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Thursday, 20 November 2008

The country where Mahatma Gandhi once created a revolution by wearing a simple locally hand woven cotton garment called the Khadi as a sign of independence is still a leader in terms of textile innovations. From high tech weaving to rediscovering ancient dyeing traditions, India has some interesting new answers for eco fashion design.

The first breakthrough comes from August Designs www.august.synthasite.com, who has taken an in depth approach to garment construction and developed a brand new patented technology called DPOL, which produces ready to stitch, shaped, woven garment components. This considerably reduces fabric loss by approx 15-20% and lead time by approx 50%. The DPOL technology can be used to manufacture high quality fashion garments with mitering at various panels. Another advantage is that it can also support smaller orders: with quantities starting at one single unit, one can get garments according to their own fit, style and need. This could open brand new possibilities for sustainably minded designers: presently designers source normal fabrics and do the surface ornamentation (embroidery/prints etc) whenever required .This method gives them the opportunity to put the design into the fabrics. One can have different weaves or designs on pockets, collars, cuffs or wherever required. Weaves can produce different textures and designs as desired and fabrics can be designed as per the final silhouette of the final garment so that right kind of design falls at right place, giving a brand new meaning to custom-made!


Another innovator is Penchant India www.organicherbinfused.com who is taking natural dyeing to new levels. The idea of Penchant India’s Herb Infused Products originated in 2005 when the founding members came across the art of natural dyeing on natural textile in a small village. They were aware that, with the substantial growth in the organic textiles market, people are more sensitive to the benefits of going green, but were they really buying an organic garment or was it just chemical free cotton dyed with chemically based synthetic dyes? Knowing that human skin absorbs more than 75% of all environmental pollutants and that, when chemically dyed clothing comes into prolonged contact with the body, toxic chemicals are absorbed through the skin, a new concept was born. The idea of Herb Infused Textiles starts with organic cotton, which is then infused with natural dyes made from medicinal herbs and plants. The numerous available colors are beautiful and hold as well as any chemical dye. The process is truly Organic with 0% chemicals used in manufacturing. And it doesn’t stop there, some say these infusions are even therapeutic; because of the medicinal herbs used in the dyeing process, they can work wonders for skin allergies and diseases, insomnia, body cooling and asthma. The concept is simple: when we wear these garments, the pores of our skin absorb the properties of the herbs that are used in the dyeing. On the ingredients front, the dyes are simply made from extracts of herbs, fruits and plants found in your back yard like onions, turmeric, pomegranate or basil. The left over water in the dye bath can simply be used for re-growing these herbs. The final product is organic in the truest sense of the word, with no chemicals used in its development and the therapeutic value received from the herbs as an added bonus.

Now, which groundbreaking designer will be the first to use both of these techniques to produce some truly original green garments?

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