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Friday, September 16, 2011

Holland & Sherry - A Short Interview With Simon Rice

Simon Rice is the Australian representative for Holland & Sherry. He is rather shy and did not wish to be photographed for the blog. Working from a modest office in the Sydney CBD, Simon has a vast array of bunches for suiting and jacketing for all occasions. I thought I would ask him a few questions on cloth.

How long have you been working for Holland & Sherry?

I worked for a subsidiary company of Holland & Sherry in Hong Kong before coming to Sydney in 1982 to run Holland & Sherry Pty Ltd, which is also a subsidiary company (not an agent).

What is the most commonly sold cloth for suiting in both colour and texture?

In metres plain black, midnight and navy super 100's and 120's pure worsteds of 240/280gms.
In value 100% pure cashmere doeskin in black, navy and camel 340gms.

What is your favourite cloth for a dinner suit?

A black faille such as 747101, super 140's wool worsted 280gms. If money no object, then 427008 (black barathea) or 427009 (black faille) , both 280gms 50% super 200's worsted and 50% cashmere. Absolute luxury!

What sort of cloth weights should Australian’s be choosing for their climate? Would someone in Melbourne need different cloth to a Sydneysider?

For Sydney, 280/310gm cloths can be worn all year round with the addition of a top coat or overcoat for the colder winter days.
For Melbourne, although 280gms or lighter is fine for mid summer, heavier cloths such as 380/410gms are more suitable for their winter.

What is your favourite navy cloth from H and S and in what texture, weight, weave?

I like 379067 a 280gm navy imitation rib in super 130's worsted, whilst classic it has some texture for added interest.

Does Holland & Sherry make their own cloth or do they sub-contract mills to make their fabrics?

We have our own mills, two in the UK and a larger mill in Tome, Chile. We also buy certain fabrics from non related mills i.e silks, cottons and some fancy jacketings from Italy

Could you explain to us a little about the different weaves and textures we find in fabric books – what are the most commonly used and why?

The most common weave is plain weave, which is basically a cross hatch where the warp and weft threads cross each other alternatively. By interspersing different coloured threads the design is created
A twill weave (2 over 2) tends to give more body to the cloth and therefore the finished garment drapes well.
A similar construction is a prunelle weave (2 over 1)

If someone was venturing into bespoke tailoring – what would you consider their first acquisition be – a work suit, cocktail suit or dinner suit?

I would advise a work suit as this will be worn more frequently than a dinner suit and therefore gives more opportunity to enjoy the the pleasure of a suit tailored specifically for you.

Holland and Sherry can be found at

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