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The Davidow Edge

Learn a designer's patented facing alternative.
Threads #201, Feb./March 2019
Details Book The Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection

On November 7, 1942, Melville Davidow applied for U. S. Patent 2,318,295 for an innovative jacket construction method. With the goal of saving as much material as possible, Davidow invented a way to eliminate the facings from a tailored-style ladies’ jacket. His finishing process kept the hand of the fashion fabric and maintained the structural integrity of the collar and lapel without the facing.

A full description, with drawings, is shown online under the patent number granted on May 4, 1943. Davidow turned the seam allowance normally used to attach the facings to the wrong side, then machine-sewed three parallel rows of stitching to stay, support, and secure the edge. His method relied on meticulous pressing, stitching, and trimming. It works best in a fabric with a textured, open weave—not a hard-finished, tightly woven suiting material. The fabric’s weight should be able to support a collar and lapel without requiring interfacing or a sewn-on or cut-on facing.

For years, the Davidow method was used to finish jackets and is seen in many garment collections of the time. The steps for emulating this method are shown on the next page. Find additional information on this technique in David Page
Coffin’s “One-Layer Tailoring,” Threads #60, Aug./Sept. 1995.

Photos: Stephen Sartori. Jacket: from the Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection, Syracuse University School of Design. 

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