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Introduction to the new Rag Sourcing website

Welcome to Rag Sourcing! We are a privately owned fashion design, sourcing and manufacturing company and this is our new blog. Dedicated to all things fashion, we want it to be the go-to news site for fashion trends, business solutions and insider info on how we help get brands moving, putting gorgeous fashion first.

 

With years of industry experience, Rag Creative specialises in the whole fashion supply chain process. For those of you who have just discovered us, here’s a quick intro: we help start-up fashion brands right the way through to household names turn design and manufacturing visions into reality.

 

Have a look at our new, improved website www.fashiondesignsolutions.com. We hope it’s easier to navigate and gets you all the information you need on our work to help your business grow.

 

If you encounter any issues or simply have some thoughts to share on how we could improve our user experience, then we’d love to hear from you. Post a comment below, call us or email to get in touch.

 

Loads more information on what we offer can be found throughout the site. As you navigate through the site, discover snapshots of the products we create, collections we’ve worked on, as well as our design & sourcing capabilities. Read our commitment to ethical trading and how we can help turn your ideas into fashion reality.

 

As if that’s not enough, why not subscribe to our free newsletter for regular updates on what we’re up to. We’re a very social bunch so you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest & Polyvore.

Rag Sourcing Recent Success

With years of expertise behind us, Rag Sourcing just keeps on growing. We’ve been doing a lot of new things, we’ve welcomed in a lot of new clients and we’ve got fashion led information to share in spades.

 

Most importantly we want to say a big thank you to both our existing & new clients. We’ve had a great start to the first half of the year running with some exciting projects and new techniques.

 

Highlights

 

  • Over the past year our UK team has more than doubled in size, so much so we’re looking for a bigger UK base.
  • We appointed our own satellite office in Turkey. This is a proud moment for Rag Sourcing and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our team & our clients. Thank you to everyone involved.
  • We’ve expanded each and every department of the company. The design team keeps on growing and excelling in their work.
  • Our merchandise & OC team has doubled in size. And with the appointment of personnel in both the UK & Turkey you’ll find our directors, running back and forth more than ever before!

Have you seen our new website yet? www.fashiondesignsolutions.com So many changes mean we’ve given the Rag Sourcing site a major new overhaul.

 

Make sure you bookmark it for all the latest information on our work and services. Check out the new meet the team section on the improved site, discover who’s who and how we can help you further with your fashion business.

How to get the Perfect Fitting Jeans for your Shape

We got some advice from Fast Fashion News on the perfect pair of jeans. For many men, jeans are the most important part of your wardrobe. You wear these when you hit the town with friends. You wear these to work (sometimes, at least). You wear these when you are just hanging out around the house.

 

While jeans may not be the most expensive piece of clothing in your closet, there is no denying the fact that you get your use out of these, time and time again. With all this in mind, you know one thing to be true: your favourite pair of jeans is not going to last forever. When it comes time to make a purchase, you need to know what goes into doing so.

 

If you have ever shopped for jeans in the past, you know that finding the perfect fitting pair can be a challenge. No matter how hard you try, it seems like there is a roadblock around every corner. It is easy to believe that as long as you buy the right size that you will feel comfortable each time you put the jeans on. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are many details to focus on along the way, ensuring that you are getting exactly what you need for your shape.

 

Price may always be a determining factor, but you don’t want to focus solely on the cost when making a buying decision. Here are several additional things you can do to ensure that you get the perfect fitting pair of jeans for your shape:

 

1. Classic fits are best for most men. In today’s day and age, there are more jean styles available than ever before. While you may be tempted to try out one of the new styles, most men find that this is nothing more than a waste of time and money. To protect against making a mistake, do yourself a favour and opt for a classic fit such as: straight, slim/straight, slim, relaxed, relaxed/straight, or standard. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? There are many choices, but it doesn’t mean you have to be confused when making a decision.

In addition to getting the help of a sales associate, don’t shy away from trying on many different styles. This is often times the best way to find out what works best for your shape. Start with a straight leg or boot cut and go from there. Once you have tried on every pair imaginable, it will be easy to see which one fits you best.

 

2. Know your shape and purchase your jeans accordingly. For example, if you are on the heavy side you probably don’t want to opt for jeans that are too tight. This is going to show off your weight, not to mention the fact that you are not going to be very uncomfortable.On the other side of things, if you have skinnier legs, you can probably get away with a pair of straight leg, skinny jeans. If this is not your style, opt for something a bit baggier. Just make sure you don’t go too baggy, as this will not match your body shape.

 

3. Focus on three key areas. When shopping for jeans, you want to get something that looks and feels good in an overall sense. You can do this by focusing on three key areas: waist, legs, and crotch. In short, your goal is to ensure that the jeans are not too tight in any of these areas. Do you look good both from the front and back? Remember to check yourself in the mirror. This may sound like the “girly” thing to do, but guys need to realise the importance as well.

Also, never forget that jeans are likely to shrink over time, even if you never put them in the dryer. For this reason, you may want to purchase a pair that is slightly longer than what you need. Not only does this allow you to account for shrinkage, but if you need to make any alterations in the future you can do so.

Regardless of your shape, you know that jeans are a big part of your wardrobe. The more pairs you have the better. Sure, you may have your favourite but you want to know that you can pull out a good looking pair at any time.

When you let the three tips above act as your guide, you should be able to purchase the perfect fitting jeans for your shape. This is not something you want to rush, but instead spend as much time as necessary to make a purchase you are going to be happy with. This way, every time you put your jeans on you are comfortable and knowing that you look your best.

Tricks of the Trade to Disguise the Dreaded Beer Belly

If you are the type of guy who enjoys drinking a cold beer from time to time, you have to consider what this means to your belly. Is your beer belly growing by the day? Are you worried that this will continue to be a problem well into the future?

While there is nothing better than exercising to get the weight off, for the meantime you may be looking into ways to disguise this. After all, you don’t want people to see just how big your beer belly has become.

The first rule of thumb is simple: don’t take off your shirt. If you do this, all bets are off. At this point, it is not difficult for anybody to see that your belly has grown out of control.

 

Five Tricks of the Trade

 

Now that we have all the basics out of the way, including the fact that you should keep your shirt on at all times, let’s take a closer look at five tricks of the trade. By using one or more of the tips below, there is a good chance that you will be able to disguise your beer belly until you are able to get rid of it through exercise and a healthier diet:

 


1. Avoid tight clothing. Let’s face it: the tighter the shirt the more your beer belly is going to show. Why not opt for loose clothing to ensure that this never becomes a problem? This does not mean you have to by a shirt that is noticeably too big. What it does mean is that you should step up a size, just enough to ensure that your belly does not protrude through your shirt.

 

2. Wear dark colours. Did you know that dark colours have a slimming effect? For this reason alone, you should consider adding a variety of dark coloured shirts to your wardrobe. Some of the best colours to consider include black, charcoal, grey, and navy blue. For many years, this one trick has been helping heavier guys hide their stomach. Women use this trick as well, and that alone should be enough for you to realise that it is beneficial.

 

Note: just because you are wearing dark colours does not mean you should revert back to smaller, tighter shirts.

 

3. Tailor your suit. As tempting as it may be to throw on your old suit or buy one off the rack, you want to avoid this if you are attempting to disguise a beer belly. Instead, you should find an experienced tailor in your local area. Tell this person what you are trying to accomplish, and let him or her tailor your suit to make you look your best. Don’t be embarrassed, as this is something that many guys do. You want to look your best when you put on a suit, and one of the best ways of doing so is through a visit with a qualified tailor.

 

4. Tuck in your shirt. It is easy to believe that leaving your shirt untucked is the best way to hide a beer belly, but nothing could be further from the truth. When you do this, your entire look is going to appear messy. Is that what you want? When you choose the right size shirt, you can easily tuck it in to ensure that you look “put together.” Furthermore, you never have to worry about your beer belly looking like it is going to pop out.

 

5. Wear a jacket. This is one of the best ways to disguise a beer belly, however, it is something that many men overlook time and time again. When you wear a stylish jacket you are adding another layer on top of your belly. You can throw this on over a button down or T-shirt, ensuring that you look good while keeping your belly in check.

 

Tip: if you are going to wear a jacket, make sure it matches everything else, including your shirt and your pants. The last thing you want to do is kill your sense of style.

 

Many men have a bear belly and believe that there is nothing they can do to hide it from others. While you may not be able to get rid of this excess fat in a hurry, there are things you can do to disguise it. The five tricks of the trade detailed above are a great place to start. If you implement just one of these tips, you will find yourself not only hiding your belly but also looking better along the way. By combining a couple of these tips, you may soon realise that your problem is gone for good. In fact, this may work out so well for you that you forget your diet and exercise, knowing that you can always hide your belly!

Shirt Suppliers and Fabrics: An In-depth Look

If you are in the business of selling shirts, you know that a shirt is only as good as it feels. That’s why choosing the proper shirt fabric is so important. After all, a shirt that is uncomfortable to wear is going to make the person that dons it feel fairly miserable. And if a customer is not happy, they will most likely not patronize your business. As such, it is important that you not only get a bead on what fabrics are used by shirt suppliers, but you use that information to determine what fabrics may be right for your clientele.

 

Fabrics at a Glance

 

Diving into the world of fabrics to see what may work best for you and your business is not as easy as it may look. It is a world that goes well beyond the realm of cotton, denim, polyester, and the other fabrics that your average person knows about. To be sure, shirt suppliers have a host of materials at their disposal, including several that don’t readily come to mind. However, getting to know as much information as possible about as many fabrics as you can is crucial to your business’ success, since clothing stores rarely live on denim or cotton alone.

 

Some of these fabrics include:

 

• Broadcloth – This is a tightly woven fabric that is marked by a simple over-under weave as well as a slight shininess. These qualities combine to make a very dressy shirt. The fabric also tends to be thinner and lighter, which makes it an ideal fabric for summertime. White broadcloth fabrics have been shown to be a little transparent, which makes wearing an undershirt in conjunction with shirts made from such cloth to be pretty essential.
• Flannel – This seasonal fabric was highly trendy during the grunge movement in the early ‘90s, and has been shown to be making a comeback in some fashion circles. The fabric’s calling card is its thickness, as they are typically made in thicker weaves, thus making them ideal for the chillier weather in the fall and winter.
• Melange – This particular fabric is known for being very thin yet very soft, smooth, and luxurious. They achieve this reputation because of a special type of construction; one where each of the yarns that are used in the fabric is a combination of fibers which are not-dyed and dyed. These colored fibers are then woven together to create a look that looks slightly yet deliberately inconsistent, which in turn gives the fabric a completely organic quality.
• Oxford Cloth – This casual fabric is made with a symmetrical basket weave that is looser in comparison to some other weaves. It is not to be confused with the more formal Pinpoint Oxford, which can feature a tighter weave and a lighter thread. The heavy, rougher texture and durable nature of the threads themselves has made this particular fabric popular for sports use.
• Egyptian Cotton – Simply stated, this fabric is made from a particular type of cotton that is culled from the plant known as Gossypium Barbadense. This particular cotton can differentiate itself from other cottons because it contains longer staples, which in turn can enable it to be threaded into finer, stronger threads. It typically features thread counts of anywhere between 80 and 100; this thread count allows it to differentiate itself from another fabric known as sea island, which is made from the same cotton plant but has a higher thread count.
• Royal Oxford – As the name implies, this particular fabric is one of the dressier fabrics that shirt suppliers will feature. The reason it has the reputation as being dressy is due to its sheen and texture, as both of those particular aspects are highly visible in nature. This particular fabric should not be confused with oxford cloth or pinpoint oxford; despite the similar names, they are completely different.
• Twill – This fabric is marked by its distinctive diagonal lines or texture; this shape allows the fabric itself to exhibit a shiny quality. It is weaved extremely tight, and can therefore come in extremely high thread counts – so much so, the fabric can sometimes be mistaken for silk. Another important quality to note about twill is that it is relatively easy to iron and has a tendency to be resistant to wrinkles.
• Dobby – The thickness and weight of this fabric can be very similar to broadcloth, and its thickness or the way that it is weaved can almost make it appear as if it is twill. This fabric falls somewhere in between the two fields. This particular fabric tends to feature stripes, although it can be a solid color.

 

Other Things to Note About Fabric

 

Once you have gotten a basic grasp on the various types of fabrics that exist out on the market, there are still a couple of items that you need to be aware of before contacting the right shirt suppliers.

The first of these terms is thread count. Specifically, this term defines the thickness of the size of the yarn that is being used to make the shirt. The rule of thumb here is that the higher the thread count number, the higher quality the fabric – and ultimately the shirt – will be.

 

The second of these terms is ply. In essence, ply is defined by how many yarns are twisted together in order to make a single thread. The typical shirt will be designed to be either single ply, meaning that one thread was woven into the fabric, or two ply, meaning that two yarns are twisted together in order to make a single thread which is then woven into the fabric.

 

Getting familiar with these terms as well as the fabrics that are talked about in conjunction with these terms is essential if you want to maximize the overall quality of the clothing that you want to sell. If you don’t, you greatly increase the risk of obtaining a vastly inferior product, which could ultimately have a negative impact on your business and your bottom line.

10 Do’s & Don’ts To Piecing Together A Quality Fashion Portfolio

A fashion portfolio is mandatory for success in the fashion industry. It doesn’t matter whether you are applying to fashion school, trying to get a job at a fashion firm of even making an attempt to get onto a fashion reality show. Without a portfolio to showcase your skills and talent, you aren’t going anywhere!

 

Just for clarification, we want to remind you that a portfolio is nothing more than a visual resume. It’s your way of showing to employers and others what you are capable of producing. However, piecing together a good portfolio requires a lot more than just throwing all your work together.

Fashion Portfolio Do’s

Here we are going to look at things you absolutely should (dare we say: MUST) do to ensure your fashion portfolio stands out from the crowd.

Keep It Updated

Your portfolio is a like you — it changes as time progresses. Likewise, your portfolio should be well maintained and up-to-date. Any time you produce outstanding work, take the time to add it (and add it properly) to your portfolio. Also, make sure your portfolio is set up in reverse chronological order. Your most recent works should be up front, while your works from the past should be pushed to the back.

Set Up A Digital Portfolio

In this day and age, it’s fundamental that you maintain both a traditional portfolio and a digital portfolio. Imagine that you are at a portfolio show, but some of the potential employers who stop by just don’t have the time to review your entire presentation at the moment. All you would have to do is hand them a business card that contains a link to your online portfolio.

Keep Your Portfolio Simple

Try to keep your portfolio as simple as possible, and limit the number of pages. If you have too much work that you want to share, consider creating a mini portfolio to supplement your main portfolio. Also make sure to rely on a fairly simple but eye-catching fashion portfolio cover. Take a look at the books on fashion that you own, do any of them have a flashy cover? Probably not!

Add Sketches

Despite common belief, your portfolio should, in fact, contain sketch work. Sketching is a highly desired skill in the fashion industry. Your sketches can tell a lot about not only your creative process, but your problem-solving capabilities as well. Plus, sketch work can serve as a decent filler in case you’re relatively new to fashion and don’t have that many pieces to share with prospective employers.

Include Mood/Trend Boards

Make sure you include mood/trend boards that support the overall feel you are trying to create for your portfolio. Again, such additions help display how you think, how you collate research, and how you reach a final product. They also display your comprehension of such fashion basics like texture, colours, fabrics and trends. If you must choose between sketches and boards, go with boards!

Fashion Portfolio Don’ts

Here we are going to look at things that can ruin your portfolio.

 

Sloppy Presentation

 

There is no easier way to completely destroy the worth of your portfolio than by being sloppy. Your portfolio should be absolutely pristine in its presentation. It is meant to showcase your personality, your creativity and your professionalism, so it should be obvious why it would be a major turn-off if you turned in something that looked like a 12-year-old could have bundled together.

 

Too Much Content

 

Your portfolio should not be an archive of all your work. It should only contain the best of the best. Furthermore, it should focus on those areas of fashion in which you excel the most. The general consensus is that someone who acts like a jack-of-all-trades is usually a master of none. And when it comes to fashion, it is much better to be masterful at a few select things than to be just amateur at everything.

 

Avoid A Static Portfolio

 

A portfolio need not be static, and it is perfectly fine (and, in fact, recommended) if you adjust your portfolio for specific scenarios and job opportunities. If you are applying for a position within a fashion company that deals exclusively with menswear, for instance, then it would make perfect sense to remove all non-menswear pieces from your portfolio and replace them with better fitting examples of your work.

 

Don’t Overdo It

 

The most a fashion portfolio should contain is around twenty-five pieces, and that’s only if you have a decade or two of experience working as a fashion designer. If you are just starting out (such as if you just graduated college), then your portfolio should be limited to around ten pieces. Just remember that it’s not about the quantity of pieces you include, but rather the quality!

 

Make Excuses

 

It’s very possible and likely that you will make mistakes your first or second time around. Whatever you do, don’t make excuses when confronted or criticized by an employer: be upfront and accept responsibility. Employers understand that you’re young and just starting out. With that said, it’s important to be humble and accepting of any and all criticism you receive, because arrogance will not get you very far.

 

Piecing Together A Great Fashion Portfolio

 

Piecing together a quality portfolio doesn’t have to be hard, so long as you work hard at what you do. Just be sure to use common sense. Also, take the time to ensure your portfolio is polished. It’s okay if you make a mistake your first time around, but truthfully it’s always better to take the time beforehand to be flawless in your execution. Believe us when we say that prospective employers will appreciate it!

Find the Perfect Little Black Dress for any Budget

Every woman knows one thing to be true: they need a little black dress that they can wear at any time. If you have one of these in your closet that you are comfortable with, you can breathe a sigh of relief. On the other hand, if you don’t have the perfect option it may be time to set your sights on making a purchase in the near future.

It is one thing to say you are going to find the perfect little black dress, but another thing entirely to make a purchase that you are going to be comfortable with, both in terms of your style and your budget.

 

It is a myth that you have to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for a dress that looks and feels good. While some are sure to set you back a thousand dollars or more, you do not have to set your budget this high. In other words, you can find the perfect dress regardless of your budget.

 

Five Tips for Success

 

If you understand the importance of having a little black dress in your wardrobe, you will realise that there is no better time than now to make a purchase. Here are five tips that will allow you to buy this garment, regardless of how much money is in your budget:

 

1. Consider a variety of dress manufacturers. Although you may have your eye on one designer or another, there is nothing wrong with opening your mind and considering a variety of others. Remember, the more dresses you try on the better chance there is that you are going to find the one that is right for you. It does not cost any money to research a number of manufacturers and designers with the hopes of finding the one that is perfect for you. Who knows, you may come across one that you were not previously aware of.

 

Note: some designers are cheaper than others. Find those that price their dresses within your budget. This will save you a lot of time during the search process.

 

2. Shop online. One of the best ways to save money on a little black dress is to shop online. While there are benefits of buying at a local store, such as the ability to first try on the dress, you may find that you are paying more money. Shopping online does not always save you cash, but it can definitely put you in position to do so. On top of this, you are going to open yourself up to a world of opportunity. The selection online is much greater than any one store, since you can jump around from one website to the next within a matter of seconds.

 

3. Search the sales rack. Most stores that sell these dresses are aware that some people are on a budget. For this reason, they often times move some of their inventory to the sales rack. Don’t shy away from these sections of the store because you think something is wrong with the dresses. Instead, realise that you are able to shop these racks as a means of saving money on your purchase.

 

4. Know your shape. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or where you shop, if you don’t know what you are looking for in terms of shape and size you are going to come up short in the long run. Every woman has a unique shape. Which type of dress works best for you? Once you pinpoint your shape and have an idea of what you are looking for, you can narrow down your options with hopes of making an informed and confident decision in the near future.

 

5. Know what type of style you are looking for. It is easy to believe that every little black dress is the same, but the only thing that is identical is the colour. As you begin to look around, you will find that there are many different styles to choose from. How long do you want your dress to be? Are you looking for one with straps or no straps? Are you interested in one with a V-neck design? These are the types of questions that can help you find a dress that suits your style.

 

You want to do more than find a little black dress that fits you well. You want to find one that also matches your budget. With the five tips above, you should be able to shop around until you find the one that fits you best without breaking the bank. When this happens, you will have a smile on your face as you make a purchase and think about the first time you get to show off your new dress.

Fashion Design Solution’s Blog Post Round-Up

This week Fashion Design Solutions takes a look at the ethics of the overseas garment factory, why we believe Turkey is the best value for money when it comes to garment production, how to find a quality clothing manufacturer, as well as tips and tricks for getting your t-shirt design noticed by High Street shoppers. See below for an overview of our five most recent posts, and click the links to visit each article.



Easy Ways to Attract Immediate Attention to Your T-Shirt Design – The classic t-shirt has been a widely owned staple of nearly all closets since its creation in the early 1900s. With t-shirts encompassing everything from cheap underwear to high end name brands, how do you get your design and style noticed? We have a few ways that will get your Ts immediate notice.


What to Look Out for When Looking For a Clothing Factory – Finding a high quality manufacturer for your fashion line is perhaps the single most important decision you will make in the entire production process. A high quality line made from quality materials and sturdy stitching will sell your brand for you, while low quality garments that fall apart after the first wash will ruin your entire business model. Here we delve into what makes a good manufacturer, and what doesn’t.


8 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Turkish Clothing Manufacturer for Your Business – With clothing factories located all over the world, from China and Bangladesh to Italy and Turkey, how do you know where you will get the most for your money? Fashion Design Solutions utilises manufacturers in Turkey for all of our brands, and here’s why we think Turkey would be the right location for you.


The Ethics of the Garment Factory: A Primer – if the idea of using a clothing manufacturer outside of the UK conjures up images of the dreaded sweat shop, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, international clothing manufacturers have been plagued by misconceptions of the international garment worker, and in this article we cover not only how much of the world is implementing ethical trade practices, but also establishing worker rights and legal benefits.


Fundamental Traits Needed to Excel As a Menswear Fashion Designer – Do you have what it takes to design fashionable menswear? In this article we provide a brief overview of the skills needed to succeed in this niche of the fashion industry.

A Denim Suppliers Guide To Denim Fabrics & Denim Washing

As you are probably aware, the world of denim is teeming with a near endless assortment of different dyes, weaves and fabrics. ‘Weaving’ your way through this mess can be quite confusing, especially if it’s your first time around dealing with denim suppliers. Today we want to simplify the adventure for you by first addressing what denim is and then talking about the different types of denim. Ready? Let’s go!

 

What Is Denim?

 

The word denim derives from the French phrase “serge de Nîmes.” It refers to a cotton textile that relies on a twill weave with diagonal ribbing to achieve those wonderful pairs of denim jeans we all wear. The amazing thing about denim is that it’s available in so many different styles. Denim can basically be used to match any form of attire.

 

The most original denim was made from 100% cotton serge and referred to as cotton serge denim. These days, denim is available in an abundance of different materials and blends from a variety of denim suppliers. The four most common ones that we want to cover today are listed below:

  • Dry/Raw Denim
  • Selvage Denim
  • Stretch Denim
  • Ramie Denim
  • Poly Denim

What Is Denim Washing?

 

Before we even start talking about the various types of denim, we need to understand what is meant by ‘denim washing’. When people talk bout ‘denim washing,’ they refer to the ‘washing’ techniques used to modify denim before the denim product or products are put to sale and distributed to consumers.

 

Denim is “washed” or “processed” to achieve a special effect, such as fading. The usual goal is to make the denim product look aged and worn. However, there are advanced wash techniques (such as acid washing, stone washing, sand washing, sand blasting) that create contrast, selective fading, etc. Why do people like denim looking like this? You’d have to ask a psychologist. All we know is that such worn-out-looking denim sells like hotcakes!

 

What Is Dry/Raw Denim?

 

Dry or raw denim is denim that has not been washed. It is 100% raw and thus does not contain any special effects like fading. This gives it a very raw, vintage look that’s rugged and sexy. Unfortunately, dry/raw denim comes with a few notable drawbacks.

 

1. It’s very stiff compared to washed denim. This means you must wear it a number of times before you feel anywhere close to comfortable in it.

 

2. It’s not ideal to wash raw denim in a washer/dryer. This fades the denim. The better option is to wear it as much as possible and then dry clean it when necessary.

 

3. It’s a real pain to maintain. To own raw denim, you need to be willing to maintain it religiously! Otherwise, why even waste extra money on it?

 

So why do people buy raw denim? They like its authenticity. The thing about raw denim is that isn’t completely unaffected when you receive it. As a result, every mark, line and tear it accumulates in its lifespan comes from your daily life and activities. Simply put, raw denim tells a story!

 

What Is Selvage Denim?

 

Selvage denim is a special, luxury-grade form of denim that relies on a tighter weave. Back in the day, all denim was selvage. Clothes makers used traditional shuttle looms to construct densely woven denim fabric in long, narrow strips that contained selvage edges. These edges were required so that the strips could be turned into trousers.

 

Things changed in the mid 1900s when clothing manufacturers started using projectile looms to keep up with increasing demand. These looms let manufacturers use wider materials, thus taking away the need for a selvage edge.

 

What makes selvage denim so pricey is the fact that it’s so durable and crisp and classy. Plus, making selvage denim is harder than making non-selvage denim.

 

What Is Stretch Denim?

 

Back in 1959, a chemist named Joseph Shivers invented what we now know as spandex. It’s a synthetic fibre that possesses incredible elasticity. Now imagine what happened when, two decades later, fashionistas decided to combine spandex with denim? Stretch denim was invented!

 

Stretch denim differs from other forms of denim because it conforms to the body’s shape. Most denim items needed to be broken in before they fit perfectly. This isn’t the case with stretch denim.

 

Unfortunately, because of the stretch factor, stretch denim tends to be less durable. Over time, the elastic fibres break down, thus causing the denim item to lease its stretchiness. Stretch denim products also fray much easier than regular denim garments.

 

What Is Ramie Denim?

 

Ramie denim is an especially unique form of denim only dealt with by a select few denim suppliers. It is simply standard denim mixed with the fibre crop Boehmeria nivea, or ramie. This crop is added to denim because of its numerous advantages:

  • It’s naturally resistant to bacteria and mildew.
  • It’s very absorbent and thus comfortable to wear.
  • It’s resistant to stains.
  • It’s not damaged by mild acids.
  • It dyes very, very easily.
  • It can withstand high-temperature laundry.
  • It doesn’t shrink in size.
  • It can be bleached.

By combing ramie with denim, denim suppliers are able to make their denim garments more resistant to bacteria, mildew, stains and more. They are in effect able to improve it just by making a simple change to their garments’ construction.

 

What Is Poly Denim?

 

Poly denim refers to the mixture of denim with polyester, the latter of which is a manufactured fibre that’s extraordinary strong. It’s also resistant to mildew, shrinkage, stretching, chemicals, wrinkles and even abrasions. Plus, it washes and dries much more easily. These factors make poly denim very useful for when constructing work clothes. The drawback is that polyester makes denim garments less breathable.

 

What Are Denim Suppliers To Do With All This Info?

 

This is a lot of information to cover, but it should just be a starting point. If you are serious about denim fashion, it would be prudent for you to continue learning as much as possible. Speak with denim producers. Examine some denim gear. Become an expert on denim!

How Turkey is Using Apparel Sourcing to Clothe the World

Check out any one item of clothing you’re wearing right now. Your shirt, your pants or anything else with a label will do. Now, without looking at the label, do you know if this item of clothing is made from cotton, polyester or something else? Don’t worry if you don’t know – most people don’t.

 

While you might not think a lot about fabric, you do come in contact with it every day, usually all day long, with different fabrics surrounding you at night. Fabric isn’t just keeping you warm and fashionable. It’s also the lifeblood of the entire fashion industry. It is, literally, the fabric that holds the entire industry together.

 


Let’s go back to that item of clothing you’re wearing. While you probably know what store your shirt came from, do you know where it was actually made? The answer usually depends on what the item is. Fashion has always been a particularly global enterprise. If you’re looking for stylish, modern women’s fashions, Paris, France, is the place to be. If you’re interested in classic men’s styles, you’ll be looking along Savile Row in London, England. Milan, Italy, is your home for casual elegance. And New York and Los Angeles are your source for America’s fashions. But what about the cotton, polyester and other textiles which make up these fashions? Would it surprise you to learn it might just be from… Turkey?

 

The country of Turkey isn’t just ready to roll, it’s ready to sew. This European country has quietly been working hard, and is now the number one apparel sourcing nation in the European Union. Turkey’s Apparel and Textile industry has been a powerful engine for Turkey’s economy, roughly 10% of the entire GDP, and now the country is looking to expand that success by expanding exports to as many countries as possible.

 

Turkey’s status as the reigning champ of cloth has been in the making for decades now. The entire country began industrialization efforts in the 60’s, when great effort was put towards revitalizing their entire textile industry. At first, the industry was limited to small workshops. But as the 1960’s turned into the 1970’s, production improved in leaps and bounds. Soon, Turkey was exporting their wares to other countries. Starting in 1980, Turkey stopped importing textile machinery, and started in-country production of low and mid- level machinery. Today, they produce a huge variety of quality textile machines, and they’re also one of the most important clothing exporters in the world.

 

Three key factors as to why Turkey has found such success as an apparel sourcing nation are its:

  • Low labor costs
  • Qualified workforce
  • Relatively cheap materials

With over four million people employed, the Turkey textile industry is worth $20 billion. Almost 60% of its textiles are exported, making the country one of the top ten producers of wool and polyester in the entire world. So even if your clothing item wasn’t made in Turkey, it’s very likely the polyester it’s made from was. Not made of polyester, you say? Your item of clothing is made of cotton, you say? (Oh, by the way, you can look at that label now.)

 

There’s a very good chance that cotton came from Turkey, too. Turkey is the seventh largest cotton producer around the globe. Not only do they export this cotton, they also increasingly use it themselves to produce clothing. Exporting ready-to-wear clothing is better for Turkey financially compared to exporting just the cotton.

 

The United States, Russia and Germany are some of the main recipients of all of these textile exports. But there are other major players with is comes to apparel sourcing, such as China.

 

In 2005, a decades old quote system on Chinese exports expired. This has led to an increase in China’s textile exports. With their massive population, and relatively loose laws related to production, China has a massive workforce able to work long hours in order to make a lot of textiles for export.

 

This has affected apparel sourcing across the globe, including in Turkey. They weren’t able to compete on a production level as they would have liked. All of their progress over the decades was threating to come undone.

 

Recently, however, Turkey’s textile industry has shown surprising new life. After all, Turkey once took what was basically a non-existent textile industry in the 60s and turned it into one of the greatest in the world in just four decades, so it’s never wise to count them out.

 

Since Turkey is a European country, it was able to easily adapt into European standards as they relate to product quality, environmental regulations and worker safety, issues which are sometimes an area of concern in Chinese textile plants. As China has started producing lots of lower quality textiles and apparel, Turkey has repositioned itself as makers of some of the world’s finest textiles. Apparel sourcing has shifted to emphasize a new focus on quality. People have made clothing in Turkey for several generations now, and they want the world to know how good they are at it. The “Made in Turkey” label is achieving recognition around the world as the sign of quality apparel.

 

When you go shopping for clothes, you have options from all around the world. The global textile and fashion economy means most clothes are likely to be more well-traveled then the average wearer. It can be confusing. While you want a good price on your clothes – and that’s the rationale behind textile globalization – you also want a quality product.

 

“Made in Turkey” might be just the perfect label for the American clothes shopper. They have the best equipment, easy access to cheap and high quality cottons and polyesters, and their citizens are some of the finest clothing artisans in the world. The next time you go shopping, you just might be surprised what you look for when you look at the label.