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Explanation of shoulder pads: Types and features.

Hi, This is Kayaba an ApparelX News editor.

In this article, I would like to explain the types of shoulder pads that are essential for maintaining the shape of jackets and coats, as well as the points to keep in mind when ordering them.

Purpose of using shoulder pads

Let’s do a quick review of the role of shoulder pads!

Maintaining a silhouette

When you disassemble the contents of a jacket or coat, you can see a lot of materials. Among them, the shoulder pad is highly important. It is one of the most important parts to maintain the shape and shoulder line of the product, from the collar to the shoulder, and from the shoulder to the sleeve.

Reinforcement of clothes

It is said that shoulder pads were originally created in the United States to protect the shoulders in contact sports such as football. *

*There are many theories.

As you move your arms and shoulders with clothes, damage accumulates on your clothes, but shoulder pads play an important role in reducing shock and increasing freedom of movement.

Correction of body shape by clothing

Tailors and custom-made salons, in particular, sometimes use shoulder pads for the purpose of body shape correction.

Each person has a different body shape. When making a custom-made suit, shoulder pads are used to recreate a suit that fits the person (including comfort and appearance) and makes the shoulder line look good. By adjusting the thickness of the shoulder pads, the shoulder line can be adjusted.

Types of shoulder pads and main points to note when ordering

If you are making clothes as a business, you can order a variety of shoulder pads from ApparelX.

There are many different types of shoulder pads, depending on what kind of detail you want and how you want it to look.
There are more variations than you can imagine, so I will briefly introduce them here!

1.Set-in pad / Round shoulder set-in pad

Applicable products in ApparelX [ JS Series / BCC / WL / WMD-R / ICG / F-5 etc…]

JS-Pad Series

2. For raglan sleeves for ladies clothes

Applicable products in ApparelX [ KWSS / V21S / ISPM etc… ]


3. For raglan sleeves for mens clothes

Applicable products in ApparelX [G529SR / G529NR etc… ]


4. For Pagoda shoulder

Applicable products in ApparelX [OKP15 etc… ]


5. Detachable pad

Applicable products in ApparelX [EMR5SK etc… ]


6. Thin pad / Washable pad

Applicable products in ApparelX [ M-2 / PM3 / P2S 3R etc… ]


The current trend in the use of shoulder pads is that more and more apparel companies are using products without shoulder pads or using very thin shoulder pads.

There are many possible reasons for this, such as the fact that an increase in the variety of outer fabrics allows a certain amount of shilluette retention without shoulder pads, and the fact that consumers tend to prefer natural shoulder lines.

Selection of shoulder pads for different garments type

There are more than 30 types listed in APPARELX. There is a wide variety of thicknesses, most of which are in the range of 3mm / 5mm / 8mm / 10mm / 15mm / 20mm / 25mm.

[For suit]

In general, 10mm/15mm shoulder pads are the mainstream for custom-made suits. In terms of type, set-in pads are the mainstream, while semi-raglan and concave are also popular among some people.

[For caual jacket]

The type of shoulder pads used for casual jackets does not change much, but 3mm or 5mm thin shoulder pads are often used. If the shoulder line has a lot of volume, it will look stiff, so you may keep it from being too noticeable, but still maintain its shilluette.

Some designer brands dare to emphasize the shoulder line against the mainstream, or use thicker or larger shoulder pads.

[For ladies]

Women’s shoulder pads are available in more variations than men’s shoulder pads. Although most of the shoulder pads are smaller than those for men, they are widely used for set-in shoulder pads, raglan pads, and detatchable pads, as well as for thicknesses ranging from thin to thick. They are also used to create a sense of firmness and roundness, and play a role in creating the beautiful lines that only women can achieve.

Special order support

Custom-made products are also available for those who need to produce a large number of items in a single model.

However, it is also true that there is a high threshold for creating custom orders because of the lot size.

[Tips] If you don’t find the shoulder pads you like:

If you have a problem such as not being able to find the size you are looking for, or having too much volume even though the shape is good, many apparel manufacturers will cut ready-made shoulder pads to your desired size, or adjust the thickness by removing cotton.


There are various types of shoulder pads that can be used depending on the purpose of use and how the product is to be completed. Although they are not visible, they have a very large presence.
Nowadays, with the revival of the 90’s and the diversification of tastes among the younger generation, designs themselves are becoming more and more diverse without being limited to a single trend. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.

I have experience in selling at select shop, fitting suits, and sewing in Japan. Currently, I am enjoying working with my one-year-old daughter as she grows up.

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