We are incredibly excited to announce that our fabric has cleared final inspection at our mill in Italy and is currently en route to our factory in Fall River for our first production run!
You may be wondering what went into making our fabric so we wanted to share with you what this process looks like.
It all starts, of course, with the raw materials. In our case it’s some of the best organic cotton in the world, which is grown in Egypt without pesticides or other toxins. When the cotton is ready and harvested, it’s then sent to a mill in Italy to be turned into shirting fabric.
Upon arrival at the mill the cotton is spun into yarn and dyed, then tested for strength, twist, and stretch. With the thread complete, it moves along to the weaving process, first warped to create the lengthwise threads then woven on a loom where the weft is produced (the corresponding horizontal thread). Once finished, the fabric then goes through a final inspection process, before departing for our shirt factory. If it sounds like a lot of work to get to that point, that’s because it is!
So what comes next? Once the finished fabric arrives in Fall River it will be spread on large tables and cut into pieces according to a pre-determined (and computer aided) design. Not only is this critical for getting the properly sized components of each shirt, it’s important for optimizing the outlay so that as little fabric as possible is wasted in the process.
With the outlay is determined, the sheets of fabric are stacked nearly three inches high and placed under a thin plastic cover sheet. The fabric is then compressed using a vacuum so that the automated cutting machine can make clean, uniform cuts without the fabric moving or bunching.
The machine cuts all of the different pieces of the shirt--the cuff, collar, sleeve, yoke, placket, and so forth. Particular care must be paid when cutting shirts with a pattern -- say a gingham or stripe -- so as to ensure that the pattern stays consistent across different pieces of the shirt. This is why a patterned shirt actually takes slightly more fabric to make.
With the cutting is complete, the pieces of fabric are then brought to the sewing floor where construction begins. First the interfacing--the material that keeps that collar and cuffs stiff--is sewn onto the shirt fabric. The placket is also attached to the front of the shirt. Next the pockets, buttons, and buttonholes are made. And finally the various panels are carefully sewn together using high quality, single-needle stitching.
Once the shirt is inspected, the last step involved is to fold it and package it so that it can be shipped off to eager customers.
And there you have it. It’s a surprisingly long path from the cotton field to the closet, but also one where attention to detail and quality makes a big difference. We’re excited to be nearing the completion of our first production run and will make sure to post more updates on the last part of the process in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned!