I typically get lost in a never ending spiral of fabric sourcing simply because: 1. I’m really picky 2. I just really enjoy it. When I was at university studying fashion design, I had the world of fabrics at my fingertips. I was only a train ride away from a never ending supply in the Garment District in Manhattan. I would spend hours rummaging along the isles of fabric in search of anything that got me excited. Living in Glasgow I don’t have quite the same luxury, so I’ve had to get a bit creative.
Sourcing organic fabric is difficult because anyone can say that something is organic without the certification to prove it. All of the fabric I choose has either the GOTS or Oeko-tex standard to ensure credibility. I am still on the journey to find my tried and true fabric suppliers but I have a feeling that it may be an ongoing search. Since I’m just starting out, I am ordering small quantities which means that most wholesale suppliers won’t sell to me. Not only does this limit choice, but also drives the price up. I strive to ensure the highest quality while still keeping the pricing fair. My goal as a growing business is to ultimately reduce the cost of my materials by buying larger quantities. This will allow me to create an even more wallet friendly collection.
The first type of fabric that I always source is knits. They are incredibly versatile and range from heavy weight to lightweight. Knits are the building block to any baby wear collection because babies live in knits! They are comfy, easy to care for, and easy to put on and take off. The added benefit of stretch means that your wee one will fit into the garment for just a tad bit longer. Personally, I prefer interlock knits because they are a double knit, which means both the front and back are identical. They are also just a tad bit thicker which makes them feel luxuriously soft. A single jersey knit in my opinion just feels a little too flimsy. The interlock will usually make the base of most garments.
Second on the search for this collection has been a variety of knits including rib knits, fleece knits and terry knits. Warmth is key because this is an Autumn/Winter collection. I’d love to include a super fluffy shearling knit but these are so expensive! I’m on the hunt though.
For wovens, I love a linen. It is breathable and can easily be lined for extra warmth. I prefer a simple weave in a lovely colour. The wovens are essential for more occasion pieces like dresses, shirts, and dungarees.
I tend to collect a large amount of fabric swatches that are all possibilities. I then narrow it down to the absolute essentials. I narrow it down by thinking realistically about what garments I will use each fabric for. This is the part where the timeline goes a bit out of whack. I go back and forth between choosing fabric and sketching garment ideas. Every fabric needs a purpose in the collection so it’s essential to know what I will ultimately be making from each one.
So far, these are the swatches that I have collected for this collection:
The final selection will be narrowed down after I compare the prices and decide which fabrics will work best with the collection. There are still a few different fabrics that I’d like to find, but that will come once I have some garment detailing developed. As this is only the fabric research stage, there is still much more fine tuning before I make the final selection of fabrics.