Jeans, corduroy, ironing & bras

Liana sends a link to a video on how jeans are made. Great shots of folders and jigs in operation. All told, construction takes less than 13 minutes.

On Saturday (11-11-06), Nadine posted a link in comments to Corduroy Appreciation Day.

Miles Rohan always wanted to start a club. Also, he really liked corduroy. So he started a Corduroy Appreciation Club, with cocktails, speakers and secret rituals, to meet every year on 11/11 — the date most resembling corduroy…Our most prominent and public club symbol is a left-facing whale, which is a pun on wale. Wales are the raised ridges which make corduroy, corduroy. Whales also poses longevity, sociability and intelligence-all attributes the CAC wishes to aspire to. We have a complex system of numerology based on the number 11 because it’s the first natural number to resemble corduroy and is therefore extremely important to us. The Hendecagon, an 11-sided polygon figures prominently.

I thought this was funny so she sent me another link to Extreme Ironing which is described as “the home of extreme ironing – the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt.” A site sponsor is Rowenta, heh. For visitors who complain about my off topic posts, this one is on topic because the site lists sources for irons and ironing boards including one that’s shaped like a cactus. Now if they’d add pressing tutorials, I’d probably add them to my sidebar. Extreme Ironing even puts out a yearly calender. This page shows one intrepid presser at the South Pole complete with penguins cavorting in the background. One of these calenders could be a great holiday gift for the presser in your life.

Speaking of strange things, after cruising Leonie’s blog (you can’t read any of the stories on Just Style unless you’re a paying member to the tune of $300 a year and it’s just not worth it to me if I can google the leads, know what I mean?), I circuitously found some blogs featuring the products of Triumph International, a Japanese company you may better remember as the inventors of heated bras. Visit Tokyo Times, a blog devoted to Japanese underwear news (including a panty thief extraordinaire) or Japundit for the latest and greatest in themed sports lingerie among other things. Actually, the entry on Japundit is dated 2005 but still topical. I’d post photos but they may not be safe for work -unless you’re in the lingerie business (Dave, you are not in the lingerie business). Not to be missed is the bra celebrating the 70th year of the Hanshin Tigers Baseball Team. Another blog describes Triumph’s most recent design; an eco-friendly bra that doubles as shopping bag.

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  1. La BellaDonna says:

    Thank you, Jan, you took the words right out of my mouth. (The ruder ones I was going to start with are still there, though. The hell? Who is it who thinks s/he has the right to tell you what belongs on your blog?

    Hmmm. The bra idea is cute, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a lot of work to render alternatives for bags that, uh, stay full, at least as far as I’m concerned.

    You know, I could see the occasional alliance between the Corduroy Appreciation Club and the Extreme Ironing folks being beneficial to each. (Now distracted by pondering what kind of iron(s) I should get, really, and where I can get a nice floral corduroy, one of my personal weaknesses…)

  2. Kathleen says:

    Now distracted by pondering what kind of iron(s) I should get

    I’m happy with my iron. It’s a basic Sussman (PM SUPER-4) gravity feed. 120 volts, 100 watts. They like to be on all day, designed for a commercial environment. Once you have one of these, you’ll never be happy with home irons. I don’t iron at home at all. We have a crappy something or other. I think it’s a Rowenta (don’t anybody throw anything at me) but low end and several years old. I just don’t like the profile on them, they’re so HUGE. I got my Sussman from SouthStar (of course).

    Caveat: when you buy your iron, get the teflon shoe at the same time. Repeat: get whatever teflon shoe that matches it. These are lovely lovely lovely! It makes pressing leather and interfacings a snap. No sticking to the plate.

  3. Diane says:

    I’m not impressed with the Rowenta irons either. I had one that leaked and spit(before I knocked it over). There was a time in my life when I was dropping irons on the floor and decided it was more cost effective to buy a cheap $20 iron (or 5 bucks at the thrift store) and replace it a few times then trash an $80 Rowenta iron. I also have some old flatirons that get hotter than hell! My cheap Norelco keeps on pressing but someday I’ll get that superfine Sussman like yours. A girl’s gotta have tools.

  4. J C Sprowls says:

    I agree with Kathleen. I have an economy gravity feed iron (I believe it’s a Silver Star) that I had for several years before I moved to CO. I did lose it during the move and had to replace it. I’ve burned through so many household irons (including two Rowentas) that I found it much more economical to simply buy an industrial model.

    What I don’t like about household irons is that auto-shutoff “feature”. It prevents the iron from keeping a consistent temperature, which is what you really need – heat, and heft! Most household irons max out around 2.5 lbs (if that!).

    Industrials come in 4- and 6-lb models. I find the 4-lb to be versatile enough for the types of tasks I need to do (10 shirts in 40 mins!). But, I may consider upgrading to a higher quality 6-lb in the distant future.

    As for the teflon shoe… ditto! The industrial shoe is far better than the household shoe; and, it prevents adding shine to the garments.

  5. anne says:

    An old term for an underwear thief in Australia is a snowdropper.

    Considering it’s actually snowing in the hills around Melbourne Australia where I live (it’s late Spring! It should be warm!), it’s no wonder that came to mind :-)

  6. Mia A. says:

    I agree with Diane about the Rowentas. I purchased one years ago (spent $80 on sale) and I had the same “leak and spit” problem. Since then I’ve bought the cheapest irons I could find at Walmart (avg. $6.99). I’ll be investing in a gravity feed iron very soon. Household irons just cannot compare to industrial ones.

  7. Laura says:

    Thank you for writing about irons! Besides the teflon shoe, what do you look for when purchasing one? What’s the difference between your result with a steam generator and a gravity-feed iron? Why can you buy a gravity-fed industrial unit for $100 and another for $400? Is it best to get a heavier model? How about wattage? The industrial irons I’m looking at are from 800-1000 watts. My 13 year old Rowenta “Professional” is 1250 watts and quite heavy. Kathleen, why do you like the smaller profile? I was thinking “greater surface area” = good, and that the industrials looked small to my (limited) experience

  8. jinjer says:

    JC–Rowenta does have a “professional” model with no auto shut-off feature; we use it at work (a high-end custom interior dec workroom.) They still suck: leaking and spitting is still a problem.

    It’s definitely worth the extra money for a gravity feed, I’ve never ever had spitting problems with those, even when I lose track of how much water I’ve put in and ccidentally let it run dry–annoying but not fatal (so far)

    On the Jeans video–that is sooooo cool! My one beef with teh video is that they present the sewing all out of order (sewin on teh button before sewing the zipper on the fly, for one of many examples). I’d LOVE to visit a sewing factory and see things get made in real time!)

  9. J C Sprowls says:

    Beyond the iron discussion (which, I am quite fond of)…

    Has anyone stopped by Liana’s site? She’s quite a prolific seamstress. What other pies does she have her thumb in?

  10. Lisa NYC says:

    I’ve been through dozens of home irons…and am about to upgrade to an industrial one. I did find this Conair Digital CRAFT iron ($59) that has a four-way auto on/off/craft feature which keeps the iron on bypassing “AUTO OFF.” It’s a neat feature …1500 watts and decent. But certainly no match for an industrial iron.

    Any suggestions on a “starter” industrial iron? And what electrical current is needed?

    With friendship,

  11. Kathleen says:

    Lisa and all: Laura brought up some great questions about irons so I started working on a post about it. Not that I know much about them but I found somebody who does -manufactures them in fact- and I’ll be posting about it today.

  12. J C Sprowls says:

    jinjer said:I’d LOVE to visit a sewing factory and see things get made in real time!)

    I’m working on that, Jinjer… I am in process of scouring the Denver area for cut & sew shops. So far, I’ve been graciously accepted on the phone; but, I haven’t asked to walk the floor, yet.

    Perhaps I’ll have something in place if you plan to come to Denver, again?

    As an aside: I almost closed a deal to work w/ a dry cleaning plant. I spoke to the owner about spending 2 weeks with them so I can learn how to operate the equipment. My goal is to understand what the equipment needs/will do to a garment and how a better designed garment affects the laundry process.

    Everybody point and say: “geek!”

  13. Judith says:

    Well I have 2 or 3 irons here at my house. The one Im using is all right I guess. I also have a Jiffy professional steamer that I paid $129 for it. This steamer has been sitting in my moms basement for 18 yrs now. I wonder if still works. I bought it & it was such a hassle to set it up and empty it. This is the type of steamer that is used in a clothing store.
    I do have a great little Rowena travel steamer this gets out the wrinkles really good when you are traveling.

  14. LisaB says:

    Loved the jeans video. I’m with Jinjer…sure wish I could visit a factory and see it all happen at my own pace.

    Could someone tell me what the attachment is called that was used for the waistband? I think it was a cone-shaped tube, if I remember correctly. I didn’t catch what was really happening but found that segment especially intriguing.

  15. I need help: I am new to garment industry. I need to buy a garment steamer. I have bought 2 so far but I am not pleased with them. They hardly produce any steam- one is conair 1300 and other is sharp. I need to it for Handloom Cotton Clothing. May be Handloom cotton has more stubborn wrinkles. Any ideas what to buy-

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