Section: Essential Men's Suit Guide - Blog
It’s easy to get so engrossed in choosing your suit fabric that by the time it comes around to choosing a lining you give it no more than a moment’s thought. But trust us when we say that your suit lining is far more important than you give it credit for. Your decision has a massive bearing on how your suit will look and feel. And that’s why you need to open your eyes to the magnificence of Cupro, or as it is more commonly known; Bemberg. But before we go any further, let’s just take a look at what could happen if you cut costs with your lining.
We always choose our suit fabric with three aspects in mind; durability, breathability, and of course style. In fact, wool (the most popular fabric) is often touted as the best of the best fabric because it covers all the bases so well. It’s incredibly durable, it’s breathable, and it looks the part.
But what happens when you buy a wool suit of the highest quality but put polyester lining inside it? Well, apart from it being one of the worst sartorial crimes you can commit, a cheap lining can actually counteract one of wool’s major benefits; its breathability.
Put polyester lining in your light and airy woolen suit, and it becomes a sweat jacket. Not a pleasant image is it? But it’s quite accurate. Polyester and many other cheap man-made fibres don’t allow moisture to escape and evaporate. This means that all that sweat under your jacket has no place to go.
Think of all the other things that we use polyester to make, and you’ll see what we mean. Tote bags, shopping bags, sports bags, and even raincoats. Can you imagine wearing a raincoat under your suit jacket? No, neither can we. But that is precisely what you are doing when you choose a cheap polyester lining for your suit.
Okay, so now that we’ve convinced you of the need for a quality lining let’s take a look at your options.
If you want to avoid the breathability issues that we mentioned with polyester-style synthetics, then you are left with only two realistic options for your suit lining; Silk and Cupro/Bemberg.
Silk is synonymous with luxury, so it’s no real surprise that at one point in history it was one of the most popular choices for suit lining. It’s a natural fibre that is cool in summer yet warm in winter. It also allows for moisture to pass through it so no matter how warm the weather is you shouldn’t feel too hot in your suit jacket.
There are however two slight issues with silk; expense and durability. It’s no secret that silk can be quite expensive and while it has an amazing look and feel to it, it really doesn’t age very well. And so a cheaper alternative that’s a little tougher would be much more preferable. And, yes you guessed it, there is one such fabric.
Cupro is a Japanese-developed alternative to silk that has a similar look and feel to its more luxurious counterpart. And Bemberg is a particularly famous brand of Cupro. You could call Cupro a cheap alternative, but there’s so much more to it that its affordable price tag.
Although Cupro is a man-made fibre, it contains only natural raw products. Incredibly, this silk substitute is made using wood fibre and cotton byproducts and as such Cupro is extremely durable. The fabric can go into the washing machine or dryer (never put your suit in the washing machine!) and offers the same breathable property of many natural fibres.
As we said earlier, the most common Cupro brand you’ll find on the market is Bemberg, and in some cases, the brand name is interchangeable with the fibre name. So you may find yourself in a tailor’s showroom looking for the word Cupro when they, in fact, use Bemberg to describe the material.
Now we’re going to go right ahead and assume that you’re on the same page as us and have decided that Cupro is the way forward. We know silk is great, but it just doesn’t have the benefits its cheaper counterpart possesses.
So what’s so great about Cupro (and Bemberg)?
With so many benefits, it’s quite astounding to us that-people will still choose polyester over Cupro and Bemberg. When it comes to off-the-rack suits, we totally understand that sometimes a budget suit requires cost-cutting measures. For men that simply don’t want to invest in their suit, a polyester-lined suit makes perfect sense. But for those that have their suits tailor made, there is no reason in the world to choose anything other than Cupro for your lining.
So the next time you find yourself looking for the most lightweight and breathable lining on the market, insist on nothing less than Cupro. In fact, even if they suggest silk, take a firm stance and stick with Cupro. It’s a decision you certainly won’t regret.
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