A tailor in Yorkshire has launched a new stain and perspiration resistant range of bespoke shirts following two years of research by a leading European institute.
Leeds-based Hemingway Tailors has been chosen as the first UK supplier by the team behind the patented INDUO fabric, which is the product of two years of intensive research at the European Center of Innovative Technology (ECTI).
The INDUO fabric simultaneously offers repellency and breathability, ensuring liquids aren’t absorbed by the fabric, while the cotton disperses perspiration to prevent underarm rings or odours.
Despite the different fabric, it manages to maintain the look and feel of a traditional fabric, making it ideal for everyday businesswear.
Toby Luper, master tailor and owner of Hemingway Tailors, said: “Certainly, especially in the weather we’ve experienced lately, it can be difficult to keep cool and fresh whilst in business attire.
“Similarly, it’s wedding season, and groomsmen and guests can end up feeling a bit hot under the collar in a full suit.
“There was a real need for a product which genuinely helped people keep cool, even when the temperature soars.”
Hemingway is currently the only tailor in the UK to be offering made to measure and bespoke shirts using the fabric.
Mr Luper added: “The INDUO fabric really is a first, in that it repels liquids and odours – whether it be perspiration or a spilt drink – yet it looks and feels like an ordinary shirt.
“As a tailor, the quality of the material we use is key, so it was vital that it still felt luxurious, wore well and, of course, looked the part.
“We were delighted to be chosen as INDUO’s first UK outlet, and we’ve already had a high amount of interest from both new and existing customers.
“Feeling embarrassed taking off your jacket on a hot day is something everyone has experienced at some point, along with the inevitable spilled coffee or red wine, so it’s no surprise to me how popular it is proving.”
He added that it gives the business a unique selling point with customers already warming to the fabric.
“All my normal bespoke clients have shown an interest,” Mr Luper said. “A lot of them have already ordered the fabric and they’re very happy with it.”
The master tailor was introduced to the fabric after INDUO approached him with some samples.
Mr Luper said: “It was old technology for knitted fabric so for instance t-shirts but it’s never been used for woven fabrics until INDUO mastered this technique.
“That helped greatly because in the past if it was done on a woven fabric it would be quite stiff and would have a plastic feel whereas this is really soft and you can’t even tell it’s there.”
Hemingway was established in 2005 by Mr Luper, whose family has a long heritage in fashion and tailoring in Yorkshire.
He started working from a very young age in his father’s factory on Kirkstall Road, Norman Black, which made garments for brands across the country.
The firm uses traditional tailoring methods to produce a range of bespoke and made to measure garments, including suits, waistcoats, overcoats and shirts.
Hemingway Tailors has its headquarters in Leeds and also has a base in London. The firm employs four staff.
On the lookout for tailors
Toby Luper established Hemingway Tailors in 2005.
Mr Luper is looking to expand the business by adding more tailors. The firm currently employs one member of staff in London and three in Leeds.
He said: “I would like to employ more tailors by finding the right tailors to cover more parts of the country because at the moment I’m covering a 50-mile radius around London and Leeds. In between, if I can find more tailors that live in different areas and work with them, that would be great.”
Tailoring isn’t as prevalent as years gone by, says Mr Luper, but there are still colleges teaching the craft.