Sustainability Consciousness

18.10.2013 § Leave a comment

Sustainability awareness has prevailed for the last decade. Although actual results are hard to see and many people are still indifferent to the movement, people in general are behaving more carefully and improvements are being made. Agriculture’s IPM systems are one example of the shift.

In our textile industry’s new eco standard, the Sustainability Assessment for Commercial Furnishings Fabric (NSF/ANSI 336), natural fibers grown using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems can earn extra points. « Read the rest of this entry »

Patching Meditation

02.05.2013 § Leave a comment

I don’t know when people stopped learning how to sew. I guess when ready-to-wear became a common thing, maybe after World War II? I wonder how many young people nowadays know how to do the simplest sewing?

During my childhood, when I visited my grandparents with my siblings and cousins, we would run around their house playing like wild kids. One time my grandmother held me down to show me how to sew up a split pair of pants. She showed me the step-back stitch, a stitch technique that would make a strong seam. I was fascinated and learned it with great interest. That was my only official sewing lesson, but I still use the technique whenever I need something firmly sewn.

The other day I was mumbling that I needed to buy another pair of winter trousers, the kind made of wool with a lining to keep me warm in the coldest winter. My husband went to my other closet and pulled out a whole bunch of trousers and asked me what I was planning to do with those. « Read the rest of this entry »

Linen as a Green Textile

01.10.2012 § Leave a comment

In 2010 I visited our San Francisco showroom. Since I had been aspiring to develop “green” products, I asked our salesperson, as I often do, what kind of green product they sell and how they sell it. The showroom salesperson showed me a pile of fabrics she had set aside to recommend when a client asked for a green product for her home. It was a pile of natural fiber material, heavy on the linen side, but very few samples had any writing or labels telling their green stories. I was actually puzzled by her selections until I realized that people respond more to the fiber than to any certification for the concept of “green.” That is why I set out to develop a third party certified eco-friendly linen for our Back to Basics collection. « Read the rest of this entry »

Brentano Color Forecast

02.12.2011 § Leave a comment

Marine - Paper White - Sprout - Graphite - Tangerine - Linen

Brentano Designer Aaron Mensik has great color sense, so we tend to rely on him as our colorist in the design studio. Usually before he starts to color a pattern, we will talk about how and where the fabric will be used and what kind of color it should have. For instance, if the fabric is to be used in a vertical application, we tend to want colors that are clear and soft. We might not produce any dark colors at all. There are also differences for residential and hospitality, healthcare, etc., fabrics. « Read the rest of this entry »

Natural Dye

11.04.2011 § 2 Comments

Many people think that natural dye would be environmentally friendly and that “green” products should use natural dye.  Let’s consider some facts about natural dyes.

Natural dyes have poor color power, meaning that a large amount of dye is needed to produce deep shades.  Natural dyes have poor color fastness to laundering and sunlight too.  Even indigo dye — which has a pretty good output — is not powerful enough to supply today’s demand.  « Read the rest of this entry »

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