Customer safety as an accessory?
Protective, safe, fashion led?
Statement dressing. Warmth with texture contrasts as a style feature?
Uniform inspired fashion pieces. Battle dressing with drape?
Battle dressing with fur features?
Women's sleepwear for those who like feminine glamour?
Safe, non flammable, warm, breathable, fun?
We have learned about the importance of fibre composition, physical and aesthetic properties, yarn construction, fabric construction in relation to end use and finish. It is time to look at the responsibility fashion brands have to their customers to provide garments made from fabrics that are safe, exciting, fashion-led, fun, practical, easy to care for and appropriate.
The opportunities for dynamic fabric selection are endless because not only do you have natural fibres that have been used for centuries to consider and recommend but also the new and exciting possibilities of modern textile technology. New ideas in this field are being launched every day. Make sure you understand the importance of fashion forecasting and trend development to cover the aesthetic aspects of consumer needs and wants. For performance based fabrics that have to protect or have a specific function look at the requirements of the consumer closely before selecting.
Store visits are invaluable to understand the breadth of what is being used widely. This type of primary research will develop your knowledge and skills in how fashion brands select specific fabrics. Study the look, drape, texture, lustre, pattern, feel/handle, composition, stretch, recoveryand country of origin of fabrics selected by competing brands. Ask yourself why these are appropriate? Are the same fabrics used in womenswear, menswear and childrenswear? If so, why and are there differences in weight, finish etc?
Secondary research using textbooks, existing fashion forecasts, internet, magazines etc give good supporting information as to why brands choose specific fabrics.
The more you understand about fabrics and why consumers accept one fabric over another, the better your design work will be. This is key for all those wishing to sell their fashion garments to make a living. From statement fashion to high street collections, the UK consumer is protected by statutory and voluntary legislation, the Sale of Goods Act and the Trades Descriptions Act. Fashion brands have a responsibility to select fabrics and produce wisely.