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The Definitive Guide to Italian Tailoring Schools

Updated: Jun 21



This list was created to help those interested in tailoring, particularly traditional Italian menswear, find reputable places of learning based out of Italy. We hope to facilitate objectivity in the selection of any particular tailoring school by compiling the schools offerings in the most succinct manner possible as well as by incorporating alumni reviews.


With this list we hope to enable even the most novice to objectively and effectively evaluate the various Italian tailoring schools leading to higher quality apprenticeships, jobs and eventually independent tailoring houses and design studios.


Sorting through, or even finding quality information/websites on bespoke tailoring (especially at the beginning) can be difficult. With this article we aim to reduce some of the headache that many encounter on their search.


As new information and student reviews become available we will be updating the article. Enjoy!


The Schools:





Accademia dei Sartori

Via Francesco Crispi, 115, 00187 Roma

+39 06.42872259

accademiasartori@libero.it

https://www.accademianazionaledeisartori.it

What is the aim of l'Accademia dei Sartori?


The aim of our school is to train professional figures able to respond to the many needs of the sector. Our art needs generational change, vital to ensure the future of Italian Tailor Made.


What are the costs of all your courses?


The annual cost of the "alta sartoria" male or female course, amounts to € 7,500.00 and includes: registration fee, teaching materials and the exam fee.


The total cost of the three month course for men's or women's pattern making amounts to €3,000.00 and includes: registration fee, teaching materials and the exam fee.


Can you describe your teaching approach? How technical or theoretical is it?


The course of study has a mainly practical approach as our school starts and prepares students for the artisan creation of a tailoring garment . During the training the students will develop skills as established in the educational program depending on the year of attendance.


In addition to the specific course the following subjects will be included during the academic year: buttonhole making, history of fabric, business management and marketing. In addition, in agreement with the leading companies in the production of textiles, visits to their factories will be organized.


What is the day to day schedule like? What do the students do? Who are the teachers?


Each of our courses is held in the presence of master academic tailors. Each one of our masters has many years of experience and great knowledge of Italian tailoring.


Attendance is varied depending on the duration of the course. For the three-year tailoring course attendance is mandatory, 5 days a week, 5 hours a day from 9:00am to 2:00pm. As for the three-month pattern making course attendance is mandatory 1 day a week that is currently on Saturday morning from 9:00am to 2:00pm.


After finishing one of your courses what competencies will the graduates have?


Once graduated, depending on the direction and course taken, the students can work in tailoring workshops or independently start their own tailor shop.


During the time of the COVID19 pandemic is class in session?


Currently, the courses are taking place in person in compliance with the COVID containment measures provided by the law.


When can students register and how?


Registration can be taken by the secretary of l'Accademia during the year, preferably by September. All those who wish to send in an application, can write to our email accademiasartori@libero.it, we will respond with the registration form and inform the student about the specific dates of the courses.

Obviously, all those who wish to can visit our school and its educational workshops in order to interact directly with the teaching staff for technical advice and for the choice of the training path best suited to their aspirations.


What are the opportunities for graduates in the working world? What is the percentage of your students who find a job or become self-employed after they finish school?


Given the quality and the teaching methods used in our training, the majority of pupils find their place in artisan tailor shops during their schooling, starting with internships. Many of our students have joined renowned tailoring workshops in Italy and abroad, as well as in industrial garment companies. Some of them have also started their own business with considerable success and appreciation.



Course Offering:


Three-month Course in Menswear Pattern Making:

60 hours of lessons / one, five hour lesson weekly / duration: approximately 3 months

The first 3 lessons will be dedicated to the realization of graphics and geometric basis of pattern cutting for different types of subjects.

  • 4th Lesson - Coat main pattern cutting

  • 5th Lesson - Tail coat graphic design

  • 6th Lesson - Morning coat graphic design

  • 7th Lesson - Studying the jacket in different buttoning and those with shawl collars and lapels.

  • 8th Lesson - Jacket in different cuts

  • 9th Lesson - Various types of trousers

  • 10th Lesson - Details on the back of the jacket

  • 11th Lesson - Various pattern of waistcoat

  • 12th Lesson - Different styles of coat


Three-month Course in Womenswear Pattern Making:

60 hour course / one, five hour lesson weekly / duration: approximately 3 months

The first 3 lessons will be dedicated to the realization of graphics and geometric basis of pattern cutting for different types of subjects.

  • 4th Lesson - Basis for kimono and raglan

  • 5th Lesson - Basis for trousers and pant skirt

  • 6th Lesson - Dress details: collars, ‘carré’ pockets, cuffs, slits, ruche, etc.

  • 7th Lesson - Types of sleeves

  • 8th Lesson - Skirts in different models

  • 9th Lesson - All kinds of dresses

  • 10th Lesson - Pants and overalls in different models

  • 11th Lesson - Asymmetric cuts

  • 12th Lesson - Corset

  • 13th Lesson - Evening gowns and exam


Three-year Menswear Sewing Course:

First Academic Year

  • Learning all basic stitches

  • Creation of the waistcoat

  • Creation of the first and second fitting of the jacket

Second Academic Year

Jacket: revision and continuation of the 2nd fitting with specific concentration on

  • Sleeves

  • Hips

  • Shoulders

  • Collar

  • Internal and external pockets

  • Double welt pockets

  • Pocket flaps


Trousers: preparation of all parts of the trousers

  • Pockets

  • Hips

  • Internal and external belt assembly

  • Zipper/buttonholes


Third Academic Year

Coat finishing in various types and models



Three-year Modular Course in Bespoke Tailoring Womenswear:

First Academic Year In the first academic year the student will have to learn all the different elements used in bespoke tailoring.


Different types of skirts will be studied, experimented with and made. Some examples are: straight skirt, paneled skirt, gore skirt, buttoned skirt, asymmetrical skirt, hip pleat, semi-circular skirt and accordion pleated skirt.


Different types of bodices will also be studied, experimented with and made using various necklines, pleats and types of collars.


Finally, we’ll study sleeves in their diversity: from the classic sleeve to the puffed sleeve, leg-of-mutton, butterfly, pleated, the asymmetrical sleeve and with an infinite variety of cuffs.


Second Academic Year

The student, after having reached a technical tailoring maturity, passes to the module for the creation of any type of day dress in different lines or cut. Example: from the sheath dress to the blouson line, from the A-line to the empire waist, passing through the T-line, tulip, modified A-line, with bat sleeves, every piece of clothing also in asymmetrical cut.


Third Academic Year

After an initial phase dedicated to outerwear, the rest of the year will be dedicated to the manufacturing of important and elegant evening gowns, at any level, from those draped or pleated, through the boned bodice, elements which will enrich and complete the cultural and sartorial storage gained over the three-year academic course.



Student Reviews:

I attended the three-year men’s sewing course for two years. For work reasons I stopped training early. Before attending l’Accademia I had never sewn in my life. Speaking of practical skills acquired, I can say that I learned all the basic points well and in the first year I managed to see through the construction of a vest, pants and the second fitting of a jacket. These basic skills allowed me to enter a tailor shop as an apprentice immediately and have a good starting point. In the second year I was able to complete the full jacket, having a good flouring of the final stages of construction such as sewing the side seams, shoulders, neck and sleeves. I will be very frank, l’Accademia itself has provided me with good foundations during the first year, but to enter the world of work you have to put into practice what you learn.


The five hours of class in the morning are not even enough to become a worker in a tailor shop. You have to work hard and sweat through many shirts to be able to afford the luxury of entering into a tailor shop and doing something different than mark stitching.


I can say that at l’Accademia I found a great family. The best part of my training, in addition to the teachers, were my companions, all coming from different experiences and of all ages.


In my opinion, putting myself at the disposal of my companions, ready to help them do even trivial jobs has allowed me to develop my practical skills slowly. My masters have always told me “you have to train your hands”, and so I did.


I can say I met a second family at the Academy. There were some downsides though, mainly due to a questionable management of the courses, but it must be said that they had only started the course three years prior. Now, with the new management of Maestro Aloisio I’ve received excellent feedback from my colleagues. Maestro Aloisio has had a big impact on the l’Accademia. For a young man who has no chance to apprentice in a tailor shop, l’Accademia is an excellent alternative to build a good base to enter and be trained in a workshop.


Unfortunately, all this is paid at a high price and so it all falls on the families. Determination is fundamental and especially if you like the work and you see that you are moved by passion, immediately look for tailors with which to practice in the afternoon. It doesn’t matter if it’s only for two hours, this job is learned only by spending hours understanding how to sew, and then spending many more hours cutting and correcting.


Besides the men’s sewing course there is also the cutting course. And they usually recommend doing it towards the end of the sewing course so that you can better understand what you’re cutting. I didn’t do it because I finished early, but I always advise to do it to have a basis for cutting.


At the end of the three-year course of men’s sewing course you receive a "diploma" that so far I believe isn’t recognized by any body, but the prestige of the Academy is the guarantor. But what I want to say clearly is that the diploma attests that you have a foundation, the real work in the workshop will be very different from learning at school. Therefore, never rest on your laurels and above all constantly commit yourself.


- Alessandro P.



Atelier Forbici D’oro

Via Privata Alfredo Soffredini, 45 – Milano

+39 349.741.6497

atelierforbicidoro@gmail.com

https://www.atelierforbicidoro.com

A word from Paolo Lentini: Courses are always open. There is no specific registration date.

When a new student starts the course with me, they start with the pattern drafting; choosing from a selection of basic patterns created by me. Then the practical course begins, making the garment that has been chosen. The student follows the fittings of their garment and that of their friends, including the pattern corrections. If I do a fitting for one of my clients' suits, I’ll have my students attend.


If a student makes one jacket with my course, he won't be able to open a tailoring shop. If he does a full course (jacket, pants, vest and Ulster) he is able to face that path alone. If you’d like to stay with me for a little while longer to mature though, we’ll find a way.


Those who attend my courses have no interest in going to work in the factory or with a designer. The see themselves working in a tailor shop or opening up their own.


I'm the only teacher at the school. I've been a tailor for fifty years. I taught for five years in a pattern making school in Milan and in September 2019 I opened my own school. At this time I’m working and the school is open!



Short Courses:

Preparatory Course

Duration 24h

Price 300€

The introductory course offers a series of opportunities to students who want to know the method and techniques of Italian tailoring.


  • How to take measurements of the human body

  • Choosing fabrics

  • The preparation of the fabric

  • Important points of the process

  • How to use the treadle sewing machine (not electric)


Trousers

Duration 60h

Price 1,200

The cutting and making of the trousers are both covered in the course.


Vest

Duration 50h

Price 1,000

The cutting and making of the vest are both covered in the course.


Academic Courses:

Basic Jacket

Duration 75h

Price 1,500€

  • Making the basic pattern

  • Preparation of the fabric

  • Preparation of the canvas

  • Preparation of fronts / sides / back

  • First fitting and related pattern modifications

  • Double welted pockets, breast pocket

  • Lining the front of the jacket

  • Preparation of the under collar

  • Second fitting with sides and shoulders basted / fitting and related pattern modifications


Advanced Jacket

Duration 75h

Price 1,500

  • Sewing of the sides / shoulders

  • Preparation of the top collar

  • Preparation of the armholes rounds with binder

  • Preparation of the sleeves

  • Basting of the sleeves

  • Preparation of the shoulder pads and roping

  • The hand finishing of the interior lining

  • Final press and attachment of the buttons


Complete Jacket

Duration 150h

Price 3,000€

The cutting and making of the jacket are both covered in the course.


Ulster

Duration 280h

Price 5,500€

The cutting and making of the ulster are both covered in the course.


Coat

Duration 200h

Price 4,000€

The cutting and making of the coat are both covered in the course.


Overcoat

Duration 200h

Price 4,000€

The cutting and making of the overcoat are both covered in the course.


Tuxedo

Duration 150h

Price 3,000€

The cutting and making of the tuxedo are both covered in the course.


Morning Coat

By request only


Apprenticeship Courses:

Apprenticeship courses are for students who already have work experience or who wish to work in a tailor shop in the future. These are the students who could quickly learn the craft.


Students enrolled in apprenticeship courses in the year 2019/20 are entitled to a discount of 500 (Course A) and 800 (Course B).


Course A

Duration 300h

Price 5,200€

  • Jacket

  • Trousers

  • Vest

Course B

Duration 600h

Price 10,700€

  • Jacket

  • Trousers

  • Vest

  • Ulster


*courses run from 9am-12pm/2pm-5pm

Student Reviews:

I have known Paolo since November 2019. I came to him to take a sartorial jacket course and, since then, it’s been almost 2 years. I've taken 2 courses on the sartorial jacket, 1 course on sartorial trousers and 1 course on the ulster coat for a total of over 700 hours. Paolo loves his work, sews with passion and teaches without sparing himself. Unlike many tailors, he is not "jealous" of his tricks of the trade. On the contrary, he wants to teach them because, as he always says, "it is the details that make the difference, if no one teaches you there will be no greater tailors". He is a patient and helpful teacher, always ready to intervene and clarify any doubts or to correct any errors. The working environment is serene and this allows you to keep your concentration high every day. In general, there is a lot of flexibility at school and each student works on their own projects, sometimes even all different from each other.


In addition to personal projects, you often have the opportunity to follow Paolo in projects for his customers. He shows us his work and lets us follow the fitting with the customers, teaching us to recognize the defects and corrections to be performed. I am very satisfied with my experience in the school Atelier Forbici D'oro. Thanks to Paul I've grown a lot as an apprentice. He is a great man and a great teacher.


- Vincenzo N.

During my experience as a student at Atelier "Golden Scissors", of which Paolo Lentini is the owner and teacher, I had the opportunity to appreciate, in addition to the undoubted professionalism of Paul and the quality of his splendid achievements, the human qualities that are just as great and wonderful. I have never met a teacher so enthusiastic and able to convey his enthusiasm without being in any way jealous of his knowledge that he passes on to his students, completely without filters and without keeping for himself any secrets of the trade, as often others do. I am grateful to Paolo and I feel lucky and privileged to have the opportunity to learn so much from those who know so much and want to teach.


- Nina T.

I am a current student of Paolo Lentini. I am from China. I have known Paolo since October 2019, when he had the open day at Atelier Forbici D'oro.

Before going to Paolo, I learned a tailored jacket at a fashion institute. I am interested in tailoring and so I wanted to learn more. As Paolo says, to become a tailor, it is not enough just to make one jacket. I agree and so I came to Paolo to perfect myself. Now, I have finished 2 courses of the jacket, 1 course of the trousers and 1 course of the vest. Now, I'm continuing with the course for the ulster.

Paolo is very kind and nice. He loves his job and he teaches with passion. He is a patient teacher. For us foreign students, we do not understand well sometimes, but he always explains patiently and clarifies any doubts. I learned so much from Paulo and not only how to make a suit, but also to know the aesthetics of the suit. He has taught me many small things that really help to improve the jacket.

Paulo always says, "Who teaches these things? No one!" "Only Paulo", I reply. During the course, if there is the possibility, Paolo also shows us the fittings of his customers to help us get more experience.

In short, I'm lucky to know Mr. Lentini. He is a great teacher. Thanks to Paul I realized my dream.


- Wang Z.

I attended the course on the complete jacket of Atelier Forbici d'oro run by Maestro Lentini.

I would like to share my great experience starting from the approach that is given to the making of the jacket: combine the ancient artisan tradition of the Italian tailor made with a modern and youthful line that guarantees an excellent fit of the garment. The sleeve in particular merits applause. Thanks to the armhole seam tucked up and the shoulder and in combination with a softer sleeve head and a particular workmanship, the jacket has a freshness and naturalness that allow you to follow the contours of a person's figure.

Maestro Lentini is always very available to help and knows no jealousy in the teaching of this profession.

I still remember one of the first sentences he told me when I started the course. The eye of a good tailor, through experience, must get used to recognizing defects and know what the right technique is to achieve the best result. The eye of a good tailor must see the harmony and aesthetics of the garment.

The perfection of the jacket must be the rule that exalts the exception.


- Riccardo S.




Antonio Liverano School

Via dei Fossi, 43, 50123 Firenze

+39 055.239.6436

info@liverano.school

https://liverano.school


A word from Vittorio Salino:

A new vision of craftsmanship where the school is conveniently placed into the atmosphere of the workshop. Like Antonio Liverano says, this is not only a school of tailoring, but also a school of life. We teach how to work, the importance and utility of fabrics, managing relationships with customers and the importance of always keeping alive the power of the handmade.

In the first year of the course, considerable importance is given to teaching sewing dexterity and going over the various stages of construction. The school runs seven hours a day, from 9:00am to 5:00pm. It is vitally important for us to truly teach the students as if they were young tailors in a traditional workshop. Thousands of hours of work and a lot of passion are what's needed to become "un sarto completo".

We offer a few types of courses though they are always directed towards the creation of trousers, vests, jackets and coats. For those interested in our world, the doors of Liverano & Liverano and The Antonio Liverano School are always open. For more information on courses and how to register, please visit our website at https://liverano.school.


- Vittorio Salino - Senior Bespoke Tailor and Teacher, Liverano & Liverano



Sarto Program

The Sarto Program is our school’s highest level of training and was designed and created exclusively for students who would like to acquire the complete set of competences, knowledge and skills of the Italian Florentine Sartorial Tradition.

The Program is a result of the uncompromising R&D conducted by the faculty team, under the supervision of Maestro Antonio Liverano.

The Sarto Program combines both important aspects of education and training, aiming at the creation – during the 3 years of the program – of apprentice tailors that can offer their skills at any tailoring atelier around the world, at the highest level of skill imaginable.

The Sarto Program is an A to Z journey covering the handmade creation of garments for male bespoke clients.


First Year

Tailoring History I Fashion History I Fabric, Cloth and the Textile Industry I The Workstation - La Bottega del Sarto I The Tailor Client Cutting I The Bespoke Experience - Taking of Measurements Tailoring Business I


Second Year

Textile II Stitching II Cutting II Pattern Making II Tailoring Business II The Bespoke Experience - Fitting


Third Year

Personal projects and internships


Requirements:

Minimum age of 18

High school diploma

Italian/English level B2

Personal Interview


Info:

Duration 3 years

Hours per year 1200

First semester October to January

Second semester February to June

Cost 15,000€ + VAT per year

Enrollment fees 750€ + VAT



Apprentice Program

This two year program is offered to students with former experience in practical tailoring. A personal curriculum will be created with the faculty after a professional exam and an interview.

Students will need to complete their first year of sartorial training in order to apply for the internship year.


Requirements:

Minimum age of 21

Minimum of one year experience in a handmade tailoring atelier

Italian/English level B2

(Optional: a preparatory language course)

Personal Interview

Onsite level test


Info:

Duration 2 years

Hours per year 1200

First semester October to January

Second semester February to June

Cost 15,000€ + VAT per year

Enrollment fees 750€ + VAT


Focused Program

The Focus Program is an intensive training experience customized around the needs of the student/apprentice. The training can be centered on the management aspects of a bespoke atelier, specific tailoring of garments (jackets, pants, coats, vests), working protocols or special techniques.

The Focus Program also fits young tailors with previous experience who would like to start an internship at the Liverano & Liverano Bottega.


Requirements:

Minimum age of 21

Minimum of three years experience in a handmade tailoring atelier

Italian/English level B2

(Optional: a preparatory language course)

Personal Interview

Onsite level test


Info:

Duration 1 year

Hours per year 1200

First semester October to January

Second semester February to June

Cost 15,000€ + VAT

Enrollment fees 750€ + VAT


The Art Textile

A three months program created in order to provide tailoring students, fashion design students, and other professionals from the textile sector, with the secret of the magical encounter between cloth and master tailor.

Through the practice of basic tailoring techniques (cutting, basting, etc.) the participants will learn the particular elements of each cloth typology, its technical specifications, advantages, limitations and other characteristics related to handmade bespoke tailoring.


Requirements:

Minimum age of 21

Previous experience in tailoring

Italian/English level B2

(Optional: a preparatory language course)

Basic knowledge of textile and tailoring world


Info:

Duration 3 months

Hours 240

First semester October to January

Second semester February to June

Cost 5,000€ + VAT per year

Enrollment fees 750€ + VAT


Personal Program The Personal Program, as a handmade bespoke suit, is designed in order to respond to specific needs and progress of the learner. Students, apprentices and tailors who enroll into the Personal Program will go directly into our bottega with our tailors. They will work on their own garments and will be followed by a tailor tutor.


Requirements:

Minimum age of 21

Basic knowledge of textile and tailoring world

Previous experience in a tailor shop

Italian/English level B2

(Optional: a preparatory language course)

Personal Interview


Info:

Duration 2 weeks / 4 weeks / 6 weeks...

Hours per day, 8, Monday through Friday

Cost 2,200€ + VAT per two week unit

Enrollment fees 250€ + VAT


Student Reviews:

They teach all the tools necessary to become a skilled tailor. Firstly how to sew with speed, precision and consistency. Secondly how to press properly. Then how to construct and make Liverano garments. Which we all know is a form of art.


- Eric H.


Honorable Mentions:


Camera Europea Dell’alta Sartoria

Via Sallustiana, 15, 00187 Roma

+39 064.782.3528

infoscuola@cedaseurope.com

https://www.cedaseurope.com


Scuola di Alta Sartoria Artigianale Italiana

Via San Martino, 10, 20066 Melzo (MI)

segreteria@scuolaaltasartoria.it

https://scuolaaltasartoria.it/en/


Unfortunately, after multiple attempts, we were unable to contact CEDAS or la Scuola di Alta Sartoria Artigianale Italiana for comment on their current offering of courses. Even so, they still remains popular choices for many students looking to gain insight into the world of tailoring. We would encourage you to visit their websites to learn more.


It is worth mentioning that many of the larger tailoring brands such as Kiton, Brioni, Zegna and Cucinelli also have tailoring schools but there is extremely little information on the actual admissions process or even the existence of an application. On Kiton's website for example, there is no clear contact information to even learn more about their tailoring school and states that they prioritize students coming from the immediate community in Campania.





A parting word:


Many of the offerings from these schools can be vague or even cryptic to a beginner. Don't be afraid to ask questions and be realistic about what the school is actually offering you and how that relates to your individual or business needs. What competencies will you leave the school with?


Choosing the right tailoring school is important but not necessary. What is most important is the will to learn, grow and better yourself as a tailor and perhaps more importantly as an individual.


Scio me nihil scire


- Socrates