19.01.2017 § Leave a comment
I recently visited the mill where Brentano’s pattern Equinox is woven. Accompanying me during the visit was Senior Designer Aaron Mensik and National Sales Manager Jeff Frank. Located in a rural city of New Jersey, it was drizzling and damp when we arrived at the entrance of the warehouse style building. At the opposite side of the doors – a forest stood tall – damp with sparse yellow and orange leaves still dangling on branches. The fall color of the foliage brightened the grey sky and the metal siding.
To much surprise, when we walked in a pleasant display of Brentano fabrics greeted us. We later found out that one employee in particular prepared the fabric display for our arrival. I very much appreciated the Mills effort to make us feel welcomed.
We first visited the Jacquard weaving room. Within the one room, approximately 60 looms were weaving at the same time. We could hardly hear our guide explaining the weaving procedures. We saw many beautiful fabrics being woven, including one of Brentano’s best sellers, Equinox. Equinox is woven on a very fine, dense, nylon warp. Fine for the purpose of color clarity , dense for the purpose of defined rendering, and nylon for performance level abrasion.
It was such a joy to see our fabric being woven on the loom. As you can tell from our facial expressions in the photos – pure happiness.
The trip was educational, so besides observing the fabrics on the loom, we toured all departments such as design, CAD for weaving, yarn control, winding, warping, final inspection of the goods, etc.
It was near 2:00 pm when we finished the tour and said our goodbyes. While we were waiting for our ride, I noticed in the vestibule window a beautiful pattern forming from the condensation. Maybe it will one day become a fabric pattern.
07.09.2016 § Leave a comment
I have always admired the serenity and pureness of nature. As soon as my husband and I were finished with our schooling, we immediately moved to the quiet, spacious suburbia; never understanding ones desire to move to the big city. Many years and experiences later, my perception of city life began to shift and eventually (to my surprise) began to influence my work as a designer.
On one particular sales trip to Manhattan, I walked…a lot. While traveling amongst the noisy hustle and bustle of traffic, I stumbled upon a little wild flower rooted next to a wrought iron gate. The graceful flower was rising from a crack in the concrete, pushing its way toward the clear blue sky. The juxtaposition of the cement, the wrought iron and the plant created a texture that brought a smile to my face for the rest of the day. The peaceful experience made the echoes from city streets dissipate; leaving only the beautiful composition in my memory. From that day forward, I gained a different perspective of the urban environment and the magnificence held within it.
Then I began to travel. I was able to travel longer and more freely after my obligations of parenthood and elderly care were fulfilled. I discovered the joy of experiencing different cities, architecture, bridges, public transportation, vegetation, people, as well as cultures from around the world. I took photos, doodled, sketched, took notes, and made plans to enjoy outings with friends from different cities. I now fully understand the attraction society has to live within a metropolis.
Drawing inspiration from the energy and graphics of the urban landscape, the 18 new patterns in the fall 2016 Cityscape collection depict my experiences from the eccentric life of the big city.
04.02.2016 § Leave a comment
The spring 2016 Cornerstone collection, originally named to follow our 25th anniversary, turned out to have much more significance. The past fiscal year our business grew in great strides while we continuously create a name for ourselves in the industry. The moral of the entire company is unfolding a promising future in both business strategy and performance.
For the first time in Brentano’s history we are introducing a catalog of our new fabric Gem, showcasing all 39 designer colorways. Gem is a velvet I am particularly proud of in the spring collection; proud of its luxurious colors, wonderful qualities and reasonable price point. Gem 4250
Alongside Gem, the Cornerstone collection holds a wide variety of unique fabrics. The assortment includes several sophisticated techniques (Intaglio and Jasper), many bright playful patterns (Keys and Tombolo), extraordinarily colorful stripes (Regalia), and an indescribable embroidered drapery (Willow). The variety of textiles within the collection demonstrates our continuous dedication to producing products that inspire our clients’ creativity and imagination.
We have vowed in our design studio, not only to be the best at creating color, we challenge ourselves to lead the industry in design, both in textile technology and surface design.
11.08.2014 § Leave a comment
My first week at Waseda University for a short-term, intensive summer Japanese class started with a bit of heat shock. The classroom is different every day, and the teacher is different for almost every class even when the subject is the same. Despite the heat, students are encouraged to climb the stairs to any classroom below the fifth floor. The professors are not very happy if you are late for class, so I have been running to look for classes every day in this blazing hot sun.
Still, I have had time to explore and found some great Japanese textiles, museum collections and books from their library. I’ve always found the manhole covers in Japan fascinating too, so I couldn’t help but take pictures of the ones I’ve found so far on the university campus.
30.01.2014 § Leave a comment
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 »
19.10.2012 § Leave a comment
I designed a maple key pattern about ten years ago, but it was not successful as a fabric and I never introduced it. I am making the attempt again and making some studies. Maybe it will become a Brentano fabric design one day.
12.07.2012 § Leave a comment
A Cultural Difference
I also noticed that the hotels in Japan always prepare you with a toothbrush and toothpaste and a pair of disposable slippers. None of these could be found at the Minneapolis Hilton I checked into when I visited our representative in Minnesota. « Read the rest of this entry »
14.06.2012 § 1 Comment
Would you dry clean your sofa?
For our polyurethane product, we typically recommend that clients clean it with soap and water. In a tough stain situation, the “solvent resistant finish” on our polyurethane means that rubbing alcohol or a solution of 1:5 diluted household bleach to water is also safe to use. All of these cleaning agents have been tested at Brentano and in our mill’s lab along with Windex, Murphy’s oil soap, and Formula 409.
That’s not an exhaustive list because clients often have specific cleaners they want to use. Recently I was asked about using dry cleaning chemicals, namely Perc and hydrocarbon solvents. According to our mill, there are many kinds of hydrocarbon solvent products. The exact chemical formulas are usually trade secrets, so it is difficult to find out exactly what is in a particular solvent, and the only way to find out what kind of effect it will have is to test it. « Read the rest of this entry »
26.03.2012 § Leave a comment
(No. 3 of 3) It is very common for people to request copies of our test results, especially fire test results, for their records. I imagine they are usually just looking for the note at the bottom that says that the fabric “complies” or “meets the requirements.” When a fabric doesn’t pass the test, that’s when we start looking at the other numbers. So what do all of those numbers mean, anyway? « Read the rest of this entry »