Fashion Fabric Sourcing Manufacturing Resources

Serving the Fashion Industry, One Embellishment at a Time

New York Embroidery StudioOk, so I know that I promised to start highlighting some of the companies that I happily discovered @PrintSourceNY last week.  Well, the time has come.  I have decided to start with New York Embroidery Studio.  First, because I like the idea of starting with a trim company and second because I felt as if the people in the booth were truly interested in sharing their story.

As I mentioned, I was first introduced to the NY Embroidery Studio at Print Source.  Upon introducing myself, I was immediately invited to visit the space and see firsthand just what they are all about.  Taking them up on their offer, today I strolled over to 36th street, rode an impossibly slow and frankly slightly frightening rickety old elevator, and entered the year 1952.  Well, not actually but it felt like what I can only imagine was the garment district in its hay day; countless shelves filled with multi-colored thread, the constant hum of various sewing machinery, the textile-dusty air, and the hustle and bustle of seasoned industry pros.New York Embroidery Studio

The company, which deals in both domestic and overseas business for the fashion industry, specializes in trims; hems, elastic, rosettes, heat transfer, mending, embroidery, labels, and more (I’m sure I’m forgetting something. Sorry.)  Anyway, it is one of the very few trim companies still left in the city specializing in so much.  During my visit I was given a tour of the work room, was able to see the well made quality and master technique that goes into the various trim offerings, and chat with the owner Robert along the salesperson Wanda about where this industry has been, where it is now, and where it is going.  New York Embroidery Studio

I have to say, I was really excited to find the New York Embroidery Studio.  I honestly didn’t think there was anywhere like this left in New York.  It brings a smile to my face to know that a place like this still exists and continues to create for the designers we all know and love!



Fashion Fabric Sourcing Manufacturing Resources

Getting the Color Just Right

PantoneColor.  It sets a mood.  It is often the backbone of fashion and interior collections.  But how do you keep on top of the trends? How do you ensure that you are creating a collection right now that will be relevant in the market place six months down the road?  Who decides this information and makes it available to designers at those critical moments of the creative process?  Pantone, of course.  I know we’ve all heard of Pantone.  We remember the color books that we used in college and continue to reference now when we’re trying to match that just perfect shade of lilac or turquoise.  But how much time have you actually spent on their website?  I hadn’t spent much of any until recently.  I received an email about a webinar they are offering on Home  and Interior Color Forecasting and quickly found myself happily stumbling from page to page, soaking in the beautiful color displays, the impressive use of new media and social networking,  and all the many services and resources they have to offer.   Such as, did you know they offer custom dye- to-match services of cotton fabric?  They can do anything from 10 to 150 yards.  I had no idea.   Then there’s the swatch color card, the trend report, color forecasting, the books, the iPhone app for instant access to the online color library, and even a list of well chosen articles of interest.  Pantone has really made itself an informative, important,  and undeniably relevant resource for every design based  individual and business.  Go ahead, spend some time on there.  You won’t be disappointed.  I promise.  Oh!  Don’t forget to download your free Fall 2010 color report.  I’m loving it!

Fashion Trade Shows

PrintSource a Textile ReSource

PrintSource a Textile ReSource

As many of you know this past Tuesday and Wednesday was the PrintSource Show in New York. And, as I really enjoy strolling from booth to booth and being introduced to new and exciting textile work, I went.

The show took place on the 11th floor of a building right off of 5th Avenue. When I arrived there were all kinds of hustling and bustling going on in the lobby. I took the elevator to the up and when the doors opened I was treated to brightly colored walls covered in unique textiles designs and the feeling of pure creativity permeating the air! I headed to the right side of the room and slowly made my way up and down the aisles taking in the work, chatting with the designers and artists, and learning about new companies.

The overall spirit of the show was great. I not only asked the designers about their work but also how the show had been going for them, what kind of connections, networking, selling they had been doing and how business has been lately in general . To my surprise and delight the responses were all very positive! The tone was optimistic and encouraging. Designers shared their recent triumphs, their happiness with the turnout of the show, the information that they had in fact made sales and connected with a lot of new industry folks, and their excitement for all the post-show possibilities.

I attended Print Source wanting to openly share my role, not so much as a textile designer myself, but as someone who writes for an industry resource blog and loves to highlight and share worthy textile companies and designers with her faithful readers. For the most part, this explanation of self was warmly accepted, however I would be lying if I said some people just didn’t get it and were not at all interested. Can we really be surprised though? I don’t know about you, but I feel that the textile industry, even more so than the fashion industry, is having a hard time embracing social media and networking. Not any of you of course. Or else you wouldn’t be my faithful readers now would you? Anyway, back to the point. I wanted to pen this little blurb about the show, share with you how inspiring I found it to be, and let you know that I am compiling my notes, setting up some appointments (including a tour of one very cool New York embroidery house), and will little by little be introducing you to some of the amazing textile and trim industry companies and professionals that you may have yet to know about. So stay tuned!

Manufacturing Resources

Cute as a Button

Dill ButtonsI talk a lot about fabric as that is where my passion lies. But I realize that my readers are industry professionals who want to be exposed to all sorts of resources. You’re not just looking for textiles, right? You’re looking for everything that pertains to the fashion and interior industries. See, I know. So this post is going to be dedicated to a very cool company that I was introduced to recently. A button company. Dill Buttons, to be exact. If you’re on the apparel end of things, this is quite a necessary resource. I emailed the company hoping to get some info on what they offer and I was not disappointed. Within a few days I had four shiny catalogs in my hands displaying an eclectic and fashion forward selection of buttons. My fave? The collection made to look like it was made from coconut shell. While it would be really cool if they actually were made of coconut shell, how would they be washable, dry-cleanable, and durable? They wouldn’t, so it was smart of Dill to create them out of wood or polyamide. They are beautifully made, come in a large variety of colors, and are available in a square, circle, or paisley shape. But don’t get me wrong, this style just happens to be what I am attracted to. If they’re not your bag, don’t worry. You can find anything from pretty pearl-like buttons and buttons of very classy design to those in the shape of a pencil or a ladybug! Fun, right? If you’re in the sourcing stage of your business or just looking to make a change in suppliers, I would check them out. You have nothing to lose and just might discover exactly what you didn’t know you always needed!

Fashion Fabric Sourcing Manufacturing Resources

Getting Your Fabrics On Demand

Fabrics On DemandNo minimums. Magic words.  Also practically impossible to find in the fashion world.  At least it is when it comes to custom printed textiles.  As a small to midsized business in the design industry it’s often difficult (or should I say impossible) to meet that 1000yd yard minimum that so many mills require.  You’ve got your heart set on a pattern but where are you going to have 5 yards for samples produced, right?  Fabrics On Demand seems like a good option.

I was stumbling along on Twitter, connecting with all sorts of new industry folks and there they were- a designer’s dream come true.   I think the idea is great; market not only to the home sewer but also these fresh young design labels that need flexibility in the early stages of business.  The process seems pretty easy.  Go to their web site, upload your design, choose a fabric quality (they currently offer cottons , linen, poly, lycra, fleece), choose your layout, place your order. Plus, a seven day turn around.  Not bad.

The whole idea has sparked my interest and I am thinking about ways to utilize this convenient service in my own endeavors.  Now, if they would only offer organic fabrics…

Fashion Fabric Sourcing

Leather, Environmentally Responsible?

Pergamena LeatherLeather. It’s a controversial subject, I know. I happen to love it.  From fantastic motorcycle jackets and the softest hobo bags to beautifully bound journals and sleek sofas, leather shows up in all aspects of our lives. Well, my life at least.  I understand the objection, for the most part, and while I respect it, I simply do not see myself giving up leather any time soon.  Like I said, I love it.  So much so that I plan to incorporate it into my future creative endeavors.  However, I can and will do this responsibly.  Enter Pergamena, an “ethical and environmentally soundleather business. They use hides from animals that have either died naturally or been raised for food and have come from local farms. Everything is vegetable-tanned, an environmentally conscious process, and as much as possible, they use natural and biodegradable dyes or pigments.   I stumbled across this company on LinkedIn, a social media platform that I find quite useful, and it was like a dream come true.  I took a little time to check out their website, learned they are based in New York state, which is awesome, and happily ordered a free leather sample color card.  I cannot wait to receive the card and start making some design decisions. Between Noon Studio’s Natural Dye House, Organic Cotton Plus , and Pergamna leather, it looks like I can finally move forward in an environmentally responsible design direction.  Sweet!

Know of other environmentally friendly textile businesses?  Let us know, we’d love to hear about them!

Fashion Fabrics Spotlight

Fashion Fabrics Meet Home Textiles; The Best of Both Worlds

Home Textiles Fabric SourcingI know I talk a lot about Textile Shows.  But I think they’re really important and I love to share them with you as I hear about them.  So, in case you haven’t guessed, I’ve heard about another one. Two, actually. The first one is a bit different, I promise.  It’s Home Textiles Fabric Sourcing and it’s “the only event in North America focused solely on sourcing for fabrics and materials intended for home applications.”  I tend to focus on the apparel end of things so I’m interested in changing it up a bit and checking out this show.  Although, I’m not going to lie, I will still get my fashion fix as the show is sharing a date and location with TexWorld USA.   Both shows are taking place at the Javitz Center here in Manhattan on July 13th, 14th, and 15th.  The vendors are made up of everything from manufacturers and jobbers to converters and designers and are showing (among other things) cotton, denim, embroidery, lace, prints, silks, and wool.  Plus, you’ll also see notions and trimmings, so there should be a lot to see and it sounds like it will be well worth the trip.  If you make it to the show, be sure to share your findings!

Fashion Fabrics Spotlight

A Textile BluePrint

Cyanotype Fabrics
Photo: www.apartmenttherapy.com

Has anyone heard of Cyanotype Fabrics? I hadn’t. Until about 10 minutes ago. The cyanotype photographic printing process used by photographers and architects to create blueprints is applied to fabrics like silk and cotton to create that cyan blue ground and white print that is so familiar to us all.  Apparently known as “sun fabrics”, they can be purchased pre-treated by the yard and, while always blue, harbor endless possibilities in terms of design. I imagine fashion and home furnishing designers alike utilizing the concept to create maybe not an entire collection, but definitely a signature piece or two.   I like the look.   It’s clean, rich, bold, and tends to add an artistic flair to anything from a garment or scarf to an upholstered chair or curtains.

As I mentioned, you can buy the fabrics pre-treated which makes the design process a lot less time consuming. I found Blueprints on Fabric, a company in Washington with an ecommerce sight for those of us in other parts of the world. According to their website all products are pre-washed, hand treated and sealed in u.v. protective bags, ready for printing. They include full instructions and are happy to work with you on custom treating.  I may be a bit behind as this process on fabrics is not a new thing by any means, but that’s okay.   I have in fact discovered it and, as a creative business owner, am looking forward to the possibility of implementing it into my own work.  How about you?

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