The manufacturing industry and fast-fashion have always been a mystery to me. How do you distinguish between garments that will last vs. those that will fall apart at the first wash? Are luxury brand garments like Dolce & Gabbana and Luis Vuitton expensive because of the way they're made? The quality and craftsmanship that goes into each piece? Or is the production quite cheap, and it's just the brand name that jacks up the price? How can an average consumer tell the difference?
Below my amazing manufacturing partner, Liubovi Marcu, spills her studio's three main secrets on what makes a luxury handmade item stand out from the rest.
Closed Seams: "An old saying states that the quality can be seen on the inside of the garment. Similarly, you can estimate its value by the steps chosen in the process of sewing it. If you take a high quality item and turn it inside out, you will notice fine stitching. Every stitch should be reinforced, collars - doubled with very thin and fine German quality glue fabric, which helps to keep the shape intact after washing the garment. Closed seams not only give a clean and neat appearance, feel good to the touch, but, most importantly, they protect the seam from falling apart, so that there are no surprises after the first wash."
2. Sewing to Fabric Type
"Clothing is divided according to the type of fibrous material - clothing made of wool, silk, cotton, artificial, synthetic vs. organic materials. Likewise, at the sewing stage, it is designed in individual sewing or mass sewing. When working with silk, for instance, it's key to respect the technical requirements according to the properties of silk fabric. Natural silk is fluid, sensual. It's pleasant against the skin, doesn't cause allergies, it's ergonomic, but one of its properties is that it easily tears or falls apart. For this reason, I resort to the method of processing the closed seams, also called double seams. Marginal seams are executed with a fine closed seam of 2 mm, also called the French seam."
3. German Technology to Avoid Waste
"Lastly, when a collection is being developed, it's key to think through how it will be laid out. I pay close attention to all our technical steps in production, but even more important is this initial element of making use of all the fabric without excess. I invested a lot in this one software element in our studio, a German-based industry-tested technology that allows me to think through garment production starting even back at pattern-making stages."
Liubovi Marcu, Moldova