“THE PERFECT HAND” Innovation & Design
What makes a good fabric? Designers and experts attempted to answer this delicate question at a unique conference at the latest Première Vision trade fair.
The importance of touch
An often under-estimated determining factor, a fabric’s hand actually proves to be of considerable importance. For, while its aesthetic, its visual appearance, must correspond to the expectation that precedes it, the fabric tells a story in its own right through its hand.
Expected or surprising, soft or shiny, it can reassure or create a surprise, giving the garment flexibility and quality. Expressing the DNA of the house that produced it, it must live up to high standards, rejecting by definition the excessive use of chemicals and by extension nylons and imperfect materials with low-end aspects. Unless this is a deliberate stylistic choice, as is the case with Loewe and Prada.
Ecology and creativity
Another issue at stake for textiles? The ecology, which – in the space of a few seasons – has become selection criterion number 1, in the same respect as the hand, colour or aesthetic effect. This poses a real technical and mechanical challenge for fabric producers, who must unearth superior-quality raw materials, all the more so in the light of fabrics such as jacquard, which meet highly complex manufacturing constraints. The solution? Subtly combining new technologies and tradition, while not losing sight of the creative aspect along with consumer needs and wishes.
A multifaceted problem
Because, at the end of the day, the search for the perfect fabric is at the intersection of all the key points in manufacturing. Integrating the issue of colour, meeting the criteria of labels and other certifications, surrounding yourself with experts who have mastered genuine textile know-how, coordinating teamwork and a real partnership are all imperatives to which any manufacturer must be able to offer a talented response.