Fusing is a popular tailoring shortcut that makes cloth easier to work with. Very fine wools, for example, are very difficult to tailor the old-fashioned way. With fusing, lightweight, supple cloths like Super 120 wools become more rigid and thus easier to work with.
But no fused or glued garment can be shaped to the body like a traditionally-made garment. Fused clothing is generally flat, shapeless and devoid of personality. Plus there is the added nuisance of the glue gradually separating from the cloth over time creating a bubbling that is unsightly.
At Kozinn+Sons we never fuse our clothing. Instead of gluing pieces together, our interlinings are first basted to the top cloth by hand. (Basting is the process of attaching cloth to an interlining with temporary stitches that are removed after the parts of the garment are permanently sewn together.) Our interlinings are woven from naturally resilient materials that can be molded to the body. In every one of our coats is a canvas, which is a mixture of wool and camel hair. It is lightweight, yet “bouncy.” On top of this foundation is a sturdier piece of canvas made of wool and goat hair that forms the chest of the coat. In the shoulder area, a woven material containing horse hair is sewn in place to keep the shoulder pad from collapsing. The undercollars of our jackets are bolstered by a insert made of Irish linen. Similarly, our shirt collars are given added support with a fine cotton webbing from Switzerland.
How can you tell if a garment is fused? First, get an idea of how thick the actual cloth is. With a shirt, you can feel the cloth on the body of the shirt. For a suit, feel one layer of the trouser leg. Then try to separate the collar of the shirt from what’s underneath or pinch the front of the suit coat. If the cloth won’t pull away or feels much thicker than what you felt originally, the garment is fused.