Fabrics, fabrics, fabrics!
Well as most of you know the most important thing about hats are the fabric and the style. First comes sourcing amazing fabrics that feel soft and are not harsh or itchy on the skin especially on the head when it is sensitive whilst someone is having chemotherapy. Secondly is designing something that is comfortable for someone to wear and looks stylish at the same time.
I have worked in the fashion industry for over 15 years now so want to inform you of the different types of fabrics we use as I get asked questions all the time like “is it breathable?” “Can I only have cotton?” “I cant have manmade fibres?” etc.
Some companies misinform ladies out there – some man made fabrics are actually better than “natural” fabrics. What we forget is that the fabrics that are natural have also been processed like manmade fabrics to get to the finished product and in this day and age “natural” and “organic” does not necessarily mean better.
So here is a little information on some fabrics, in which some I use on my hats.
This is a well loved fabric. Cotton comes from a type of flowering plant but can also come from trees. It is picked and then processed into a lovely fabric which is both durable and breathable. Adding a little spandex into this helps with stretch and keeping its shape in which I think is better for a hat otherwise they loose their shape. Did you know that cotton is produced in over 100 countries around the world but only 5 of them contribute to 80% of all this production! Wow!
Viscose is made from Wood! Did you know that? I didn’t. It is then processed into a yarn. It was firstly invented to be an artificial silk (that is when it is in its woven form). Viscose is moisture absorbent, breathable, comfortable to wear and does not build up static electricity – for those that are electric. Add a bit of spandex for retention of the stretch and wallah – you have an amazing fabric. I love using this in my base caps as I have found what is available in cotton does not have the same hand feel as viscose, viscose feels a lot nicer and softer when worn on the head.
Silk comes from a silk worm which produces the tiny fibres which are then harvested and woven into amazing fabric. Silk is both breathable, super strong and creates lovely much lusted after fabric. We use silk sometimes in our scarves if we can get our hands on some that are lovely as quite often silk creases and we like ease of wear and not having to press our hats all the time. Did you know that a rope made out of silk is actually wayyy stronger than a rope made of metal?
This is entirely a man made product that was invented in the 1940s. It has come a long way since the beginning days. When made into a woven fabric this has the most amazing drape and now they have started creating fabrics that feel like and smell like silk. I have come across these in my fashion design journey and they are sneaky as I constantly think they are a different fabric until I read the label. When used in the scarf part only – it makes for an amazingly durable scarf that is super soft, light and non creasing. And if its only in the scarf part there is not much of this touching your skin so its perfect.
Fabric technicians the world over are constantly creating new fabrics. There are now modals, bamboos, tencels – just beautiful fabrics that we can now slowly start getting better access to (especially from our end of the world). So when I’m out and about and finding nice fabrics be sure to know, if there is something amazing out there – Ill find it and put it in a hat!