Frequently Asked Questions...

  • Different weaves:

    A tropical, panama or plain weave fabric is woven so that both warp and weft work over one and under one all through (1×1). It is the lightest construction, good for the summer months and has excellent crease resistance qualities. It is also the cheapest weave.

    A twills is a cloth with the appearance of diagonal lines across its face. By using a twill weave fabrics can be made heavier and more compact than a plain or tropical weave.

  • Paying for your suit:

    At the initial meeting, after we have your order and taken all your measurements and body figuration we will ask for a 50% deposit.

    We only ask for the balance after the finished suit has been delivered and you are 100% satisfied. We can take payment by cash, cheque or credit card.

  • Guarantee and refunds:

    Yes. We are very confident that our suits will perform properly and meet or exceed our clients’ expectations. However, if you are ever dis-satisfied with our product or service our MD Austen Pickles would like to know ([email protected]) so that he can arrange a meeting to rectify the problem quickly and with the minimum of fuss. Should there be no alternative, in order to maintain our client’s confidence we will offer a full refund

  • Taking care of your suit:

    Take care of your tailoring and it will not only protect the investment you made in your wardrobe, it will keep you looking your best for longer. Allow at least 24 hours between wearings. Wool is naturally resilient but needs time to shed wrinkles and regain its original shape.

    – Empty pockets at the end of the day or you are asking for saggy pockets.Let your suit breathe.

    – Hang it from a rail or in a wardrobe with ample room around to allow any wrinkles to relax out. Use a padded plastic or wooden hanger with a generous shoulder. Never use a thin plastic or wire hanger.

    – Soil and dust can be removed from wool fabric by brushing lengthwise with a clothes brush. Finer wool fabric should be restored using a lint roller or damp cloth instead of a brush whenever possible.

    – If a wool garment gets damp, hang it out of direct sunlight. Be sure to brush it after it is dry.

    – Exposure to air, heat and light sets stains and can make their removal impossible. Treat any stains immediately to keep them from becoming permanent.

    – Don’t press a garment if it’s stained. The heat of pressing will set the stain and likely make its removal impossible.

    – Unless you have a spill, you should only have to dry clean them only once at the end of the season. Only go to reputable cleaners, some chains will destroy your suit with strong chemicals.

    – Avoid hanging a jacket or coat by the neck, on a coat hook or the back of a chair.

    – Never store any garments in the cleaner’s protective plastic bag. Polythene bags will hold moisture and encourage condensation leading to mildew.

    – Always take garments with stubborn stains to the dry cleaner as soon as possible.

    – If you must treat stains yourself, do it immediately to prevent them from setting into the fabric. Always blot a stain, do not rub.

  • Sale and discounts:

    Yes. Like all retailers we offer promotions and seasonal discounts. The very best way to find out about these is to register online for our newsletter or check our website regularly. If you are an existing customer your N&T tailor will also keep in touch and let you know when our latest offer is coming.

  • Essential suits:

    We all tend to wear our favourite suits more often, but there should be at least 5 suits in your wardrobe, worn in rotation. Suits perform best and last longer if they have time in between wears to recover.

    You definitely need a plain navy and plain charcoal suit. These are core wardrobe staples. A navy stripe, subtle or otherwise should be next. Add in a grey stripe or Prince of Wales check. Your fifth and subsequent purchases are wide open – plain black is not just for funerals/bar mitzvahs and can be a good day to evening option if you are going out straight from the office. Brown can add versatility to your wardrobe or possibly a lighter shade of navy or grey. A semi plain navy suit (birdseye, herringbone or sharkskin) can give more options on a navy palette which is always easy to mix with shirts and ties. There are over five thousand different cloths in the N&T collection – we think you will have enough choice but if not, our sister company Buxton Pickles Ltd can source or manufacture anything you need.

  • Suit facts:

    Sometimes clients ask us if we use glue to stick the suits together. Obviously the answer is no, we sew our garments with the finest Gutterman thread!

    However, like 99% of all tailors, we use a small amount of fusible for most of our suit production (except full canvas construction). The fusible is a thin layer of non-woven fabric which we attach using heat to certain areas of the outer fabric. It is only ever on the inside of the garment between the face and the lining and helps to give the outer cloth a clean, flat finish. Without the addition of a thin fusible, the garment can lose a lot of hanger appeal and with finer fabric can look wrinkled and saggy when not on the body.

    Our fusible is impossible to detect except by an expert but it helps guarantee a clean crisp finish which is Norton & Townsend’s trademark.

    We can offer traditional full canvas (no fusible) construction for a small additional surcharge but very few clients take up this option.

  • Where our suits are made:

    The majority of our fabrics are made in England and Scotland because British fabric is undoubtedly the best in the world for quality, design and value. All our clients’ unique bespoke patterns are created in Leeds and checked by our Master Cutter. We then offer our clients the option to make their suits at our overseas workroom or in the UK with a surcharge.

    Although there is definitely a shift towards Made In England tailoring, most of our suits are still made using British fabrics and bespoke patterns at a family run modern workroom in Bangalore, India. The family which owns the workroom has invested heavily in their people and in new technology and machinery. The in-house training programme is similar to a college course and staff enjoy a crèche, in-house doctor, free canteen and transport to and from work. The family prides itself on its ethical and social audit report ratings from independent auditors such as SGS. The standard of production, efficiency and quality of the hand finished garments is world beating.

    Our Made In England production comes from a long established highly respected workroom which also supplies some of the companies on Savile Row. The experienced team use traditional methods to create a quintessentially English silhouette. We have known the tailors at this workroom for thirty years and are very pleased that clients are once again beginning to choose domestic production, encouraging investment in the future of UK manufacturing.

  • Made to measure and bespoke suits:

    According to the dictionary, Bespoke is a term used for tailored clothing made at a customer’s behest, exactly to the customer’s specification. Bespoke clothing is created without use of a pre-existing pattern. The word comes from ‘bespoken’ from the days when you would visit your tailor and ask him to reserve a length of cloth for you – ie the cloth was spoken for or ‘bespoken’.

    There are companies, predominantly on Savile Row’, that promote Bespoke as the exclusive definition for garments made by hand by their pattern cutters based on measurements and body shape details, traditionally requiring lots of interim fittings.  This is indeed Bespoke but the definition is not so narrow.

    Our tailoring is also bespoke even though it is not made on Savile Row. It is produced from our clients’ detailed measurements and figuration observations. We do not amend a pre-existing pattern. We use technology (instead of a man in a basement on Savile Row) to take account of all the variants and create a unique pattern completely from scratch. The pattern is always checked manually by a master pattern cutter. The cloth is then cut individually according to the pattern. The addition of technology does not change the definition. Made to Measure made our way is the same as Bespoke.

    Beware of Made to Order tailoring. This is where a suit is made to a basic ready to wear pattern but the sleeve or back length etc may be slightly amended. It is not possible to amend body shape or significant styling details. You can normally select your own cloth and the suit is made individually. Watch out, this service is available even on Savile Row.

  • Super 100's:

    The full confusing definition says that Super 100’s is a classification of the woollen fibre depending on its diameter in raw state. The finer the fibre, the higher the classification. A woollen fibre measuring 18.5micron in diameter is classed as Super 100’s, 18.0 micron is called Super 110’s, 17.5 micron is Super 120’s, 17.0 micron Super 130’s etc.

    It just means that the higher the classification (Super 100’s, 120’s 150’s etc), the finer the fibre. The finer the fibre, the finer the yarn that can be spun and ultimately, the finer the fabric that can be woven. Simple.

  • Super 100's or 120's:

    It feels nicer against your skin. It looks finer and will drape beautifully. Designs woven in fine yarn can be more delicate and subtle. And it can be lighter in weight for warm climates. But fiiner fibres are rare and the higher the classification the more scarce they become. So they get more expensive. And durability and creasing can be an issue.

  • Fabric choice:

    Wool for at least 80% of your formal wardrobe. Why?

    Wool’s natural climate control system keeps you comfortable because it insulates you from heat and cold by trapping little pockets of air. Warm in winter, cool in summer. Wool is strong. It is used to cover tennis balls and billiard tables. Wool actually has tiny pores. When it’s dyed, the pores open and the dye is absorbed into it. That’s why wool garments look and stay rich in colour.

    Wool can also be stretched up to 70% of its natural length and still retain its shape when released. In other words, it won’t sag and wrinkles relax easily. We can incorporate this natural stretch into yarns and give the effect of lycra without using any synthetic fibre.

  • Five reasons to buy a tailored suit:

    1. Quality. Most men look and feel their best in a suit. The better the quality in terms of fabric, construction, fit and style, the better he looks and feels. Simple. N&T fabrics are made by the finest mills in the world, mainly British. The patterns are cut by hand and garments sewn by tailors with years of experience using traditional methods. No corners are cut. Styling is personal but N&T tailors will always offer their experience and advice if required. The fit is crafted from measurements and body figuration observations. We only ever hand over the finished garment when the client is completely satisfied.

    2. Time. Most men do not enjoy shopping. They do not have a lot of free time. There is no need to shop around for tailoring. Two meetings with your tailor will suffice. Once your individual measurements and figuration records are in place, your own block pattern will hang in our workrooms to be used again and again. If your first suit still fits perfectly, a phone call is all that is necessary to order a second or third….

    3. Choice. Most men have been disappointed at some time when they have not been able to find what they were looking for at their usual retailers. The right size and style in the right cloth can be difficult to find. And the more discerning the customer, the smaller his chance of finding what he wants. At the same time most men are confused by rows and rows of the same product at different prices with different labels. We have over 5000 stock fabrics available in every colour, stripe, check or texture. All available in several hundred style variations. That makes hundreds of thousands of suits available to each client, all of which fit perfectly..

    4. Cost. Everyone likes value for money. Low prices will always grab the headlines, but quality is an essential part of the equation. A fifty pound suit which is worn twice and then abandoned in the wardrobe is more expensive than a six hundred pound suit that can be worn once every two weeks for a year. N&T is one of the biggest bespoke makers and can negotiate the best deals with fabric mills which are always passed on to our clients.

    5. Advice. Not everyone is confident when selecting a wardrobe of clothes. This can lead to reliance on the opinions of wives or girlfriends, or costly mistakes like buying a suit on price or label alone.

    Always beware the narcotic effect of designer labels. Price does not necessarily equal quality and many designer suits fail to last as long as the fashion trends they portray. N&T tailors are dedicated to individuality. We work carefully with our clients to make sure the clothes they select are the right ones for them, will look perfect and meet their expectations. We prefer to sell a less expensive suit than let the customer buy something that might not do the job he wants.