While working in a swimwear company, I realised that not everybody loves stripes. Stripes are evergreen and will never go out of fashion. From season to season pattern designers change their style, or techniques, but they always appear on the catwalks and the stores. Developing them is fun. But pattern makers and cutters just want to avoid working with them.
The problem begins at the production sector. When an apparel company selects a fabric with stripes for their collection, there are different aspects they have to review before making a decision. The first is the quality of the final product they wish to achieve. The second is the cost. If they want good quality, the stripes have to be matched to create continuous lines on the finished garment.
Let’s say they fabricate swimwear. The bikini bottom has to fit in the front. If doesn’t it just looks cheap. The pattern maker has to place the patterns with more space between each other, and this causes extra costs. It gets more complicated when the print has direction. The patterns cannot be rotated. This means more extra costs. In case of a high repeat, it’s even worse. They have to always fit to the same line. Huge cut-offs.
So what is the solution? We textile designers can include in our collections some hand drawn, imperfect watercolor, which anyway is impossible to fit, or two-way stripes keeping in mind that one day somebody has to work with it, and that the other person to pay the extra costs of it. More simple stripes are more effective. Let’s develop easy handling and cost saving patterns.