garments. At this time it was the only method to produce suits. In up to 225 work steps a suit is manufactured piece by piece, and a new and personal sewing pattern is created for each individual customer. On one hand this is indeed an advantage that a high degree of individualisation is possible, but on the other hand it increases the time required.

Before a customer decides for a custom tailored suit it should be clear before what his/her wishes are, and these wishes should be forwarded to the tailor as detailed as possible. The more precise the descriptions are, the better the final result will be, and the sooner the result will meet the customer’s ideas.

Since the 20th century, however, custom tailoring was then replaced by customised clothing production, since it was less time consuming and at the same time it was possible to supply more customers. Nowadays, custom tailoring is almost exclusively intended for those people who have unusual body measurements which strongly deviate from the standard.

Customised clothing production refers to custom tailoring of suits according to standardised basic models in exceptional quality with first-class service. The high amount of work steps which were previously performed in custom tailoring are now distributed to several tailors. This method initially enabled department stores to carry out small series of specific garments, and to invent the standardised size system around 1900, which is still applied today with the ready-made sizes S, M, and L. Since 1990, customised clothing production has been almost completely replaced by ready-made clothing in the textile industry, and only few tailors still offer such a laborious service.

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