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OUR FABRICS

Four of our five fabrics are from distant faraway places and are handmade by artisans. You will not find them at your local fabric store or supplier or with any other fashion brands, the textiles are distinctly Savannah Morrow The Label.

 

Organic Cotton 

Modern cotton farming accounts for 25% of the worlds use of insecticides. These chemicals are extremely harmful to the earth’s environment, people and wild life. While their intended effects are often short-lived, studies have shown that chemical pesticides linger in the atmosphere, the ground and in our waterways long after the job is over. 

Savannah Morrow The Label works with wild organic cotton that is grown without GMOS, fertilizers, pesticides or insecticides. Our new signature organic cotton launching SS20, designed by Savannah, is specially hand woven using no electricity (reducing our carbon footprint) into our custom fabric, with sample after sample being made this fabric took over 2 years to perfect, read more about our signature cotton and how it is created here. You will notice little brown specks in our natural colored garments, it's these raw and natural imperfections that will remind you that Mother Earth grew that garment. The texture, it’s soft, organic, flowing, resistant and has the perfect wrinkle to create a fuller look with less - which means no sheer. We chose to work with handloom not only because it is so beautiful, natural, raw and sustainable, but it’s our own unique signature cotton and you’ll never find another brand using the same. The other reason to why we are proud to work with handloom is because the fashion industry is a fast paced, mass producing, over consuming industry which is leaving a negative impact on our environment.

 

 

 

Ahimsa Silk - Peace Silk
 

For our SS20 Ahimsa collection we have started to experiment with Ahimsa silk, our Orla block print is 50% Ahimsa. We are excited to continue to use and experiment with Ahimsa silk for our future collections, aiming for 100% Ahimsa silk products. The process of standard silk production is known as sericulture. Standard silk is made by mass cultivation of silkworms which are eventually then boiled and killed alive. Silkworms are of a caterpillars type and while constructing their cocoon, the silkworm will twist in a figure-8 motion about 300,000 times and produce around 1 kilometer of fibre. Since the hatching from the cocoon destroys the thread, to harvest the silk, the cocoon with the caterpillar inside waiting to turn into a silk moth is placed in boiling water. So the thread can come out in one continuous loop. Meaning the little worm never got to use his wings as a silk moth and was boiled alive. It takes 1700 to 2000 cocoons to make 1 silk dress. 

This brings us to Ahimsa Silk, Ahimsa means non harmful in Hindu. Ahimsa silk is made from letting the silkworm live its full life breaking through the cocoon to turn into a silk moth.  Leaving a hole in the cocoon, meaning the fibers are broken and it is not a continuous thread. Which then makes the process of Ahimsa silk harder, slower and more expensive to produce. But we believe every life, no matter how small it may be is meaningful.

 

Block Printing

Our new SS20 Ahimsa collection patterns are made by the ancient art of hand block printing. Block printing dates back to the 12th century, this method is thought to be around 2,000 years old. The new patterns which you will find on our silk pieces within this collection is our first ever patterned design. We wanted it to be unique and of course hold eco-friendly values. This print is created by old traditional block printing methods.

So what exactly is block printing and why is it so special? We have broken down the step-by-step process so you know why our block printed garments are the most unique. 

Firstly, our design is carved into a wooden block by a very talented artist, for this particular block print made within this collection there are three different designs meaning the artists use three different blocks to create the over all design. Separate blocks must be made for each color incorporated into the design, we have two different colors in this design. After the fabric has been cut to size, the colors have been prepared and the blocks are all ready, the artisans can start to print. They will lay the fabric out across a long table and draw a chalk reference line. They then dip the block into the dye, press it firmly onto the fabric and then hit it with a mallet. This process is repeated by only the steadiest hands, until the pattern has completely covered the length of fabric needed to make our garments. If there are multiple colors in the design, the artisan lets each color dry before applying the next, each with a new stamp. It is extremely time consuming and requires great precision so that there are no breaks in the design.
We are so excited to carry this traditional process within our work. We hope you adore our first ever print.

 

Natural Ramie 

Discovered while traveling through Indonesia, this lovely hand-woven Ramie caught Savannah’s eye with its soft, stretchy and unique look. It inspired a whole new range of designs. Ramie is one of the oldest fiber crops, having been used for at least 6,000 years. It’s older than cotton and uses less water to grow. Ramie is quite a unique fabric that is not widely used so we are constantly struggling to get our hands it.

 

Silky Cupro

 

Cupro is made from the silky fibers that stick to cotton seeds that would normally be thrown away as waste but some genius discovered a way to turn it into fabric. We love reducing waste and turning anything we can into something beautiful. Cupro is 100% biodegradable, breathes like cotton, feels and looks like silk and works beautifully with our line.

 

Natural & Chemical Dyeing 

Since we launched  in 2018 our hand dyeing process has changed a lot. It started from one woman, Yolanda, at home in Mexico dyeing each garment by hand one by one in her laundry. We then experimented with naturally dyeing in Indonesia for our first drop of our Groundation collection. We were extremely proud to work with a sustainable natural dyeing factory. Basically how it works is our fabrics were dyed in small batches using plant based dyes made from tree bark and leaves that are grown on their farms. The process begins by cutting bark or leaves into small pieces that are fermented in boiling water. The fabrics are dyed in small batches, once they finish the dying process, they compost all of the leftover plant scraps. The factory uses zero-waste, sustainable practices to create their dyes. When there is excess dyed water, it’s runs through a natural plant filtration system where plants absorb the excess natural dye, and the water comes out clear and ready to be used again. However, during production we ran into problems with naturally dyeing, since you can only naturally dye five meters at a time there was too much inconsistency with the color tones, so unfortunately we had to stop this process. When the material would go into the cutting room to cut a dress it was extremely hard for our team to put a dress together, it was like trying to match a puzzle. The arm of the dress when sewn together was a different color tone to the skirt. Since then we have moved into chemically hand dyeing as larger quantities of material can be dyed together so there is less inconsistency within the color tones. For our dyeing in India it is a little different as the fabrics are hand woven. We dye the yarn first by hand before we weave the material, this way there is less inconsistency in the fabric and less waster consumption. The dyes can also attach to the yarn quicker and easier. The yarn is placed in hot water and dye is added, soaking the yarn until it reaches the desired color tone, then hung to dry. The excess water and dye will then go into a filtration system so it does not enter our waterways or environment.

 

We have not given up on natural dye and we continue to experiment with other cultures and their way of naturally dyeing so we can incorporate this into our production. For our upcoming SS20 collection our sarongs will be naturally dyed. We love utilizing what nature has to offer us, so we are determined to continue working towards natural dye throughout our future collections. Stay tuned.