How your clothes are made! ǀ Quality clothes ǀ Justine Leconte


Hi everyone it’s Justine. You know how
clothes are made right? But do you really know the entire process? For
instance this here is a blue knitted turtleneck sweater what you can’t see is
that it’s made in Peru in alpaca. An alpaca like this absolute sweetness
right here this is the fluffiest thing I’ve ever touched angora cats do not
even come close problem this little alpaca has short
white hairs while my blue sweater is made out of one single long thread so
how do we go from the alpaca to the finished garment earlier this year I had
the chance of traveling to Peru where I could learn more about how garments are
made both by hand and by machine there are not many countries in the world that
still make fabric by hunt Peru is one of these countries and they
have incredible know-how transmitted across centuries in this video I’d like
to show you how much more work goes into a garment than what you might think 🙂 The
story of my sweater starts with an alpaca. Alpacas produce between 3
and 3.5 kilos of hairs per year they get a haircut once a year and
it takes a year to grow back they are other animals whose hairs are also used
to make fabric alpacas have three cousins llama guanaco and vicuna. LLamas
have rather coarse and stiff hairs alpacas are softer, vicunas have the
softest hairs aka the most expensive hairs: all four live in South America
llamas are mostly in Bolivia alpacas mostly in Peru (these two are
domesticated) and then guanaco and vicunas are wild and endangered if you
see them enjoy the moment but then leave them alone 🙂 in case you wonder about
other types of wool: cashmere and mohair come from goats camel hair and yak hair
is also used but less often regular wool mostly used comes from regular ships in
Peru the hairs are still mostly collected by hand it’s a very manual
process and that’s important: technically no
animal has to suffer for wool to be collected and there are certifications
and labels to prove you the origin and to prove that the animals were treated
ethically during the process. If you’re interested in this topic, which matters a
lot to me, I will put further information in the description for you. back to my
alpacas peruanos 🙂 they come in multiple different colors again look at
that fluff there are 32 natural colors ranging from beige and light grey to
dark brown and dark grey the first task after collecting the hairs is to group
it kind of by color then the hairs that are too damaged
or that are tangled with twigs or anything get sorted out manually you end
up with these piles of hairs of one color at this point it’s really dressed
on fools you can’t make fabric without cotton is the same when you collect
cotton from a cotton flower like this what you get is bits and pieces it needs
more work before it’s an actual thread the only natural fiber that comes out
directly as a filament is silk and do you know baby alpaca means that’s
something I actually got wrong this entire time I learned something new
listen when it’s a hundred percent baby alpaca it doesn’t mean the first haircut
of a young girl pakka who would have guessed it actually means the hairs from
the area under the belly because they’re the hair is softer than the back or the
neck that gets rain and dust and dirt all year when they’re talking about the
first haircut a young alpaca ever gets it’s actually called super baby and it’s
even softer and more expensive than what you would think now let’s turn these
hairs into thread the first machine sorts out the crazy fibers and the dust
that are left after the manual process then the hairs are washed and moved
around in the large bath the next one is a carding machine it detangles cleans
even more and starts intertwining the fibers in preparation for the spinning
process cotton it’s exactly the same process these fibers go through two
wheels that twist them together even more see how it now comes out in longer
strums then the hairs are combed in a giant comping machine that one is a
circular one the next one prepares balls of affixed weights of twelve kilos the
big balls all turn into finer bobbins we’re
getting closer and from the bobbins the hairs are spun together that is now
officially a thread it is spun fiber the hairs have been twisted so many times in
the process that now they constitute one long and clean thread that you can
actually make fabric with once you have the thread you can either knit it or
weave it this is a flatbed knitting machine the parent piece coming out at
the bottom that you see is flat you would do the same for all the pieces of
the garment and then sew the pieces together but there are also circular
knitting machines where the output is already a 3d garment and this is a
weaving loom again an old one the woven fabric comes out here in large rolls
wrapped around these wooden cylinders nowadays both knitting and weaving
machines can be programmed automated to produce any pattern you want it’s super
streamlined there are no mistakes anymore
see this blue sweater is technically perfect it even has a different color
detail around the armholes it’s a very complex knit actually it is completely
machine knitted this blanket is also made of alpaca but woven by a machine
that’s why the pattern is absolutely regular contrary to the knitting process
that only needs one thread going back and forth making loops the weeding
process needs two threads you have the warp threads vertical on the loom
going like this and then the weft threads go across so above under above
under the next row goes under above under above and so on it has to be very
tight in order to not loosen up over time because it needs to be done super
tightly Han weaving takes a long time example this is a belt that I bought
from a grandma in Paris Sacred Valley here the work should look at it
actually the work is the length and the weft threads are going across like this
this is the front side this is the back side and when you whip with patterns the
back side will be different most of the time to get enough tension during the
weaving process they will tie one end of the belt to a tree a pillar whatever and
they will tie the other end to their waists then they will sit on the floor
like make it tight poo-goh go too deep and as the bell grows and they have more
length they will sit back and sit back and sit back and at the end you have a
belt you know it’s handmade when there are little mistakes if you look at the
repeats of the pattern you will see for instance here or here little
irregularities if you go to a handcraft market somewhere in the world look at
the mistakes look at the fabric close up and that will tell you whether it’s
really Han made don’t trust the seller check this is one long thin surface a
belt but if you want to make larger surfaces in weaving you will have to use
not two pillars to get tension but for a manual Lu looks like this you have a
pillar in every corner they use pieces of wood to keep the work flat as they go
you see and to prevent the threads from tangling because the patterns are quite
complex on these looms you see that the work threads determine the dominant
stripe colors what about colors we haven’t talked about colors yet for over
a thousand years and then people have been masters not only in textile making
and pattern design but also in coloring they learned to make incredible natural
dyes from stones woods plants here are examples of materials and the colors
that they produce would you have guessed that such intense colors would come out
of ingredients that all seem to range between beige and brown this is a series
of colored threads tied naturally no matter which ingredient you start with
it has to be grinded into powder pigment then the powder is cooked together with
the fibers in a pot for two hours and boom you get a colorful thread I want to
show you the most beautiful and colorful handmade fabrics I’ve ever seen in Lima
I went to the Amanda Museum their textile collection is fabulous this is a
little divinity over 500 years old now you know that the handwork is done just
the embroidery itself but also the woven fabric underneath it bell pieces look at
the intensity of that naturally dyed pink and how tight the weave is hard
work in these samples the level of handcraft is so high it is hard to
actually find irregularities even it’s super satisfying to look at fabrics
knowing the amount of work behind each piece. I guess the thing that impressed
me the most in that process was to see how the Peruvian culture, beliefs and
history got woven or knitted into the fabric: all patterns tell a story in Peru
and I found that super impressive because it was kind of their main means
of expression while Europeans at the same time were rather using painting… so
I made it my goal to use the time that I so happen to have on my hands right
now to improve my fine art skills. You might know Skillshare already: it’s an
online community where you can learn skills from iPhone photography to
creative writing or how to start a YouTube channel. That one is taught by
Sorelle Amore who does a great job here on YouTube and also happens to be a
talented photographer. Basically Skillshare has classes about anything
you always wanted to get into. The way it works is subscription-based,
it costs under $10 a month for illimited access, and for the first 500 of my
subscribers who register, Skillshare is offering a 2-month free trial. To get it,
you need to register through the special link that I put in the description, down
below. And in case you wonder which courses I picked: creating patterns in
Adobe Illustrator and also hand lettering for beginners and ink drawing.
These are manual and/or therapeutic things that you can do indoor 🙂 If you
learn something that you didn’t know in this video: thumbs up, thank you very much!!
This trip to Peru was highly inspiring I’m thankful that I was allowed to film
there to be able to make this video. I sincerely hope that you
enjoyed it. I feel like this year is a pattern year, the runways have been
showing more patterns more prints and more colors than in previous seasons. If
you haven’t watched my video on spring/summer fashion trends yet, I will
link it here in the corner (on the “i” card) as well as down below for you. If you’re
subscribed to this channel, I will see you on Wednesday for a new video. Until
then take care, bye!

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