Posted on September 09 2015
How a Kindred Wrap is Made
Today's Journal Post is about how a Kindred Wrap is made, specifically our Portlock Pattern (releasing soon!!) Please feel free to ask any questions about our process in the comments section at the bottom! And if you haven't already, join the Kindred Chatter Page on Facebook to help us design a KindredHeartCustom wrap!
The process is divided into 3 Parts, with lots of little details between: 1. Design 2. Weaving 3. Cut/Sew
1. Design: All Kindred designs start with a hunt for Inspiration. After thinking up and organizing a few moodboards I consider the season as well as the other patterns Kindred is offering and let those reflections lead my sketching direction.
In the case of our Portlock pattern it was inspired by a GEO category. If you look at the notebook pic below you can see the beginnings of our Portlock Pattern--the lines of repeated motifs were scanned into the computer, cleaned up in Photoshop and then turned into a diamond outline.
For this particular design, I knew I loved the graphic look of the diamond but wanted to keep the hand-drawn character for a more whimsical feel rather than a perfect geometric which can sometimes appear rigid. Looking at the pattern closely you will notice some lopsided circles, line weight variations and other quirks that make this pattern unique.
After creating the "key" element of the pattern (the simple diamond on the left in the pic below) comes the editing or embellishment. To give Portlock an added level of interest the diamonds were organized in a block repeat pattern and connected through a lattice line grid (image 2 below). On the far right you can see how this one key element quickly becomes a seamless design through a repeat pattern.
Next in the design process is determining the scale. This is definitely the least glamorous part of the process, but one of the most important. Using one of our other patterns, Montauk Polka Dot, as an example, imagine if the polka dots were 10x smaller or larger. Without altering the pattern, scale has the ability to completely transform a look.
The way I like to scale is by printing out my pattern to imagine it as the fabric. I hold it against myself and look in the mirror with a squint until I find the sweet spot---super scientific, I know ;). A lot of determining scale comes from the original vision--is it a BOLD pattern, à la Marimekko, or is it stronger as an intricate repeat? The pic below shows scale variations of our Portlock pattern and how that affects the impact of the design.
After scale is Fiber. So far in our 5 months as a company we have produced Tencel/Cotton Wraps and 100% Cotton Wraps. As a new company, and a company with the philosophy of enjoying the little moments rather than sweating the little things, fibers that are wash friendly, soft, cuddly, strong, supportive and affordable are the biggest considerations. As always we loving hearing from you and what your stash is missing!
Color is usually my favorite part of the process and the biggest gamble. Most of our patterns have been produced in 3-4 colors. It starts by choosing any and all colors that might work well with the design, and then process by elimination. I try to select colors that are beautiful individually, and then move on to consider both the variety and the harmony of color families. To expand on that idea it is very unlikely that I would offer one design in Pink, Purple and Red because though they are harmonious, they lack the variety to appeal to different styles and customers.
In the case of our Portlock pattern we've shared sneaks of Guava and Sky (still 2 mystery colors remaining), which were selected for the lightness and fun that they bring to the pattern. Guava in particular does very well with this design as the intricacy helps to diffuse the strength of this effervescent color with the ecru fill. Beyond my color selection and predictions, I am always thrilled to see how you put your own signature on your Kindred Wrap.
This transitions us into the weaving process...design also includes manual layout and copy, tag design/sourcing and production, packaging design and production; all smaller details that are imperative to producing a finished product, but not what this post is about. If you are curious about those parts of the production process, please feel free to comment below!
2. Weaving: We work with wonderful American Manufacturers from the east coast. They are absolutely amazing and contribute so much to the success of our wraps with their incredible knowledge of fibers and weave structure. After sending my working design files and yardage specifications, they transfer that information from the computer to the jacquard looms. The image below on the right is how I receive the wrap fabric, by the bolt, delivered directly to my doorstep to Seattle.
3. Cut/Sew: Our cut and sew production is done locally in Seattle. I am so thankful to have such a skilled and efficient cut and sew team only 15 min from my studio (which is really a large closet in my house). I get to see them often, and feel very involved in the process, as well as confident that Kindred Wraps are produced ethically and support the local economy!
Our wraps are produced like most garments, with sewing paper patterns (see above pic). The patterns indicate the length, width and tail angle of the wrap with allowance for shrink and all around seams. Our paper patterns (one for each size) also indicate the location for middle markers and fiber content tags. Knowing the exact amount of yardage that each size requires, I am able to divide the total yardage into an inventory breakdown by size. Once our Cut/Sew production is finished I inspect each and every wrap personally to ensure excellent quality in every aspect and then tie the pretties off with a Kindred bow to be delivered to your doorstep!
Thank you so much to everyone who has supported this young business, and for wanting to learn more about how our wraps are made. We hope you will join us in collaborating a new Kindred Wrap design exclusively though the Kindred Chatter Page on Facebook! You can join at any time, https://www.facebook.com/groups/kindredkingdom/?fref=ts