When it comes to producing handmade festival clothing we weren’t really sure what the general public thought this meant so we have put together this little article to cover a few things. Giving our customers the chance to understand what handmade clothing really means goes a long way to explain the love,time and effort that goes into each piece of clothing we sell.
Handmade clothing is simply clothing that is produced by hand without the add of heavy machinery. The size of the operations vary from a a couple of people to teams of people who spend their day crafting clothing.
How is Our Hand Made Clothing Different?
Our handmade clothing is different from your normal one use clothing that is massed produced in large factories in places like China (all our clothing comes from places like India, Nepal, Indonesia and Mexico). Nothing like the scale you find in China is found when it comes to producing this kind of clothing.
The clothing we sell supports local communities and employs more workers from the local area to produce the clothing. We often say in our clothing descriptions ‘this clothing is handmade and so will vary slightly’. The reason behind this is simple, humans are involved in every step of the process. This means no big machines are used to cut the clothing into templates. They mark out the cuts to be made in the material using chalk, this is then hand cut and then sewn together. Any details are then added such as embroidery work, hoods and pockets.
-Is Using a Sewing Machine Handmade?
Now the lovely ladies and gentlemen who apply their trade are not just sitting there with a needle and thread and knocking up the clothing as you would never get the expected long lasting strength from a piece of clothing produced in such a way.
Instead sewing machines are used by each person to achieve a high quality finish, now some of you may at this point say “that’s not handmade, they are using a machine”. Well they are using the sewing machine as a tool just like you would a hammer. The seamstress is still crafting the garments using the machine to add the thread but are using their hand eye coordination to produce the garment. They are guiding the material through the machine and making sure the material is properly bound together. Have you ever used a sewing machine before? I have and I can tell you they take some skill to use and so I wouldn’t write off this skill.
Wool clothing items are a great example of complete non machine made handmade clothing. Quite often it is women who are involved in the production of the woollen items as these are skills that they have passed down from generation to generation. They sit with knitting needles and literally hand knit each garment from scratch. Now to give you an example these guys are so skilled at producing woollen garments that they speed through them at a vast rate of knots and can finish whole items daily with the more skilled able to produce many jumpers.
-What is Hand Printing?
Many of our clothing items are hand printed. There are several ways in which this is done.
The first is via small hand block printing. This is where an artist creates a printing block much like kids do at school with potatoes. In our case the artist carves a wooden block to produce a reusable printing block which will be used to hand print the design onto the garment.
The second method is on a larger scale and involves large printer blocks which are thinner and lighter as they are much larger in scale. The pattern is dipped in ink and then lifted as a group (2 or more people) from one part of the fabric to another. This method is used for creating large throws or printed material that will be used in the production of clothing. The cotton is laid out and then the pattern block is carefully laid on the material where pressure is applied. Once the design has been transferred the process is repeated until the throw is completed. Quite often a throw would be created using several large patterned blocks.
We are passionate about the clothing we sell. We work closely with our producers to make sure everything is carried out in the right way. If you have any questions then please let us know.