Friday, October 4, 2013

One word: fabric

Here’s how it all starts to happen....

About 2-3 times a month I receive multiple packages of fabric swatches...which is GREAT. This allows me to stay at my home office, flipping through the swatches in one place instead of having to travel to a different show every few months. After receiving the swatches I sit down, flip through all of the samples, get the feel of EVERY piece, then set aside the likes from the dislikes. It's basically a huge elimination process where most of the pieces are in the "no" pile just because I'll be looking for a specific cotton blend for example. OR in simpler terms...fabric that will look good being transformed into a shirt or whichever sketch I've drawn up. :)  

This is actually a picture of some of the swatches I went through. These swatches are smaller than a “header” which is a term for fabric placed on a 12”x12” piece of card stock for buyers to look at and feel the swatch.
When flipping through the textiles - I look or specifics. This time around I am searching for fabrics for my extended fall collection so I already have in mind the kind of color, stretch, and feel that ultimately would be transformed into a several blouses. Finally deciding on colors. This can be a long process – choosing the fabric is a vital step in the design sequence. The tones I have selected for this line include colors based on what I felt was right for the collection and the season, researching the Pantone color charts (very important), and seeking pallets that fit with the season, and ultimately what just goes.. After this process is complete lots and lots of emails and phone calls are exchanged for ordering processes. Fabric yardage, estimating how many units per yard, logo tags, typing and sending out care label info, ordering marker copies of patterns from grading, specifications for cut-sew manufacturing, lead time, etc. Lots of different terminology - but that's an overview in a nutshell. It is a lot of busy work, but this being my second run through…I definitely felt more confident in knowing exactly what to do and who to call... which was a good feeling! Still lots to learn and make changes on, but every designer I've talked with that has told me their story of "how it all started" ...all had one thing in common they've made many changes since the beginning.


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