Fabric Tips – Day 2


Day 2, Thursday: Educate us on something you know alot about or are good at. Take any approach you’d like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic)

As long as I can remember, I had a crush on fabric, textures and patterns. I’m one of those fabric nerds, who ALWAYS check the composition and the Country-of-Origin label in order to figure out where and how the brands make their products. This valuable information tells quite a lot about the brand itself and what makes them tick – may it be innovation, margins, quality, quantity and so forth. My topic for day two in the Blog every day challenge – is a few tips to think about while buying fabrics and doing home dying projects.

Picture 318136744

Composition is Key – There are many important factors to choosing a good quality fabric. However, I have found what’s most important is the initial fiber quality and the composition. As with a plain canvas, the fiber sets the foundation for what you can do with the fabric later on – a 100% polyester fabric will never be able to achieve the same kind of washed down look that you can get from cottons. A linen or flax fabric will never drape in the same way as silk or Tencel. Got it? My point is that, you need to spend a little bit of time with the different fibers to better understand their Pro’s and Con’s in order to determine their fit in regards to aesthetic, performance and comfort

Picture 67055544        Striped Jersey or Multi-Colour Seersucker? 

hd_96dd9829f4b9fe25bd2b47f0c1bce53ePicture from here

Structures determines the look: Now, the final look of the fabric is also affected by other components beyond the fiber. The fibers will be spun into yarn using different spinning techniques and twists, which will determined the look of the yarn. A combination of yarns are after that woven together creating the final structure and look of the fabric.  There are plentiful of different weaving techniques – in fact when you hear words like Twill, Satin, Crepe, Jacquard, Gabardine, Chambray, Denim, Velvet, Chiffon –  it’s referring to a particular type of weave design, where the warp and weft yarns have been interlaced in different patterns combinations. Sorry for the booring tech-vocabulary, there is simply no other way to describe it.

Warp_and_weftPicture 317725016

Washing Adds Value – When I started to work in the industry, everyone was eyeing A&F’s finishes and there was a constant chatter about enzyme, silicon and garment washes. Sounds like Chinese? It certainly did to me, and I learned that Brands put A-LOT of money into washing as this together with the silhouette, is one of the first things customers notice. Learning the basics of washing & dying is useful for anyone keen to take on dying at home. I think you understand that I’m talking about myself here and yes, I experienced a little misfortune exploring the “art” of dying silk (without knowing what kind of dye to use). The result; a beautiful fuchsia coloured fabric that still rubs colour to anything it touches.

Fast Facts Dying 

  1. Reactive Dye – For Cellulose fibers like Cotton, Linen and Rayon. High washing fastness. Produces bright sharp colours. Cannot achieve wash-down look
  2. Pigment Dye – For Cellulose fibers like Cotton and Linen. Poor washing fastness. This is the kind of dye is great if you want the garment to naturally wash down “vintage” look.
  3. Acid Dye – For Protein fibers like Wool, Mohair, Silk and Nylon. Moderate washing fastness.
  4. Disperse Dye – For Synthetic fibers like Polyester, Acetate and Nylon. Good washing fastness.

Fast Facts Vocabulary 

  • Wet processing – See the picture below with the flower looking denim? This is created by using bleach to create the flower pattern. Wet processing refers to any process in the manufacturing process where garments are washed and processed by chemicals to manipulate the hand-feel, look and bases-shade of the fabric. 
  • Dry processing – On the contrary, any process done to the garments in “dry” stage is appropriately called Dry processing. In Asia, this includes actual manual labour like scrapping the garments by hand, distressing and creating ripped effects.
  • Yarn Dye Process – Colour is added during yarn stage. Usually this requires large quantity commitments and vendors typically dye their own colour cards.
  • Piece Dye Process – Colour is added at fabric stage. This provides more flexibility and there are generally lower volume commitments.
  • Garment Dye Process – The complete garment is dyed  or over dyed in another shade. If you use a pigment dye blend, this can create a nice vintage look.

Day 1, Wednesday: The story of your life in 250 words or less (or one paragraph… no one will be counting your words… probably)
Day 2, Thursday: Educate us on something you know alot about or are good at. Take any approach you’d like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic)
Day 3, Friday: Things that make you uncomfortable
Day 4, Saturday: Favorite quote (from a person, from a book, etc) and why you love it
Day 5, Sunday: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? If you don’t have blogger friends, talk about a real-life friend or even a family member
Day 6, Monday: If you couldn’t answer with your job, how would you answer the question, ‘what do you do’?
Day 7, Tuesday: The thing(s) you’re most afraid of
Day 8, Wednesday: A piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all.
Day 9, Thursday: A moment in your day (this can be just a photo or both a photo and words)
Day 10, Friday: Most embarrassing moment (s). Spill.
Day 11, Saturday: Sell yourself in 10 words or less
Day 12, Sunday: What do you miss? (a person, a thing, a place, a time of your life…)
Day 13, Monday: Issue a public apology. This can be as funny or as serious or as creative as you want it to be.
Day 14, Tuesday: Ten things that make you really happy
Day 15, Wednesday: A Day in the life (include photos from throughout your typical day – this could be “a photo an hour” if you’d like)
Day 16, Thursday: Something difficult about your “lot in life” and how you’re working to overcome it
Day 17, Friday: A favorite photo of yourself and why
Day 18, Saturday: Tell a story from your childhood. Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt.
Day 19, Sunday: Five of your favorite blogs and what you love about them
Day 20, Monday: Get real. Share something you’re struggling with right now.
Day 21, Tuesday: A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives
Day 22, Wednesday: Rant about something. Get up on your soapbox and tell us how you really feel. (a pet peeve, a current event, a controversial topic, something your husband or roommate or neighbor or boss does that really ticks you off)
Day 23, Thursday: Things you’ve learned that school won’t teach you
Day 24, Friday: Your top 3 worst traits
Day 25, Saturday: Something someone told you about yourself that you’ll never forget (good or bad)
Day 26, Sunday: Something you read online. Leave a link and discuss, if you’d like.
Day 27, Monday: A letter to your readers
Day 28, Tuesday: Only pictures
Day 29, Wednesday: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories. Use Grooveshark or YouTube to include them in the post
Day 30, Thursday: React to this term: Letting Go
Day 31, Friday: A vivid memory

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