The Material World: New Textiles and Treatments

Tommy Bahama multi-textured outfit

Tommy Bahama multi-textured outfit

An observation while unloading new merchandise onto the shelves this spring is: The material world has expanded in recent years. It seems that every garment was made of intriguing surfaces and carefully produced textiles, the fabric and dyes woven with interest and technique. Making new clothes look vintage or worn is not a new idea, but production processes continually advance, resulting in new merchandise each season.

Each brand The Foursome buys brings their own aesthetic and flavor into our store. They are the highest quality we can find. Quality truly matters. It lasts significantly longer than cheap look-a likes, it is noticeable even from a distance, and most importantly is felt by the wearer. Apparel made with fine material and constructed in smaller batches has the ability to offer a unique look. Specialty hardware, fasteners, and buttons add details that affect the overall look of any pant or shirt. The process in which clothing is designed and constructed is complex and involved.

One of the most innovative brands in creating a wide variety of textiles within their line is Tommy Bahama. They never tire of inventing new wearable surfaces. Some of their garments arrive already absorbed by the sun. Others have raw edges like their popular Fray Day polo shirt. Variation within the dye of a single sweater offers a casual yet sophisticated look. Different blends and weights of fabrics feel different against the skin and drape differently on the body.

It is inspiring to see new merchandise this spring that has evolved from only a year ago.  Beautiful new color combinations and color palettes to work into your wardrobe. Rustic and interesting textiles designed with style. So take notice. The materials these days are anything but uniform.

Below is a beginners list of textile terms. See if you can name a few next time you are in shopping.

Tommy Bahama sweater with garment over-dye

Tommy Bahama sweater with garment over-dye

Garment Dye
A special dye used to add color to finished garment. Rather than dying raw fabric before cutting and sewing, dying is done to individual pieces after construction. This can be done uniformly but it is also how they achieve subtle washed out dye along the seams and naturally throughout the garment.

Tommy Bahama yarn dyed knit shirt

Tommy Bahama yarn dyed knit shirt

Yarn Dyed
Yarn dyed clothing is made by first dying the yarn before weaving and construction. This is where you will notice beautiful subtle variation throughout the entire knit garment. The appearance can vary greatly between how fine the yarn gauge is to what type of yarn and dyes are used.

Tommy Bahama polo shirt with contrast stitching

Tommy Bahama polo shirt with contrast stitching

Contrast Stitching
When the stitching along the seams is a different color than the main fabric color. The details in types of stitching and where this contrast stitching is incorporated can completely change the look of the apparel item.

Tommy Bahama slub texture linen sportcoat

Tommy Bahama slub texture linen sportcoat

Slub Texture
Slubbed or nubby yarn adds intentional texture to fabrics and visual appeal. Machines are set to modify how much slub is present in the weave of a material so designers can implement their desired effect.

Tommy Bahama sueded cotton shirt

Tommy Bahama sueded cotton shirt

Sueded Cotton
Brushed, sanded, or chemically treated for extra softness. A sueded cotton t-shirt feels completely different than your basic cotton t-shirt. It has a different weight to it and drapes a little closer to the body.

Tommy Bahama woven double cloth shirt

Tommy Bahama woven double cloth shirt

Double Cloth
This interesting fabric is most often composed of two distinct fabrics lightly connected by a third binding weft. Basically, the exterior and interior fabric of a shirt will look completely different but are one fabric.

– By Beth Dougherty, Inspiration and Display Coordinator at The Foursome

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