Our Fabrics & Designs
Currently GF is working with rayon, viscose, cotton, silk, linen, polyester and jacquards. As we add new fabrics we will update our list.
Our rayon is a manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose, derived from purified wood pulp or other vegetable matter. This cellulose fiber is highly absorbent making it more comfortable to wear as a clothing textile. It drapability and dye ability are excellent and it is fairly soft.
Historically the name rayon was created in 1924. However before this date rayon was called artificial silk or wood silk. Rayon is probably the most misunderstood of all fibers. It is not a natural fiber, yet it is not synthetic. As an inexpensive fiber, rayon has often been used in low-end, poorly constructed garments that have tarnished its reputation. The two major types of rayon, regular viscose and high wet modulus or polynosic, have created further confusion. Although rayon can look like wool, silk, cotton, or linen and is a manufactured fiber like polyester, this does not mean it behaves like or has the same properties or care requirements of these fibers. Rayon is a fiber unto itself.
Our viscose fabrics have a silky to matte luster with an elegant flowing drape. The natural effect of the colors gives them an attractive look. Viscose is supple and has a softness that is comfortable to wear. As they can absorb perspiration quite quickly, making them very skin-friendly, but with poor thermal properties.
Our cotton is a natural fiber that grows in the seedpod of the cotton plant. The fibers are typically 1/2 inch to 2 inches long. The longest staple fibers, longer than 1 1/2 inch, including the Pima and Egyptian varieties, produce the highest quality cotton fabrics.
There are four main types of cotton: American Upland, Egyptian, Sea Island and Asiatic. The flowers from which these different types of cotton are obtained vary in color and texture, thus providing each type of cotton with varying characteristics. Cotton, in general, is very elastic. It can withstand high temperatures, has high wash ability and is very susceptible to dyes. GF mainly uses Asiatic cotton.
Polyester is a manufactured fiber introduced in the early 1950s, and is second only to cotton in worldwide use. Our polyester has high strength, excellent resiliency, and high abrasion resistance. It has low absorbency thus allowing the fiber to dry quickly.
Our silk is a natural fiber produced by the silkworm in the construction of its cocoon. Most silk is collected from cultivated worms; Tussah silk, or wild silk, is a thicker, shorter fiber produced by worms in their natural habitat. All silk comes from Asia, primarily China. It is soft and has a brilliant sheen. It is one of the finest textiles. It is also very strong and absorbent.
Our linen is a natural fabric made from linen fibers obtained from inside the woody stem of the flax plant. Linen fibers are much stronger and more lustrous than cotton. Linen fabrics are very cool and absorbent, but wrinkle very easily, unless blended with manufactured fibers. Some of our future linens will have a rayon blend for to ease the wrinkles and for travel.
Jacquards are woven fabrics manufactured by using the Jacquard attachment on the loom. This attachment provides versatility in designs and permits individual control of each of the warp yarns. Thus, fabrics of almost any type or complexity can be made. Brocade and damask are types of jacquard woven fabrics.
THE BATIK STORY
Some of the rayon and silk fabrics are original GF batik designs. We start by making a pencil drawing of the design pattern. The line drawing is given to the batiker who creates a copper stamp (called a cap) for GF. Once the cap is approved the batiker makes many samples of the design in different color combinations. A wax is carefully applied to the cloth using a cap or when we are working with silk a pen (called a canting). The cloth is then immersed in dye. The waxed area on the cloth resists the dye. The wax is removed from the cloth by boiling. The finished fabric is laid out on the ground to dry and rolled on flat tubes and delivered to the fabric cutter.
To learn more about batik go here: http://www.batikguild.org.uk/index.asp