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As a small fashion brand we have a responsibility to be transparent.
The process at Daines Atelier is a little different to your typical fashion brand. We take pride in calling ourselves a Slow Fashion Brand. But what does the journey behind a single garment look like?
Typically larger business will work with an overseas manufacturer in order to cut down costs for seamstresses, material costing a more. An unethical side to the fashion industry which needs to change.
The United Kingdom was once flourishing in the textiles industry. In particular for it’s wools as the UK was hot in the agriculture scene. But with industrialisation and technology becoming the forefront of economically profitable business for the UK to surge from. Have we truly forgotten our roots?
Here at Daines Atelier we pride ourselves through working at our small Atelier in Frome, Somerset, we only use traditional tailoring techniques and processes to create our one of a kind garment.
But what is the story behind a singular garment from Daines Atelier?
Sourcing Vintage remnants and textiles to repurpose.
The first stage of creating a garment is finding the right material for the job. With a sixth sense to hunting materials, I shop around at local car boots, charity shops and even through friends’ cupboards to find something Durable, Beautiful; Something as high as a natural fibre content as possible and save it from going to landfill. We then prewash all our materials to allow for any shrinkages and discolourations.
Material hunting is one of my favourite stages of the design process because you never quite know what you might find. Whether it be midcentury floral cotton, a heritage wool or a previously loved tablecloth… You never know what vintage wonders you may find.
Typically I trust my gut instinct. Spotting the perfect floral print from the window of the local charity shop and then seeing it face to face. I instantly know that it needs to become a garment.
I initially started by filtering through my great grandmothers vintage sewing chest. She had previously worked at a seamstress at the Dents factory, clearly sewing runs through our blood. The cabinets were full of the most amazing patterned cottons, tartan tablecloths and shirting materials.
In fact, my find vintage fabric find at Lark Vintage, ended up becoming the very first garment for Daines Atelier.
The fabric already knows what garment it wants to become.
Not all fabrics will be fit for becoming just ‘any’ garment. Once we have sourced a collection of materials we then begin to design around them, Looking at the length and weight of each material. We then have our template ‘block’ patterns and build our garment vision and our standard silhouettes.
The block patterns which I have created for Daines Atelier really focusing on limiting wastage. It was my mission from the beginning to use as much of the repurposed fabric as possible, since already working will smaller materials, it just made sense.
Typically when finding vintage furnishing materials they normally resonate with me to become jackets. Something more wool based I see as a batwing jumper and etc. But sometimes it can be completely different, I just let the fabric do the talking.
The silhouettes which I decide the garments to become, are typically from a place of selfishness. I make the clothing that I feel like my wardrobe is missing. And surely, if it’s missing from mine. It will be missing from someone else as well.
Traditional sewing techniques made contemporary.
Saving materials from going to landfill typically means that the project will need to have panelling introduced- more commonly referred to as quilting. There is skill with working with a fabric grain, weights and stretch which are needed in order to sew together these materials well.
Studying at The University for the Creative arts on a course called Fashion Atelier, gave me the skills which I have now evolved into my own practice. Manipulating materials against their grain can cause a lot of distortion typically in garments.
But practising working with combinations of different material weights and fibre content has helped me to explore repurposed textiles in a new light. Typically I work from one main remnamt material and start to collage others together.
It’s the finishing touches that makes the garments.
Every season silhouette will go through two toile processes and a sample process in order to figure out what the best finishing technique will be for the garment. Whether it be lining, overlocking or French seams. A lot of time goes into figuring out the most beautiful way for the garment to be finished.
A lot time and thought goes into the final samples of the garments. Sometimes even having to step away for a few days at a time to figure out exactly what to do.
The joy of slow fashion is that it can take weeks, even months to be properly thought through and to come together. It’s the creation of art. Something that is designed to last in your wardrobe for a lifetime.
Make it your pledge to shop small fashion.
Understanding the time and care that into shopping with a small fashion brand surely makes it a no brainer. we wrote a previous blog featuring some amazing small fashion brands so that a look.