How we test Bourne Crisp fabrics to ensure quality
In order to create a high quality garment, you have got to get the basics right. And when it comes to the foundation of a garment, nothing is more important than the fabric.
So what steps do we take to ensure that we are making our garments with the best fabrics possible?
When sourcing fabrics to create our garments, we look at hundreds of swatch cards assessing the look, feel and drape of the fabric in order to create a short list.
We then test the fabric swatches resilience to stretching to see if it bounces back to its original shape after tugging. We will also do a wrinkle test in which we scrunch the fabric into a ball and then flatten it again to see its resistance to wrinkling.
If we like the fabric and it passes our swatch tests then we would most likely move on to getting sample cutting - usually about one to two metres of fabric to test more thoroughly.
2. In-house testing
Once the larger sample of fabric has arrived, we perform a variety of in-house testing.
Firstly, we put the fabric through a washing machine and check whether it shrinks, discolours or warps.
Indeed, a small amount of shrinkage is expected when first washing a fabric, however, if the fabric has warped, ie. it went into the washing machine as a perfect square but came out as a rectangle, this could cause a huge problem with the shape of a garment.
We then see how the fabric stands up to ironing, whether it shrinks, melts or becomes shiny when placed under heat.
If we are happy with the results of these tests then we will make a sample garment out of the fabric which we get someone wear around for a few weeks to see how the fabric stands up to everyday wear and tear. At this end of this period, we will compare the worn garment to the original cloth to ensure that it hasn’t become discoloured, damaged or stretched.
If it has maintained a good condition after all this testing we will move onto the next phase.
3. Commercial testing
For the final step in our testing process, we send the fabric to a laboratory for commercial testing.
They subject the fabric to all sorts of tests including exposing it to extreme light to see if it discolours and placing it under extreme heat to test the effects. They also use a sanding disc to see how long it takes before the fabric starts to pill or develop a hole when constantly rubbed against something and test how much force the fabric seams can take before they split.
If the fabric meets the high standards of the laboratory, we will then begin to use it in the manufacturing of our garments.
This process is not an easy one, and it is definitely not quick - it takes around three to four months and there are cases where the fabric will come back from lab testing having not received the tick of approval which puts us back at square one.
We test for the worst case scenario to ensure that we are delivering quality, durable fabrics that will last for years to come.
We are constantly looking for better fabrics and completing this testing process to ensure that we offer the best products made of the best material possible.
*As there is often only a small amount of our Limited Edition fabrics available, we are not able to send them for commercial testing, however they are still subject to internal testing and required to meet our standards before use.