Last year, I started pre-washing all of my fabrics. The reason I do this is because knit fabrics tend to shrink a lot once you wash them. So I would rather pre-shrink the fabric myself, than have an item shrink on a customer. Also, the dyes in some fabrics will bleed, and I would rather find that out in the beginning! I use an all natural laundry detergent that is biodegradable and doesn’t have any perfumes or dyes. The largest fabric pieces I get are no more than 10-15 yards, so putting them in my washing machine isn’t a problem. Now this won’t work if you need to shrink fabric that is a hundred yards long. In that case, there are ways to draft the patterns to allow for shrinkage after they are sewn. You have to test a square of the fabric by washing it and calculating what percentage of shrinkage occurred on the straight grain and the cross grain, and then factor that into your pattern. Since I use so many different fabrics, that’s probably not something I would want to do, so pre-washing is the best option for me.
Tonight, I’m finishing grading the patterns for my Spring/Summer ‘09 collection. This year, there will be consistent sizing throughout all the styles. Today has definitely been one of those the-more-you-learn-the-more-you-realize-how-much-you-don’t-actually-know type of days. I recommend that anyone who is serious about clothing design and manufacturing take a look at www.fashion-incubator.com. On my breaks today, I was poring over the blog archives, learning the right way to go about business, and I would like to summarize my conclusions here, but I don’t have any yet! I need to mull things over for a bit. So I’m going over to my mom’s house, and we’re going to make a delicious blueberry cheesecake, and hopefully the cooking and eating will be good for my brain…
I’m having a spring sale at Always the Forest until April 15th. 25% off everything on the site. Robin Dresses: originally $48, now $36, Robin Tops: originally $38, now $29.50, Willow Dresses: originally $38, now $29.50, Willow Tops: originally $24, now $18, and Robin Hoods, originally $28, now $21.
New items for spring and summer are coming soon!