WinterSun uses a combination of hand-painting, block printing, and the ancient art of batik in our design process. Many prints use all three! The print for each garment takes hours of meticulous work by our skilled artisans. Above, Patricio is carefully "stamping" wax roses on cotton, one of 3 different blocks that make up this design. The fabric will then be hand-dyed, and the wax dissolved. After the fabric has dried from that process, the roses will be hand painted in one of our open-air painting sheds.
Virtually all of WinterSun's prints involve free-hand painting: the old-fashioned way - with a brush. Some of our intricate prints require a very high degree of skill and concentration. Many of our painters have been with us for over ten years.
Even WinterSun's coordinating solids are hand-dyed. Sure, we could buy machines to do this, but in an artisanal process, there is no substitute for the involvement of the hand. All of our dyes are environmentally friendly cold-water, long-lasting dyes, which hold their color.
After the fabrics have been completely painted, they are hand carried out into the field behind the factory and laid out gently on the grass to dry in the gentle Ecuadorian air. In the picture to the left, one of the painters is retrieving two of the dried fabrics, taking them to the cutting room.
The cutters in the cutting room first lay the meters of painted fabric out on a table. They'll take the pattern for your garment and lay it out by hand on the bolt of fabric, carefully choosing where each piece of sleeve, or pocket will be cut, based on the print you chose. This jigsaw pattern skill takes years and years to develop. After the layout is complete, the pattern cutter will hand trace the cardboard patterns, and cut out each piece of your garment with scissors to then pass on to a seamstress in a neat bundle tied with fabric.
In 99% of all sewing factories, one seamstress may spend her whole life sewing just the cuffs on jeans. Not at WinterSun. A seamstress will get the bundle of carefully cut fabric for your garment and sew the entire piece, just like your mother or grandmother did. Our seamstresses take immense pride in their work, and they want to make sure your garment is perfect from top to bottom and take responsibility for it! As they are sewing, they are inspecting every piece, and if they find a flaw in the painting, dying, or cutting, they send it back to be redone. Many of our seamstresses have been with us for over 20 years!
Not sure what your measurements are? Click here for a printable tape measure!