I’m always fascinated by how we select fabrics for our upholstered products, and lucky for me we were just beginning to source new fabric ideas for an update to our Bantam Sofa. Here’s what I learned from Michelle Sheppard, on staff of our Product Development team.
“First we get the request from merchandising to source a new fabric for the Bantam Sofa. The Bantam Sofa has a mid-century appearance, and I took that lead when considering the fabric choice. The fabric I found which best suited the Bantam design did not have an extensive color palette but I really felt the weave structure was the right fit for the Bantam design so I went to the mill with a custom yarn color request to have them weave us our own exclusive fabric colors.”
“In the weaving process there is a warp and weft. The warp is the set of lengthwise yarns attached to the loom and the weft is the yarn which is woven back and forth, across the warp, to create the woven fabric. The color options I chose were for the weft yarns. The mill weaves a sample ‘blanket’ (photo above) with all the custom yarn color choices. When the blanket is finished, each individual square is an option for the final fabric. Next, I make a recommendation of several choices and review them with the upholstery buyer. We finalize the fabric colors and have the mill weave us sample yardage, which we can use to upholster a prototype of the Bantam Sofa. Once the sofa prototype is approved with the new fabric, it’s put into production.”
Not exactly easy, is it? I love learning new things at work.