12.11.2013 § 1 Comment
This year at Brentano, Aaron (Designer) ordered some cotton seeds, and Lan (Studio Assistant) planted them in a pot outside of the training room. The cotton plant grew healthy and bore fruit.
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 »
05.12.2012 § Leave a comment
To be able to enjoy life is a great blessing, but to take on a challenge is more rewarding. It is both the painful process of overcoming the difficulty and the thrill of attaining the goal, the mixture of these two extremes that makes life more inspiring and meaningful. I suppose that is why I do what I do. In developing the Brentano line, I am constantly challenging the status quo and searching for new technology, new color sense and new points of view.
Making colors for natural fibers such as cotton, rayon, wool—the process is a sheer pleasure. They each have a noble characteristic when taking dyes. When finalizing the color selections for a pattern with a natural fiber, we are torn between so many good colors that exquisite colors often get left out.
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 »
03.02.2012 § 1 Comment
The spring 2012 collection developed around a desire to create things that possess a tranquil quality. We are introducing soft textures and subtle patterns, many within our Brentano Green line. There are high performing patterns too like Plein Air and Zinnia (above), but in my mind, the idea of tranquility connects most closely with green mindfulness.
02.12.2011 § Leave a comment
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 »
29.09.2011 § Leave a comment
The movie The Last Samurai staring Tom Cruise in 2003 was an idealistic, epic style portrayal of the samurai movie, though it did not touch me much. A Japanese film critic thought The Last Samurai gave a “storybook” portrayal of the samurai, saying, “Our image of samurai are that they were more corrupt.” To me, the epic was depicted in such a Hollywood style naiveté, such a glamorous way that it felt like a fairytale. I suppose neither the director nor the producer were interested in what really happened to the last samurai; it was just good material for them to use to develop an epic style movie. « Read the rest of this entry »
01.07.2011 § 1 Comment
When to use antimicrobial finishes
I’m drawn to performance fabrics because they solve problems for customers. In hot and humid places, mold and mildew can be a real headache indoors, let alone for outdoor use. For the interior fabric industry, many fabrics are labeled as “mildew resistant.” This might not mean that the fabric has been treated with any chemicals, simply that the fiber itself is inherently bacteria-resistant. « Read the rest of this entry »
17.02.2011 § Leave a comment
Pilling is when small balls of fiber are formed on the surface of the fabric when the fabric is subjected to an abrasive force. For instance, the hip pockets of men’s pants, especially where the wallet is carried, exhibit a high degree of pilling tendencies. The small balls disturb the surface look and neatness of the fabric and the abrasion slowly destroys the fabric in the abraded area.