Welcome to 2023! As promised in my last newsletter, I will cover fabrics and reveal why I chose a twill blend for the Urban Filly clothing line. But first, let’s explore some fiber terms and concepts. 

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines a natural fiber as any hair like raw material directly obtainable from an animal, vegetable, or mineral source that can be converted into nonwoven fabrics such as felt or, after spinning into yarns, into woven cloth.  Examples of these include linen, cotton, wool, and silk. Natural fibers are breathable and highly permeable, meaning that excess heat is passed through the fabric instead of being trapped against the body.   Natural fabrics allow perspiration to evaporate, helping to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable; however, most are prone to wrinkling. 

The fabric that I selected is comprised of three fibers:  Rayon, Polyester, and Spandex. 

Rayon is a versatile fiber that is made from tree and plant pulp with properties similar to natural fibers.  It is breathable and allows perspiration to evaporate, helping to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable.  Not only is Rayon highly absorbent, but it also imparts a soft look and feel.  However, it, to, is subject to wrinkling, as well as a degree of shrinkage. 

Polyester is a synthetic, man-made fiber.  It is inexpensive to produce, but on its own, polyester does not breathe.  When blended with a natural fiber, polyester becomes more comfortable, durable and absorbent, minimizing both shrinkage and wrinkling. If also combined with spandex, a fiber that is known for its stretch ability, it enhances comfort, improves fit as well as the strength of the fabric.

Now fiber content alone was not the only consideration.  The weave of a woven fabric is equally important. There are three types of weaves worth mentioning—plain, satin, and twill.   

In plain weaves, the threads all run in a simple perpendicular pattern to each other. The cross threads run over and under the vertical threads in a consistent basket weave type pattern. This weave is typically found in men’s dress shirts. 

In Satin weaves, four or more cross threads float over and under a single vertical thread, which increases the softness and the sheen of the fabric.  Examples of satin weaves include brocades and satin fabrics. 

In twill fabrics, the cross threads are woven over one or more vertical threads and then back again under one or more cross threads, creating a visible diagonal pattern. The twill weave was an obvious choice for the Urban Filly line for several reasons:   

1. Durability 

2. Wear ability 

3. Ability to hide dirt and stains (a unique characteristic of twills) 

4. Wrinkle resistance -the weight and thickness of the material reduces wrinkles and creases 

5. Drape ability--twill drapes very well, a key requirement for several of my designs 

Bottom line, the twill blend fabric I selected for Urban Filly Apparel is not only comfortable, durable, washable, and virtually care-free.  Selecting the right fabric is a critical element associated with “investment dressing” and a key factor behind the Urban Filly Apparel line. 

Investment dressing refers to the concept of strategically selecting high-quality apparel items that complement those that you already have in your wardrobe.  In short, it is about purchasing less clothing, and instead, selecting higher quality items that can be worn for years—generally well tailored, made with better fabrics, and classic in style. In this way, consumers can leverage a few quality items that can be easily mixed and matched to create new looks that move effortlessly from season-to-season--without looking dated.

I hope you found this information to be helpful.  In my next newsletter, I will discuss pairing options for my Urban Filly clothing line. Wishing you all and those you hold most dear a truly blessed and prosperous New Year, Connie 

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