written by Charlotte Turner
We are really pleased to announce the release of Fabric for Fashion: The Complete Guide: Natural and man-made fibres. The book was written by The Sustainable Angle’s curator Amanda Johnston and Clive Hallett, who wrote the first edition together. If you haven’t already seen it, the accompanying volume Fabric for Fashion: The Swatch Book is very much worth a look too, containing over 100 swatches of widely used fabrics.
The book is an essential and easily navigable reference on a seemingly unending range of fabrics, providing in-depth details of their properties, technologies, terminologies and processes. Amanda and Clive have ensured the book “examines not only the visual and tactile characteristics of various fabrics, but also encourages a deeper understanding of their potential impacts by considering the provenance of fibres, and their processing routes.” This is something that we are always aiming to do at the Future Fabrics Expo as well, as by physically experiencing a fabric whilst being provided with the relevant in-depth information about provenance and processing, we are able to more accurately judge a fabric’s sustainability credentials, whilst evaluating relevance for the desired end application.
The Sustainable Angle’s involvement did not stop there. Charlotte Turner from The Sustainable Angle was invited to contribute to the book, researching and creating an easy to use certifications reference guide to help designers understand the scope and remit of the industry’s increasingly used certification systems.
Whilst certifications are not the only way to determine the social and environmental credentials of a fabric, they can often help understand the benchmarks to which diverse materials have been produced and processed. As certifications can relate to anything from use of chemicals and fertilizers during fibre cultivation, to fair working conditions, treatment of waste-water effluent, or design for reutilization, it can be a confusing area to navigate. Take at look at the guide to find out more about some of the most commonly used social and environmental certifications (p.240-243). At The Sustainable Angle, in addition to evaluating fabrics using globally recognized certifications, we also assess fabrics against a set of environmental criteria developed with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, which can be seen here.
Amanda says the book was conceived “with the intention of providing designers with a complete guide to natural and man-made fibres. The integration of crucial practical fabric knowledge, tactile appraisal, and examples of varied creative fabric interpretations is intended as an accessible guide for students and design practitioners alike.”
Added to this, “the fibre and fabric journeys of both the natural and man-made fibre types are explored by mapping the historic, social and geographic significance of the fabrics that make up the very substance of our contemporary fashion products.” All in all, the ingredients for an invaluable textiles resource.
For those wanting something creative, the book includes hundreds of beautiful fashion and textile images, several photographed by the talented Myka Baum, whose photography of the Future Fabrics Expo you can see here and here.
You can find out more and order the book on the Laurence King website.
About the author:
As well as curating for The Sustainable Angle, Amanda has spent several years working with the London College of Fashion as an associate lecturer, and as a freelance design consultant. Clive and Amanda have worked together as consultants within the fashion industry since 1982 having collaborated on numerous projects both in the UK and abroad.