Look good and feel good: what to search for in clothes’ composition?

25-11-2017

When we buy clothes we need to remember that as important as design is, there are other factors to keep in mind. In this post we offer some quick notes on a few crucial aspects of fabrics. Often overlooked in favor of design, fabrics play a leading role in the look and feel of a garment; furthermore the characteristics of the fabrics used can give us an idea of appropriate pricing.

This being said, while out shopping we recommend choosing fabric wisely based not only on its presentation and feel, but also the label; Reading the label will prevent buyer’s remorse after some wear, as usually the true characteristics of a material can only be seen after use in different conditions.

To avoid any unpleasant surprises, we have put together a short shopper’s guide to choosing articles based on material. We suggest three characteristics to look for during a purchase — of course there are other factors that play a role, but these should be your “make it or break it” short list to start out with!

AMSU | Fabrics

  1. Presentation. Presentation involves two components. The more well known is the visual aspect of the fabric itself; but equally important is how a piece maintains its shape and resists deformation after some wear.

    Fabrics made of natural materials serve us well when it comes to appearance. Wool fabric can be an amazing choice not only for a sweater or a coat but also for smooth, thin and extremely classy looking summer trousers! Silk is a great luxury material; however, a silk-like aesthetic with superb drape and feel can also be obtained from viscose.

    When we speak about fitted clothing articles made of cotton or wool, just a right amount of elastic fibers can help to ensure a better fit while maintaining the original shape. The presence of some elastic fibers also allows for a little bit of stretch — something that makes clothes much more comfortable and unrestrictive in range of movement.

  2. Touch. Whether we wear something all day long or just for a short time we still seek a pleasant feel on the skin — pleasant skin contact. The softness and smoothness of the fabrics used in a garment is important, but a lesser known concept, static dissipation, is also paramount. Although synthetic fibers often can attract us with a smooth texture, when it comes to softness, drape and anti-static functions, synthetic fibers are poor performers.

    Although some shoppers may have been traumatized by childhood nightmares of itchy, warm wool hats or sweaters, this is not the case when we look at refined materials. Wool used for suits usually gives a fresh, soft, touch; as does cotton, and even softer viscose.

  3. Comfort. In terms of comfort, there are three important and interrelated points worth mentioning. First, air circulation is key. Breathability is perfectly maintained by cotton, linen or wool. Second, thermoregulation ensures comfort in diverse weather conditions. The aforementioned fabrics, and also silk, have great insulation properties. These are all-season fabrics, warming the wearer during cold weather and keeping the wearer cool in hot weather. Moisture control is especially important when we wear clothes throughout the day or find ourselves in intense situations or stressful environments: a crucial aspect of our chosen fabric in these situations is its ability to wick away moisture from the body. One of the most absorbent of cellulose fibers (more so than cotton) is viscose. It absorbs perspiration and allows it to evaporate away from the skin. Of course cotton, cupro and wool do not lag far behind in this respect.

 

AMSU | Label

In short, when we speak about the composition of clothes, the chosen fabrics should satisfy three main criteria: a good look, a pleasant feel and a great wearing experience. It is not as easy as commonly thought to judge a material just by looking at it, but the label can help predict how it is going to serve us. The easiest and surest way to check all three boxes is by picking attire made of either natural fabrics or fabrics made of natural raw materials.