Shoulder pads 3 – thin, but supportive construction

In part 1 we have learned about the relationship of shell fabric pattern and the design of the according shoulder pad.

In part 2 we decided for the various components.

In part 3 and following parts we want to analyse some examples to see how high the variances are and how important it is to know what you want to make with these. Again, there is no right or wrong, but a profound understanding needed of the particular case and of course, experience too.

We start with one example of a quite thin, but supportive shoulder pad.

The  focus here is on the mix of thin layers in different materials, on high resilience and support for the later casual shoulder and a high flexibility, also after dry cleaning and wearing the jacket for some time.

Again we start with the Cover. This time it is much lighter than in part 2, but still with a lot of support for the shape. It is important her to have a material which will not lengthen at the back edges when there is tension in the back part of the jacket. As you see in this picture that it is so thin that you can see the lower parts of the pad right through the cover.



As we want to attach the shoulder pad in an industrial way it is sewn together at the Armhole side in about 4.5 cm distance.  There is a special technique behind this assembling method and if wanted I can give some additional information about that in another article.


As you see the lower levels and the materials you see another order of canvas and felt. Here the focus is on a more casual shoulder and therefore the user shall not feel the shoulder pad canvas in the back through the lining and so the canvas is kept in the middle. In addition the grainline is changed into bias direction, so that there is a more casual support for the shoulder line. Now, again, is it important to change the grainline ? Well, my feeling is that you will not only feel it but it is visible in the ready garment, if you use this method or not.


The last part is the felt-like inner cover. It has, as mentioned, one function to hide the rough surface of the canvas and the second one is to give the pad a fuller dimension.


As you see in the top Cover I have marked all the sewing lines, the glue points and the notches.

Summarising the above details, this shoulderpad is a great mixture of flexible, yet thin and light appeal. You will want to use it for casual but still formal jackets. All these materials are not really cheap, but I cannot underline enough how important good quality trims are – they support the jackets for a long time and don’t change their habits if you put a cheap or expansive fabric on them. You can ruin a very expansive fabric choice with cheap trims quite easily.

This version is not washable, so don’t use this example for washed or dyed jackets. For these you can use the composition though but with totally different materials.

Next part 4 will explain a semi- or full-canvas suit variance – stay tuned !

2 responses to Shoulder pads 3 – thin, but supportive construction


    Hi Josch,
    very helpful as I’ve just been confronted with exactly this kind of shoulder pads that I’ve ordered and they were delivered with a different grain line of canvas – same as armhole. I had to ask for a correction so that grain line is from shoulder point to end of pad at back, same as visible on the picture. That validates my assumption.
    Thank you!


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