Sunday, 7 April 2013

Fabric shopping at Cloth House


Last week I went to London to visit some of my favourite fabric shops, it sounds sad but its pretty exciting walking in not knowing what you are going to find and slowly bringing a collection to life. My favourite street to shop for fabric is Berwick street and my favourite shop is Cloth House, well shops because they have two  outlets on the street.

Cloth House, 47 Berwick Street

The first shop you come to when you turn off Oxford Street houses their linen, cotton, suiting and denim. they have an amazing collection of hand printed and woven cottons and a basement filled with every colour of velvet and corduroy you can imagine. The second shop is further down the road towards Soho and is  where you need to go if you are looking for something luxurious or unusual. As well as stocking a wide range of stretch jerseys and wools they have some slightly more outlandish fabrics including neoprene, rubber, PVC and numerous types of silk.

This shopping trip was different from normal in a couple of ways; as this project is concerned with reducing the environmental impact of clothing I had to think about the sustainability of all the fabrics I chose, and also I had by dad in tow. Rather than being a hindrance as I imagined Papa Harding actually proved pretty useful as he falls into the target customer of the brand I am designing for, it was useful to have a potential customer to bounce ideas off and he actually suggested some fabrics I hadn't considered such as combining the green and orange wool fabrics seen below.

Fabric samples from Cloth House 

In terms of sustainability I found a couple of interesting fabrics, one of which is the denim fabric which is actually made from hemp. Hemp comes from the cannabis plant and has had a reputation in the past for being a scratchy, stiff fabric worn by hippies, I was surmised to find that this fabric was almost indistinguishable from normal cotton denim so I decided to include it in my collection as it has a much lower environmental impact as it needs less water and chemicals than cotton.

The best thing I found in Cloth House was a reflective tape which I can incorporate into my collection, making tailored jackets suitable for the environmentally conscious man to wear on his bicycle. I can't wait to get started designing!

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