I was thinking, while staring at a loose thread on one of my many t-shirts, why is there are so many poor quality brands out there. Now this blog isn’t to knock anyone of cause and I don’t doubt that everyone builds a brand to ‘their’ quality. It’s just a shame that sometimes ‘their’ quality just isn’t that great.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect every single one of my Sustainable t-shirts to last 10 years. And this is by no means the bench mark to define ‘quality’. But when I buy a piece of clothing, I expect it to last a few years at most and during those years I don’t expect it to disintegrate every time I wear it.
So on the above note, let’s list a few things I believe makes a piece of clothing ‘quality’.
Printing rather than embroidering
We have all seen brands that ‘print’ their brand/logo onto the t-shirt. Although I’m not a fan of this and I do prefer embroidery, I do appreciate that it is needed when a business gets to a certain size to where embroidering every single piece becomes unrealistic and logistically a challenge.
But my issue isn’t with ‘printing’ your logo on. My issue is printing it on poorly.
Let me set the scene. I go to the gym as most people do, to avoid ruining my normal clothes I went and purchased some functional gym clothes. These weren’t anything special, a few Under Armour shorts, so cycle shorts to wear underneath them and some sweat resistant t-shirts made by a well known German brand. My assumption was that since I was buying brand named clothing they would last me longer than usual. So I want to the gym as normal, and after a few sessions. I realise that the printed on logo on my t-shirt started to peel.
This annoyed me for a few reasons.
- The t-shirt was branded so therefore cost more than a none branded t-shirt.
- The t-shirt was meant to last me a fair while and yet here it was peeling already.
Once the logo began to peel, I thought back how often this happened with other brands and it was not, unfortunately, a rare occurrence.
This should be rather obvious. But the stitching of your clothing will highlight the quality pretty quickly.
But let me qualify this. Find a loose thread on its own doesn’t mean that the garment is poor quality. It fact this is quite normal. What makes the piece of clothing poor quality in regards to stitching is the overall quality. So what do I mean by this?
Well if every time you wear a garment, whether that is a t-shirt, jumper, hoodie or jeans and you are finding it looser or more and more threads becoming un-done. Then it is a poor quality piece of clothing. This type of shoddy stitching is even more obvious in the buttons and pockets. Usually the buttons and pockets are used the most on any type of clothing. And because of this the quality of the stitch has to be very good around these areas. This is to avoid threat breakage or general wear and tear. But if the stitch is less than ideal, buttons become loose over a matter of months and the seams of the pockets become torn easily.
Most of us have worn something that just felt like it fit and didn’t feel like it was going to break as soon as some tension was added to the clothing. That is the feeling we must all strive for in the fashion industry and it is a feeling which, in my eyes, represents quality.
Ever been in a rush and as you go to put on your coat or zip based overall, it gets jammed? I have, many a times and sometimes not even when I’m in a rush. Jammy zippers are one of those things that I hate with a passion and is why I tend to wear pullovers rather than standard zip based clothes.
Now I’m sure for most a jammy zip won’t affect them to the extent where they decided to not buy something because of it. But that old say of ‘the devil is in the detail’, applies here to. If you’re going to make a piecing of clothing that is quality, then you want to ensure that most if not all of it is quality. So don’t stop at the zip
A nice smooth zip on top of the things mentioned above just adds to the overall quality of a piece of clothing and that isn’t something, we as fashion brands should forget.
Finally we reach our last quality point and it is the colours running on clothes. Naturally colours fade over times and some pigments coming loose in the wash will happen. This is normal and not much can be done about this.
But a quality piece will hold onto its colour for as long as possible. Now defining this length is difficult but anything from 18 months plus, for a piece of clothing that is worn often, generally shouts quality. If something can hold onto its colour after being worn on and off for 18 months plus. Then I think it would be difficult to argue against it not being considered ‘quality’.
So that is Dzihic’s list of what makes a quality piece of clothing. I don’t doubt that we have missed something and others will disagree, but this is from personal experience
Building on this topic, if you would like to understand why Dzihic’s clothes use cotton as a base material so often, then you can read all about it and the benefits of cotton in our blog titled “Why I personally like 100% cotton t-shirts”