16 August, 2012

"It really works to have it local"

I watched an online interview expecting to be annoyed because the topic was 3D printing's potential to change the future of textile production.  I spin yarn by hand to make cloth, I like natural fibres not synthetics, and I'm interested in cloth structures composed of individual strands orderly arranged, not fused layers.  But I liked what New York-based designer Mary Huang said about local production:
I think that there is a lot going on right now that seems to say that for certain products it works really well to manufacture in the U.S.  We actually get other products made in the garment district and I know other designers do as well because for things that are smaller quantity, higher quality, and more interesting designs, it really works to have it local.  You get faster iterations.  You have better quality control.  You already have the margins to be able to do it locally, so why not.
–Mary Huang of Continuum Fashion interviewed in "Printing Fashion: Fashion label blends tech and couture," CBCNews Business, The Lang & O'Leary Exchange, August 10, 2012, http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Business/ID/2266188756/
I also liked Huang's bespoke approach.  As I looked further into the Kickstarter campaign, the main website, and the blog, I could see that she and Jenna Fizel, also of Continuum, work with ways to customize clothes to an individual, following the wants and needs of the final owner as well as the inspiration of the designer and the limits of the clothing construction methods.  This is an approach that is shared, I think, with handspinners making yarn and cloth.  No one that I know makes standard repeatable yardage in handspun the way the ancient or medieval world did; rather, handspinners experiment with fibres to get a custom product.

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