Sunday, May 24, 2009

Production Progress: Final Speak

The third and final day at the factory was spent finishing.

Finishing is whereby the garment goes through a few steps before it is ready to be presented for review. The first step in finishing usually involves sending the garment through a wash. There are three reasons for this. First is to clean the garment. When the garment has gone through the sewing lines, it usually picks up a lot of residue/dust/etc. The pre-washed fabric also has contaminants and starch in it.

2nd is hand feel. There is a choice of various hand feels that can be achieved from washing the garment. One can choose between a regular garment wash, garment wash with softener, enzyme wash, silicone wash, etc. Even an ice wash. However, some fabrics that aren't as tightly weaved will not be able to handle the more harsh washes. We usually go with a regular 5 minute garment wash with softener for our shirting so as to achieve hand-feel and shrinkage.

Shrinkage is the third reason. Most consumers want the garments pre-shrunk so as to avoid major shrinkage when washing at home. This is also so that the garment fits the same way at home as how it fit in store.

Interesting point to note with shrinkage. This is why when drafting up a pattern, you need to take note of shrinkage and add extra so that when it does shrink after wash, it will end up at your desired size spec. For example, if the length of a cotton shirt is supposed to be 29.5 inches after washing, you need to add about 3% to the length on the pattern before washing so as to achieve that desired length. Start out with 30.385 inches to achieve 29.5 inches.

Next step after wash, we tack on buttons. The reason the buttons are put on after is because the industrial washing machines may undo the buttons during the wash.

The garment then goes through a phase of quality control whereby loose thread is removed and everything is given the once over. Picture the intense door woman outside your favorite nightclub. That's the sort of once over the garment receives.

Then it goes to pressing. There are usually three types of press. A very light press where puckering (thread pulls on a seam that cause waves) of the garment is fully retained and garment is nicely wrinkled. A semi-press where the puckering is slightly reduced and garment is not as wrinkled. Picture a shirt that's been dry cleaned but worn once after. The third is a complete press where the garment looks like it's come out of a Thomas Pink catalogue.

Sifr usually goes with the semi-press or complete press depending on the fabric. If it is a check/madras/plaid garment, you will most likely see a semi-press to retain the look consistent with that type of shirt. If it is a broadcloth shirt, you will see it completely pressed as they usually wrinkle more.

Now for a breather. Sorry for the info overload.

Packed and ready to go, the samples were brought back to Singapore for a light review session. This is where we run through all changes with the design team. We discuss changes as well as do a fit and measurement test. The reason for this is that measurements tend to differ depending on fabric choice after the garment has been washed. We have to make sure it fits according to our desired size spec.

Apologies for the lack of photographs this time around. We'll be sure to get more photographs next time. The focus was on getting the samples done.


Anonymous said...

when would SIFR be out in the shop? I'm feeling this brand that you guys are creating.

Anonymous said...

im dropping a comment every production progress post till SIFR loving the whole concept ,transparency and education. its great to see a brand develope

cjf said...

Hey guys thanks for your support! You have no idea how much your comments mean to us over here. Everytime someone mentions that they read the blog or the comments you guys drop, adds even more encouragement to what we're doing.

We have some shirts in store, but this is the first time I've mentioned. We'll do a full drop once we finish our marketing collateral and complete the catalog. First impression count. We can expect things to wrap up by June/July.

We're also working on a capsule collection for this coming Sept/Oct.

Shane Lim said...

Dropped by the store today and left with a blue floral Sifr shirt. Wallet-friendly without compromising quality, you guys have my vote.

And for the benefit of all those like me, "Sifr" is pronounced "sphere", is it?

cjf said...

Hey Shane! Thanks for your kind words.

Sifr is pronounced, "sif" "er", haha we do get that a lot however, cypher, sphere.

Once again thank you for your support :)

We got some more goods coming in mid June.

Anonymous said...

need a story behind the name....

Kennedy said...

really feeling the light pink/sky blue cut and sew piece on this post, though its just small snippets of how it looks like.

galuh said...

full of knowledge. love it.