As we're launching our new collection, we wanted to take some time appreciate the work that is behind our favourite garment, the t-shirt, and share the process with you.
For us, t-shirts are staples in every wardrobe. Wear it everyday, and dress it up for an event. Wear it plain, printed, matched or alone (hey lazy Sunday!).
From Seed to Fabric
All our t-shirts are made from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton. That means that the cotton has been grown, and made in to fabric using methods with as little environmental impact as possible while being a fully natural fibre. GOTS is the highest standard certification in its field, and ensures that no harmful pesticides or chemicals are used on the cotton.
Once the cotton has been harvested, bales of cotton fibres are spun at a facility where they are carded, combed and blended. Before the carding stage, which involves separating the fibres into loose strands, the cotton is taken off a picking machine. The spun cotton is then knit on a loom (the weaving process) into a rough greyish fabric.
Finishing the Fabric, and Giving It Life & Colour
The first step is to treat the fabric to ensure there are no impurities. Singeing is the first step, where all loose fibres are removed from the surface.
The second step is desizing, where ‘size’ is removed from fabric. Before yarn is woven into fabric, the ‘warp’ yarns are coated with sizing agents. This strengthens the yarn (decreasing breakages on the loom), reduces friction and improves productivity. However the sizing agents often resist the dyes and chemicals commonly used in textile processing, so they have to be thoroughly removed before any wet processing can take place.
Third, and last pre-treatment step is scouring - this is where any impurities such as wax, oil or gum is removed from the textile.
Once the pre-treatment is completed, the dyeing process can begin. Textile dyeing is known to have a very high impact on the environment, and while we don't avoid dyeing completely, we do make sure all our dyes are certified OEKO-TEX standard, to ensure there are no harmful chemicals used.
Simply put, the dyeing process is made up by attaching colour pigments to the textile. This is done in a dye bath (think your childhood tie-dye project in huuuuuge scale).
Cut & Sew
Our t-shirts are cut out, and sewn together in a FairWear accredited factory in Bangladesh, before being shipped to Europe and distributed to us. We believe that manufacturing in Asia is a good thing when done properly, meaning making sure that workers are treated fairly and paid.
The prints are important to us, it's who we are, and what define a Jun-i t-shirt. All our printing is proudly done locally in a tiny studio here in Barcelona, making sure that the print quality is the best it can be. We use digital printing for sampling, and once we know which prints we are happy with we create a screen for screenprinting.