50 shades of black

Pop up store at Sydney Youth Orchestras Winter showcase
July 19, 2018
Why I don’t like short black skirts.
October 4, 2018
black fabric swatches

cadenza apparel fabric and embroidery samples

The Cadenza Apparel range currently consists of only 3 types of fabric across the entire range. This was done on purpose to create as much unity as possible, to avoid the “different shades of black” disaster that can often happen when wearing concert blacks on stage.

I would like to discuss my choice of fabrics for my range of clothes; in particular the Short sleeve lace blouse and the Long sleeve shirt.

These two blouses are both made from the same fabric – a Polyester/Elastane blend.

I know, I’m seeing you *cringe* at the word polyester. To be honest, that’s what I first thought (and did) when discussing fabric choices with my garment manufacturer. That was until I felt the samples in my hand.

Polyester is usually associated with “fast fashion”. Usually it’s thin and feels cheap, it creates a lot of static when worn and it feels itchy against the skin. You usually get what you pay for in terms of how many wears you get out of it. However, not all polyesters are created equal.

Many would agree that natural fibres would be the better choice because of their texture and feel against the skin. I personally like natural fibres, however they do not wear well over time and have no stretch. They are also notorious for fading, shrinking, pilling and creasing/crinkling/crushing. It is for these reasons that I did not have them in my current range because it is these qualities of natural fibres that make them unsuitable for concert blacks.

Natural fibres are suited for “every day black clothes”.

But we’re not talking about every day clothes, we’re talking about clothes with particular requirements, concert blacks.

Concert blacks are different because they need to have stretch and comfort. If the child has stopped growing, as a mother, you would want the clothes to stand up to numerous washes and wears so you can finally get your money’s worth out of the item. Concert blacks need to look nice and appropriate on stage and it is also my personal opinion that, visually, it looks exceptionally nice if crushing and creasing is kept to the minimum. The main point of difference however, with concert blacks, is their ability to stand up under the harsh lighting of the concert stage. This is a point that is often either not thought about, or completely forgotten about. Black absorbs light, and a concert hall is not sympathetic at all especially when it comes to black – every black shade is scrutinised and pops out like a rainbow of blue blacks, red blacks, brown blacks and even the dreaded faded black! The main culprit? Natural fibres!!!!

On the other hand, polyester blends allow for everything needed on the concert stage that natural fibres can’t deliver. My polyester is premium and of exceptional quality – it has a nice weight to it, therefore it feels silky to the touch and drapes nicely. It does not feel “cheap” and is certainly not scratchy. It has been tested for colourfastness (it won’t fade or run in the wash), and it certainly won’t shrink or pill. Creasing is minimal (in fact if you spin it at a low rpm and hang it out to dry on a hanger straight away you won’t need to iron it!) I challenge anyone to feel one of the blouses and not fall in love with it! I personally wear these clothes and because 5% elastane was blended into the fabric, it has a nice subtle stretch.

The Short sleeve blouse and Long sleeve shirt are a loose fit with generous sizing and for this reason, coupled with the type of fabrication I chose, it does not leave you feeling hot and sweaty.

Particular caution was made to try and match (as closely as possible) the black of the ponte pant and the tulip skirt to that of the peplum top, short sleeve lace blouse and long sleeve shirt. It’s definitely no coincidence our entire range is made up of synthetic fibres and for good reason. We’ve carefully selected the most appropriate fabrics solely for concert blacks, but it turns out it’s just as good for every other event!

As much as we love natural fibres in other garments, at Cadenza Apparel we aim to please the musician and in this case our fabric is doing just that.

This is not to say we won’t use natural fibres at all, with the rate of fabric technology we may introduce a line of natural fibres in the near future, so watch this space!!!

I hope this has offered some clarification for some of our potential customers hesitant to purchase because of their dislike of synthetic fibres.

Jacinda xx



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