Who Made Your Pants?

Gorgeous Pants. By women, for women.

Cutting, our way.

Here at WMYP, every single pair of pants is cut by hand with a roller knife, the kind you might have at home – see it, at the back of this picture?

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We’re about empowering women through work and we think that there’s a lot of pride in your work to be gained from actually cutting things yourself and knowing you did them well.

There are all kinds of ways that fabrics are cut in industry, from the low to the very high tech. Whatever level of tech, broadly, they all tend to include these steps: lay out fabric, put patterns on fabric, cut out, make bundles of related pieces, deliver to machinists.

Cutting can be done with round roller knives like ours, vertical bladed knives, or lasers. This short video of making Hawaiian shirts  is a great example of the steps involved. Weights might be put on the stack of fabric to hold it still; clever machines might drive up and down to lay the fabric out and cut it into manageable lengths automatically; at the very high tech end of things, a computer might generate the pattern, taking account of the weave and/or stretch of the fabric and arrange the pieces mathematically to get the most out of the fabric and then draw that onto the paper on top of the stack and then control a laser to cut it all out too.

We’re not very high tech. Our team hold their knives in their hands and cut. They lift the rolls of fabric onto our 3m x 2m table covered in a thick plastic mat themselves, roll fabric out, smooth it down, cut it to a manageable length. Then repeat. They can cut through up to five layers of fabric at a time, so they might lay out five lengths of fabric, then put our patterns on, weight them down and cut round them.

We could cut more in the same time if we used a laser or a vertical knife. We know that that would mean our pants could be cheaper. But for us there really is something in actual hands doing the work, being proud of that work – and that work being fairly valued and rewarded. Cutting is a skilled and important job – and it’s also a job we can give to someone even if they can’t read or write.

We’re about empowering women through work, about teaching skills and about being proud of what we do well. When someone has looked at the knife and the patterns nervously, and then when they see that they have cut 100 pieces perfectly and they exclaim, ‘But it is easy!”  – well, we know that’s been a Good Day.

 

 

 

 

 

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