Technical Clothing Design And Manufacture.
(056). We provide a comprehensive service for the design, development, and manufacture of technical clothing in the UK.
What Is Technical Clothing ?
All clothing has to perform multiple functions and provide basic protection from the elements. Technical clothing, or functional clothing are generic terms for clothing that is engineered to special requirements asked for by the client so that their garment can function practically.
The following video is about the design and sample development processes for climbing outdoor gear, by the Arcteryx brand.
Technical clothing may include:- outdoor gear; protective clothing; medical clothing; sports clothing; special needs clothing; and shapewear.
A Technical garment is made primarily to be functional rather than aesthetic. But even functional clothing needs to be designed with aesthetics in mind. In fact, the restriction of functional design can add greatly to the aesthetics of a garment.
Other terms that cover functional clothing are : athletic wear; corporate wear; tech wear; activewear; performance wear; workwear; technical workwear; sportswear.
There has been immense increased interest for technical clothing for all manner of purposes. In the past the vast majority of technical clothing was designed for and worn by men. But today as more women take up mens jobs as well as sporting and specialist activities, the demand for ladies` technical clothing has increased exponentially.
With the explosion of interest for technical clothing has come an equal explosion of technical fabrics. Todays textiles are a massive improvement on those of the recent past. They are far lighter, breathable and wind resistant. Goretex is a lightweight, waterproof, breathable fabric that has become very popular in the design development of a wide variety of garment types. It is extremely versatile
Developing New Technical Designs.
Technical clothing tends to have a far longer lifespan than general fashion garments. The development costs will also be far higher. It is important to take steps to minimise costs and to eliminate trial and error in the development process. When developing a new design for a technical garment, it is necessary to build on what other people have already done. There is usually no point in starting from scratch.
The Product Development process.
I always suggest searching for similar garments to the ones that you want to design. While this normally means using garments that are designed for the same purpose as your own. But sometimes it means looking at non related garments, or ones made for a related activity. An example may be cycling and horse riding. Whatever garments you choose, it is best to use the best example you can find, made by a respected brand in their field. You can take some elements from one garment, and some from another.
At this stage you need to source your fabrics and trims. You also need to draw up your designs, working sketches and tech packs. We can help you with these processes if you are unsure how to go about it yourself.
Making A Toile.
Once your designs are finalised we would make a pattern to your specifications, from which we would make a prototype ( toile) in a suitable fabric. The first toile would probably be made as simply as possible, with any details or pockets just drawn on. For technical garments, we may have to make several garments before it is considered good enough to proceed to making a full sample in the proper fabric.
The first sample would normally be made in the chosen material, with all the design details included. Again, this may take several attempts before the final sample. Normally
For anyone interested in technical vintage technical clothing there is an excellent book titled “Vintage Mensear” that explores many types of workwear and functional wear over the years. I believe that the book is base on “The vintage showroom” based in London.
In the past, waterproof garments used to be constructed to try to avoid having seams where the water could get in. This meant sometimes having some very basic shapes. Today seams are sealed to provide waterproofing, so seams can be added for optimal shaping.
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