Variety Hour Fabric Guide
At Variety Hour we pride ourselves on pairing the best fabrics with our prints and cuts.
We use a wide range of fabrications to suit all different colours, climates and garments. As our designer Cassie Byrnes studied textiles, the quality, feel and performance of the base cloth is our first priority when designing. Given the style of our prints we digitally print our fabric which uses considerably less water and pollution to our waterways. It has allowed us to develop our unique painterly style that you could not do with screen printing which has a limit of approx 12 colours. Only 5% of fabric worldwide is printed digitally so It's a rapidly evolving technology that we have seen grow since we started in 2016. Most commercial companies use Rotary Printing which is more cost effective but has large minimums and set up cost. Digital printing allows us to order small rolls of fabric with no minimums, which also means no wastage!
How the print behaves on the base cloth is also a big consideration. If the print has large blocks of bold flat colour then we need to print on a fabric that doesn't slub or wrinkle and can hold colour well. If we have a print that is flat with a lot of white space then printing on a linen will add some texture and interest and can elevate the print. Lots to think about! We do our best to bring you the most considered product. Here is a roundup of our favourite and most beloved fabrics that feature in the current Variety Hour collection.
We use Cotton Twill for the majority of our pant cuts. It is a strong and hardy fabric that holds its colour, strength and shape, making it perfect for our pants. As the fabric is heavier than regular cotton, it helps strengthen the seams where we put stress on our pants along with holding the overall structure and shape of the garment. Despite its weight, the Cotton is super breathable making it perfect for all year round wear.
Our Cotton Jersey is a newer edition to the Variety Hour range and a new staple to our collection. It combines the lightness and breathability of regular cotton with comfort and stretch due to it’s small percentage of elastane. We predominantly use our Cotton Jersey for Tees, Swing Dresses and Dunes Dresses. It is also ready to wear and barely creases making it great for travel.
We currently use a lightweight cotton for some of our dresses and summer top cuts, including the Satu Dress and the Poet Dress. Cotton is popular as it is easy care and a natural fibre making it the perfect light, absorbent fabric for all year round wear. Additionally Cotton holds colour well and stays lovely and vibrant post wash. Your cotton garments will stay nice and soft throughout their lifespan and are resistant to any stretch or pilling due to the fabrics structure.
Linen is very popular amongst our customers which is why we have added it to our range last Summer. We worked really hard to source a Linen that is light enough for our customers up north but hardy enough for our customers in Melbourne. The great thing about Linen is it gets better with wear and softer with each and every wash. Linen will relax and give with wear however it will come back to its original shape post wash. The Linen we have sourced is great at holding colour even post wash. Linen garments will naturally slub over time which can be resolved with a comb or electric shaver.
We love printing on linen when we feel the print benefits from the texture it gives and we make sure the print works perfectly with its characteristics. So if you're not a fan of the way linen wrinkles maybe give a printed linen a try! When designed right it gives added depth to the print. The Tomato print is a great example of this perfect pairing!
We use Linen Cotton as an alternative to Cotton Twill for some of our pant cuts. It is a great fabric for pants in summer as it is a bit lighter than the Cotton Twill. We mix these two fibres to give added strength as we find 100% linen can be problematic dealing with the stress of tailored pants. The Linen makes the pants feel great and soft and the Cotton helps keep the seams strong and help with the garments overall structure. With both fabrics being natural fibres it makes garments super breathable and comfortable to wear.
Linen Tencel has been one of our most used fabrics in our range and is very beloved by our customers. Tencel is a biodegradable cellulose fibre that is made out of dissolving and drying out tree pulp. The benefit of mixing Tencel with Linen is you get the texture and feel of linen but with a better drape and less wrinkles. As a result, our Linen Tencel fabric has a lovely feel and is incredibly comfortable on the body.
Viscose is biodegradable fibre chemically produced from wood and plants. It is a fantastic fabric for printing and shows colour the best out of all the fibres. It also has a great shine and drape smiler to silk which makes it fantastic for more formal or work appropriate styles like our Elko Dress and Swing Tops. Viscose has a bad reputation due to poor quality versions of the fabrication being used by fast fashion retailers. It has a history of ‘shrinking’ which is most common in the 'crepe' weaves which we do not use. If cared for properly it is a great fabrication that will last years in your wardrobe.
We have a trusted weave that we use sparingly when we feel its the best option for the print and the design. Our viscose holds colour well and does not shrink when washed. While Tencel is the eco alternative we have found the our viscose prints and behaves better therefore giving you a longer lasting garment which in turn is the most sustainable approach. While Tencel uses greener processes in the construction they are both bio degradable and have similar end life cycles.
Post wash it is great to iron or steam your Viscose garments to expand the fibres and bring the dress back to its natural shape.
Silk is the superior fabric for printed garments and is a long term staple to our range. It is a silky smooth natural fibre that feels super luxe and special to wear. Silk is the strongest natural textile in the market but remains soft to touch on the skin. Being natural, it is absorbent and breathable, making it a great staple for a transeasonal wardrobe. We use 100% Silk Crepe De Chine within our range rather than silk blends as we have found it difficult to find in the market and to provide a more luxury product to our customers.