On Yarns, Friends and New Products
It is 5 am in Hong Kong and I have just woken up with the thought that I had promised to write to you yesterday and I was so tied up that I forgot! Well, technically I am still on time, as it is still yesterday in Europe and most of you are there.
Yes, yesterday was a very hectic day. I started my day going to visit my friend Fabric Expert Andres. Andres works for one of the major Spanish garment companies in their offices in Hong Kong and he is the person to go to deal with those shortfalls my short experience in the garment industry has.
Fabric Expert Andres is one of those guys to who you will give a piece of fabric and he will treat it in the same way a sommelier would treat a good wine for tasting. He will pick the fabric, take it close to his ear and will start rubbing it between his thumb and his index while listening to it. After that, he will take his glasses off, put the fabric against a window glass and basically get his face so close to the fabric for observation that you would think that he is touching it with his nose. Finally, he will very carefully peel some threads off of the fabric, get his lighter out, burn one of them and inhale the fumes. After that, he will tell you “silk 80%, wool 20% yarn count in its forties”.
I have been receiving lovely sample fabrics for a new product for the last weeks. There was one that had caught my attention, a 100% cotton fabric that looked extremely lustrous, soft and elastic. It looked so good that I was in doubt whether or not it was really 100% cotton fabric.
The day before yesterday I went to Fabric Expert Andres’ house for a drink. Of course, I was not going to miss the opportunity to get some training for free so I put in my bag the lovely fabric as as soon as I had the opportunity, I opened by bag and I said “Oh! by the way, Andres, look at this fabric, it was sent to me and it says it is 100% cotton, what do you think?” while streching the fabric.
Just as I was casually pulling the fabric our of my bag, Andres daughter started pulling his jersey and he turned towards her. He turned his head to me while I was still streching the fabric and he said “That does not look as 100% cotton to me!” before running away.
“Dam! I have missed my sommelier experience moment today!”- I thought
When I arrived home, I sent an email to the factory which had sent this fabric to us. Yes, it looks lovely but I am afraid it does not suit us, as it is not 100% cotton.
Yesterday morning, when I woke up, I had an answer from the factory. “Yes, it is 100% cotton, I assured you”, they said.
I immediately email to Andres about this.
“OK, come to my office today, if you want me to look into it”, he immediately responded.
At nine a.m. I was at his office. And this time, he did the whole ritual.
“It is 100% cotton, double mercerised, 60 yarn count. Wonderful cotton. Would you pass me the name of the factory who sent this to you?”
“Of course” I said, happy I could do something for him for once.