Our latest line of workwear, Advance, took an enormous amount of hard work and expertise to get just right. The range is anDesigner dreams exciting and original concept that combines state-of-the-art ‘Aura’ fabric with the latest dye-sublimation printing techniques and allows customers to create a stylish, high-quality uniform that aligns with their organisations’ brand identity. Here, in our latest blog, Grahame Gardner’s head of design, Becky Heath, gives us an insight into the work that went on behind the scenes to get the stunning Advance range to market.

“As a designer, when you are given the brief to design a new range, it’s a dream come true because it allows you to put all your creative and technical skills into practice. There is a definite step-by-step process that we go through to make sure that we meet the brief as well as creating a product that we know works and will meet the needs of the customer.

“I’ve broken the process we went through into the following six key steps.”

1.    Look for inspiration

This stage involves market research and trend research to help us design products that are suited to our market as well as being fresh and appealing in design. 

2.    Initial Designs

The Initial design stage is all about first ideas. It’s a really creative opportunity to throw all your ideas and inspiration together to see what you end up with. In this stage we explore shapes, colours and textures freely.

3.    Tailor to our market

This stage is all about reigning in the initial design work. Looking for the strong points and re-developing each style to create a cohesive range that is exciting but also commercial and fit for purpose. 

4.    Fabric Sourcing

Getting the fabric right for this range was key. The task began at the beginning of the project and continued until we found a match that worked for Advance. We were looking for a fabric that was comfortable and easy to wear as well as being technical and durable. Aura was the perfect match as it not only has all of the above qualities, but also allows us to explore Dye-sublimation.

5.    Dye-sublimation development

Dye-sublimation is a process we often use for Sportswear through Gforce.

It’s a fantastic option for printing as the Dye impregnates the fabric without effecting the weight, movement or durability of the garment.

We worked to introduce this element into Advance offering styles with subtle sublimated panels and unique repeat patterns developed from customers branding to offer a fully bespoke uniform.

6.    Sampling

Sampling happens at different stages throughout the project. Before we developed each style we developed the fit. It was very important to get the fit right on these pieces. We wanted to offer ease of movement, a comfortable fit that suits any figure. These garments are designed to be worn all day so we needed to make sure our customers would love them and feel confident in them.

Finally we sampled each style in various new colours. We were very happy with the outcome and have received a really good response so far.