When you are looking at a new look for your staff, the last thing you want is to look tacky! Choosing the right fabric is as important as choosing the right colors, as you want something that is going to be easy care and hardwearing, but still looks good and is comfortable to wear.
For many companies when they are looking at introducing a new uniform the focus is on the general color and overall look, so many of the finer details that can really make your new look amazing are missed. This is often because the person arranging the uniform is a member of staff who has been delegated the job, rather than a professional company like Able Cresting Ltd. who looks at uniforms and corporate wear all day and will be able to recommend different trims, cuts, styles and even buttons that will make your new style look truly stylish.
What Fabric Should You Choose?
This is probably the biggest question that you will need to deal with first. Although sometimes the fabric options will be limited by the colors that your brand is using, for the most part you will be able to have your pick of fabrics.
The first thing you need to identify is your priorities as far as clothing goes. A bank teller will have different wear and requirements than a mechanic, yet you will want both to represent your brand well. For a corporate environment you don’t need to worry so much about durability or stain resistance, but you do need to ensure that the fabric will handle regular washing or dry-cleaning (see here), that it will not wrinkle easy, that it will be comfortable to wear in an airconditioned environment, and that it will be breathable.
Wool and Wool Blends
These are great materials for Blazers, skirts and trousers. Wool is a natural fabric that is warm in winter and cool in summer, and it breathes. Generally, you will find that it is lined with a silk or polyester lining for jackets and skirts as this makes a more professional look and makes the item easier to wear (wool without lining will often snag on pantyhose). The type and quality of wool fabrics is almost endless, as are the materials that can be blended. Commonly, you will find suiting at the top end is a fabric made from a merino wool blended with silk
Cotton is a common fabric to use for shirts, however it is preferable to use a cotton polyester blend as 100% cotton is very prone to wrinkling and not as hardwearing as you’d expect. However, cotton (with or without a blend) is comfortable to wear and if well ironed does look very smart.
Generally, rayon has a similar fe
el to cotton or silk, however it is actually a manmade thread created from wood pulp. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayon It is comfortable to wear, and certainly cheaper than silk, unfortunately like cotton it is prone to wrinkle. Another disadvantage is that it is prone to bleed colors, so if you wanted a bold color or pattern to match your company brand you may wish to steer clear of this option. However, a crisp white blouse or scarf in Rayon might give just the corporate look you are after.
Polyester & Polyester Blends
Polyester is a hard-wearing, easy care fabric that doesn’t wrinkle easily, making it a great option for blouses or dresses. Polyester tends to create electrostatic buildup, which can be very irritating in an office environment, and disastrous in a electronic environment, it can tend to stick to the skin when people sweat, making it uncomfortable in summer. It is also highly flammable, which can be a concern in some environments.
However, most people prefer it as a cotton polyester mix as this gives the greatest wear while being the most comfortable. A poly cotton blend fabric tends to be the best option for hardwearing items of clothing that will bounce back into shape easily and can be washed at home. It is not suitable for structure garments like jackets, but it’s ability to take color well and be low maintenance makes it ideal for shirts and blouses.