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As we continue our series of product insights and reviews, we offer you something different as we close out the year. An essay on Artisanal Fashion. We hope you enjoy it and  that it helps to shed a light on an area of the industry that is often misunderstood and a word that is often misappropriated for the sake of marketing.

Here we decided to use our Tri - Continental Soft J Pants as an example of a garment truly made in the Artisanal Spirit
On the subject of Artisanal Fashion.

Over the last five to ten years, there has been an increased awareness and appreciation for all things artisanal. Along with this increased awareness and consumption of artisanal products, comes the appreciation for Artisanal fashion.

On the downside of this movement, many, being aware of this and the “coolness” and marketing possibilities that can be developed around the term, have applied the word to different categories of products from food, to clothing to artwork, that really has nothing artisanal about them. The only association they have is the misappropriation of the word for marketing and profitability purposes.
The focus of this essay is to clarify what is Artisanal clothing. What it is about and to help you to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the real people who are committed to the process of creating artisanal fashion with little or no compromise.

What does the word ARTISANAL really mean?
The word Artisanal, when applied to products, refers to a product that is made in a traditional way, through non-automated, or non-industrialized processes.
With respect to clothing, this means a garment or garments that are made through the ability or skill of an artisan or artisans who executes the product from start to finish with little or no automation. So a shirt, made in a factory by dozens of people and machines that are set up to produce aspects of the garment without human skill at its center is not an artisanal product. 
If one is making buttonholes on a shirt, in an artisanal sense, they are either made by hand completely (see a Geoffrey B. Small shirt) or made on a single needle lock stitch machine, one at a time by a skilled person (the way we do it at Zfactorie), rather than a seven head automated chain stitch machine that self folds he front of the shirt and sew seven or 8 buttonholes at once without human intervention.


Why is ARTISANAL clothing even necessary?
It isn’t that all clothing could not be made through industrialized processes. Industrial manufacturing increases efficiency, often reduces per item cost and provide clothing for millions of people at prices that are affordable. These are positive aspects of industrialization. However there are many negative aspects too, and one is often left to consider, whether the positives when compared to the negatives, creates a net win situation. Not just for the manufacturer but for the employees, for the society and the planet as a whole.
The negatives often include overproduction and clothing that end up in landfills. Clothing that are made using materials and supplies that are not biodegradable and damage our ecosystem in the name of profits for large corporation. Often (but not always) there exploitation of workers and in some circles an often a joyless work environment where human skill and ingenuity is not developed and personal satisfaction of producing a high level product through ones capabilities is missing from the life of the employee.
When artisanal clothing is produced, it brings about a kind of clothing that is beautiful, usually of natural fibers and materials that does not damage the environment. Unique and generally rare as most artisanal makers do not do large production and garments that are often a topic of conversation either by strangers on the street who appreciates the uniqueness of the wearer and the clothing or by those of us who already are in the know and have a deep appreciation for the kind of aesthetic beauty that can only be achieved through clothes that are infused with the soul of its creator(s). This alone and the joy that it bring to both the creator and the end consumer makes artisanal clothing very necessary to our world.

Is an ARTISAN an Artist?
While I often make the distinction between an ARTISAN and an Artist, there is a definite overlap between the two.  Consider a world where there were no Rembrandt, no Picasso, no Mondrian, but only large scale computerized print manufactures and it gives you a good picture of why Artisanal designers and clothes makers are and will continually be important to the future of fashion.
Consider a word where there is only fast food, or home cooking, but no truly gifted chef making the highest caliber of gourmet food that fills one’s craving for a uniquely sensual eating pleasure that can only come from the best restaurants and the best chefs
Take a brand like Martin Margiela, at the height of his reign, the Maison headed by the man himself produced some of the best artisanal clothing to have ever been made. They had an unorthodox beauty and a high level of humorous intelligence that can only come about by having a unique mind capable of interpreting the world in an artistic way. When Margiela retired and the company was sold, the clothing produced by the brand got cleaner, more palatable to the masses, but they lost that pure artistic quality that can only come about by the work of a uniquely gifted artisan.

The Future of the Movement
Artisanal Clothing has gained a level of prominence in certain circles, especially among menswear connoisseurs that the movement is definitely here to stay. However there needs to be a clear separation and an a genuine effort to articulate and educate the masses or at least those genuinely interested in who an artisan is, what can and should qualify as artisanal clothing and a greater effort to promote these designers and clothes makers as such.
In 2017 I will be playing my part in writing more, producing more, demonstrating more and also TEACHING those who are interested in learning. Especially learning the techniques that are necessary to produce truly artisanal clothing. The world does not need more clothing or more designers, but it really does need people who take the time to produce the beautiful and unique garments that can only be made by highly skilled artisanal clothes makers who take the time and are faithful to the métier…..

Only 8 pairs of  Tri Continental Soft J Pants were made this season and none wil ever exist again in this combination, because of he limited nature of the fabrics we used. Two pairs were Special orders and the other six were produced for Zfactorie
Our Sale continues at up to 60% off along with the FESTIVE 15 COUPON CODE

As we continue to take care of your artisanal clothing needs we will bring you more product features and reviews to provide you the best information and insight into the products we make. expect more from us throughout the holidays on different products.
We are also extending to you for the rest of the week into Christmas an additional 15% off on Already marked down items

Please use code: FESTIVE15  at checkout to receive your discount

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Copyright © 2016 Zam Barrett Dialogue. All rights reserved.

For customer service inquiries:
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Copyright © 2016 Zam Barrett Dialogue. All rights reserved.