Speaking of bras…

I found a website called Knickers. Most of the lingerie (and fashion) sites out there consist of photos taken elsewhere from the web, with the copy ranting about how cute it is. Snore. This site is a little different. While she does highlight cute stuff (and it is), she’s also interviewing bra designers and would like to get into blogging about the technical aspects of bra manufacturing (for laymen). Toward that end, I think she and Beverly might work well together.

And speaking of manufacturing bras, Dave continues to insist that this lingerie newsletter is great! Having seen it myself and knowing Dave as I do, I think that what he really likes about it is that it’s “work safe” -being apparel industry related and all. Just business of course. Did I mention Dave makes coats? Not ladies lingerie? I wonder how many old farts get it; no wonder their readership is so high. :)

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12 comments

  1. Kathleen says:

    I know of a couple others but their focus is really big business. I’m not trying to keep anything a secret but most DEs just aren’t interested in the news affecting huge manufacturers. Then, the other thing is that most -and I do mean nearly all- of the information in their newsletters is accessible for a fee only. And, they aren’t cheap. One I’ve mentioned before, that’s Just Style. They’re having a special 30% off rate so the cost is $160.
    Then there’s Emerging Textiles which runs $290 -and that’s with two months free!

    The cost of existing sources in the marketplace -and for limited utility at that- has made me consider charging for this site more than once. If people realized and understood the value of what I’m providing, maybe they’d be more inclined to donate in support of this site. [Jinjer is a generous financial supporter of Fashion-Incubator]

  2. Beverly says:

    What an unexpected Easter treat to see my site listed on yours! Thank you so much.

    There’s one link we hadn’t put in yet…..a link that I consider essential. That’s the BOOKS TO BUY link where I’d like to have a link to your book (not through Amazon, but to you directly) and of course a link to my book as well. The timing was right too, I asked DH if it was up enough to have visitors, and he said ‘technically” it was up but still not with the fonts etc. That’s ok, as long as the info is there and the links work.

    I consider your book *essential* reading for the newbies, and I’ve already had a couple of them buy it. Sometimes they fly up here to see me, and before they book those tickets, I tell them to get your book and start reading it on the flight. I may go one step further and highlight the parts on patents and paranoia…..

    The suggestion about taking photos of the shop and work in progress, may take a while. Our shop is undergoing a metamorphosis at the time, we are looking for bigger space. Our cutter just recently moved and invested in a vacuum table, which is essential for cutting bras, really any type of spandex really really needs the vacuum table (in my opinion). A very good investment, from our standpoint.

    This is a little off-topic, please forgive me. I’m sure you’ve all seen the automatic cutters in action. The Eastman plant is
    in Buffalo (1.5 hours from me at most). They offered to take me through their showroom and actually demo the automatic cutter for me, using my fabric and my pattern file. They also very kindly sent me a CD showing both the conveyor table and the suction table, as well as the automated cutting system. The only drawback to the automatic cutter is it is designed for single ply lay-ups, rather than multi-ply.However it will work un-manned.

    So, now that I’ve told you about the cutter, there is an Eastman M9000 auto cutter with its companion 24’ vacuum table going to auction this Thursday in Truro, Nova Scotia, and I think someone could get
    it for a very good price. They sell new for 80,000 and I do not think very many people would be looking to buy one. Canada’s clothing manufacturing sector has dropped to practically nothing, and to make
    prospective buyers go all the way east to Truro(2 hours from the nearest airport in Halifax) is limiting the number of buyers. So, if any of your readers are interested, here’s the site. http://www.auction-nb.ca./ Click on What’s New and all the stuff is there. Sewing machines, die press, hot stamping etc. and the table. My sister sent me the link (she lives a couple of hours away) and I am going down there to see her and mom for a few days, and we thought the auction might be interesting to watch. Eastman tells me they will charge $25,000 to de-install, re-install, update and calibrate the
    machine. I have no idea if someone could do that themselves.

  3. Beverly says:

    A second comment….since you mention about the Donations thing. This may be mentioned elsewhere and I have not located it yet, but how much of a donation is expected/anticipated/hoped for? I would not want to donate an amount that would *offend* you, yet no suggested amounts are mentioned. You have so much knowledge that you are willing to share, even to those that read it use it and never think of paying. So, please, Kathleen… give us an idea of what amounts wouldn’t offend you. You might have different categories like they do at the art gallery…. $x= friend; $y= benefactor; $z-patron or something like that.
    Keep in mind, of course, that we are all struggling…just struggling to get by!

  4. Big Irv says:

    “Canada’s clothing manufacturing sector has dropped to practically nothing, and to make
    prospective buyers go all the way east to Truro(2 hours from the nearest
    airport in Halifax) is limiting the number of buyers”.

    Contrary to the above quotation, Canada’s clothing and sewn products sector is very much alive and kicking. True, we have seen some major changes in the past 10 years and some facilities have either closed or been forced to cut back. As outlined in Kathleen’spost(s) Manufacturing in Canada she outlined some of the very positive reasons DE’s should look at Canadian sourcing. As is the situation in the US, we simply cannot compete against low cost nations and this entails many categories of apparel, including bra’s and lingerie. What we have been doing in Canada is to concentrate on partnering with companies that look beyond cost alone. Our manufacturing infrastructure is ideally set up for small to mid size US concerns. Many factories including ours are working diligently to expose these capabilities to American DE’s, and each day another succssful sourcing story emerges.
    Some factories are struggling for existence. It is not for a lack of high needle skills or a supply chain to support it. It is a result of not being able to market our services successfully stateside.
    This will be a function of the Canadian Apparel Federation to carry out to a certain degree. They not only showcase and promote CDN brands worldwide , they represent all facets of the manufacturing sector and our supply chain partners.
    We are very much alive and open for business. Right across the country.

  5. Beverly says:

    Sorry, Big Irv…
    I was referring to the fact that this auction is fairly far east, and the number of buyers willing to travel and dismantle the table probably is limited. This represents a potential opportunity for someone to come in and purchase equipment for WAY under market value.
    I am the first to champion Canada’s manufacturing skills and needle trades talent, and I too, feel the manufacturing pendulum is swinging back our way.

  6. Dave says:

    Re: http://www.mcpetesez.com. You are correct, I do like receiving it, but for the “articles” of course.
    I also appreciate the fact they provide indepth information on trade shows that involve their industry, and give coverage to both small and large players. Dig through the pages and see photos of the many people and brands exhibiting at these shows. Dig deeper, and find the “Ask Andy” feature. Advice on fabric sourcing from a 35 year industry veteran.
    If they only had something specific like this for outerwear, it could only make our industry category stronger.
    Some of the news stories are from the “usual suspects”, but if you missed any of them, they are there to sift through. BTW, I am not as spry as I used to be, but not yet in “old fart” territory.

    Jinjer,
    I really don’t have an answer to your question. Some of the industry newsletters have come and gone, and many of those still active are “pay as you go” or sell exhorbitantly priced market share/trend info reports. As a designer, you would be targeted by those pitching lists of retailers lining up to buy your line. Much of the trend info is discussed here at the Fashion -Incubator on a daily basis. For free.

  7. Marilynn says:

    Tukatech has created an amazing torso form specifically for bra makers. The “skin” on the form feels and squishes in much like a real person — but the “Boobies” are even more amazing. They feel real to touch and can be moved around and squished like the real thing too. I don’t know the cost (probabably astronomical) but could possibly be used as a marketing tool as well as functional. They will also make a custom one. That’s http://www.tukatech.com

  8. Heather says:

    I received an email from Dave letting me know that he mentioned McPete Sez on your site.. What a nice surprise!

    This is a great site… it’s the first time that I have ever been here — and I will definately be back.

    If you know of any shows/events for the lingerie/womenswear… that isn’t already on the shows page linked to McPete Sez let me know.. or anything else that this industry needs.. I’m looking to expand the newsletter and make it more helpful.. all comments are welcome :)

  9. Sue says:

    Kathleen,
    Your site is incredible! Do you take Paypal? It is such an easy way to make a donation.
    Re: bras – Why are they so uncomfortable? I’m a plus size (44D) and cannot find a bra that doesn’t hurt my ribcage after a couple of hours. I prefer an underwire, as it gives a nicer line, but the wires eventually come through at one end or the other after three or four months. I machine wash on delicate in a mesh bag and hang to dry so I don’t think my bras are abused. Any suggestions? Many thanks for all your work here.

  10. Kathleen says:

    In the upper right hand corner under the searchbox is the donations button (paypal) and thanks.

    It’s funny you mention the wires escaping. Now that you mention it, when I was bigger (I was a 42DDD) my bras did that too and I never realized it till you said something. My bras last longer now (a 32 now) and you know, I think that because some bras are bigger, it’s harder to get them to go around a wringer without damaging them. I wonder if you could just nest the cups together and pin them in position to reduce that problem.

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