The art of tailoring

What makes a high quality garment, and how can you tell what is actually hand made? Or made by artisans? Or ethical?

These are questions and frustrations I face on a daily basis - and are ideals that are so important to me for many reasons. Last year I did one of my favorite blogs on Quality versus Quantity on my Mandy Dress, and so I thought I would revisit that topic and show how my amazing new current line, Sand Swept, is painstakingly and lovingly made, by hand, by my team in India.

High Stitch Per Inch (SPI)

As always, the most important indicator of a quality garment, is Stitch Per Inch (SPI). The more SPI's, the more expensive and time consuming it is to make, and the longer it will last. I use an SPI of 12 to 14 on all my line - whilst mass produced machine made items are around 8 to 10. My garments are hand made, over time, with care and quality to last.

Merrowed Edge

A merrowed edge just  means the way fabric edges are finished, created by 'overlock stitching' done an overlock machine. This is how my goods are finished, as can be seen in the rounded edges on my Kavya Top. Over lock stitching, in comparison, is how mass production finishes their garments, as it enables them to quickly finish their product by producing 5,000 stitches per minute as opposed to 250 - 1,000 stitches per minute done by a sewing machine. But choosing to take time to merrow edges, and create a better quality and more detailed finished, is just how I work. 

 

Recycled Metal Buttons

Buttons, and trims in general, are and have always been an object of fascination for me. I love being able to chose and select them to match a piece in my line. This example here from my Nimboo Dress is certainly no exception, recycled metal buttons sourced locally in New Delhi to add that charm to this lovely dress.

Hand Braided Belts

In addition to buttons, if you've followed me for a while, you will know that I do love a detailed belt (see my Mandy Dress!). And in this collection I simply couldn't resist adding some intricate hand made tassels to my Anika Dress, not that it needed to be made even more fancy!!

Hand Embroidery

I use a lot of hand embroidery in my line, work largely carried out by the women who work for me who sit tirelessly and stitch each and every single piece. I love the extra element of elegance they provide my garments, and the hand made touch that goes with them.
 

Hand Crocheted Lace

If you are still reading, and in case you couldn't tell, I love all things hand made - and that continues with the addition of my hand crocheted lace, shown here in my Longaya Top. Detail done by hand, it's a lovely addition to my line.

  

Waste Fabric for Tassels

And last but certainly not least, is the inclusion of excess fabric as fabric tassels as part of my hang tags shown here. Included in every single piece, I love to showcase some of my fabrics as almost samples on my hang tags, so that people can see the fabric we use and as a nice addition instead of simply discarding excess fabric.

 

These are just a few of the details and intricacies that I include in not only my current collection, but in all my styles as they are not merely novelties that I include to be popular or gain attention, but things that I value and respect and work hard to include. Being able to include them in creations is a way for me to pay homage to many of the skills of the artisans of my homeland who make them, and in being able to hopefully elevate and share them with you, I feel in a way that I am doing them proud.

 


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