Same Dish, Different Flavor

I thought about writing an analogy of how, like chefs making certain dishes distinctly theirs with secret recipes, fabric mills make certain fabrics distinctly theirs with proprietary fabric specs and machinery. But then, as I just told David, there’s no need to dumb down a blog post that no one is reading. 

I am aware of my niche choice of career and the fact that most people are not as excited and fascinated by nuances in fabric yarns, weaves, textures and drape as much as I am.

Anyway, different mills make the same fabric in distinct ways. I am constantly sourcing cady (kuh-DEE), for example. But within the world of cady, there are many choices. Mill A might offer a cady that is classic and structured, and can be molded to whatever shape the designer has in mind, without losing that sick and elegant drape that only cady has.

Mill B’s cady might have similar characteristics, but by using different raw materials, fiber blends, yarn and weaving specs and “secret sauce” fabric finishing processes, it might have a slightly softer handfeel and a touch more drape. 

Mill C’s cady might have some or all of the above characteristics, but by changing the type or brand of one of its raw materials, it offers a “sustainable” option. 

And Mill D might have the FU version, which I happened to see yesterday at a textile archive in Como, Italy. It was 100% silk, high-twisted textured weft yarns tightly woven across a double warp into a compact cady structure, intensely saturated in a stunning color, finished with a luxurious handfeel and drape that I imagined not many brands could afford, or would even need.

Every fabric has its low, medium and high versions, and within each tier there are endless options. Just like pizza.