NORRA.

Lupin tee fabric production has started.

Lupin tee fabric production has started.

In a small town , called Marbäck, just outside Ulricehamn you find a state of the art knitting factory called Marbäck tricot. Established in 1965 they have evolved and refined the craftsmanship of knitting over many years and if feels extremely good to be able to use their fabrics for our Lupin t-shirt.

Last week was it finally time to start the production for the Lupin t-shirt and we took the chance to see the fabric come together. 

The fabric that we use and that we have decided to call Äng is knitted out of 96 individual threads that all interlinks and creates this wonderful tricot fabric. Each thread is slightly waxed to enable it to run smoothly through the knitting machine. Once the fabric is knitted will it go through a washing and colouring process that removes the wax and gives the fabric a really smooth surface. 

Factory wall
Knitting machine
Knitting machine
door

The knitting machines are carefully monitored ensuring the highest possible quality and all finished fabrics goes through a careful quality control before being released to the sewing factory.

Even though the knitting procedure it extremely impressive and hard to grasp, it is the blend of fibers in each thread that makes all the difference. The combination merino wool and tencel is simply amazing and has to be tried. 

Knitting machine
Knitting machine

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Prototypes and progress.

It has been a few weeks since my last post and a lot things have happened during this period! This post will be all about the development of the new fleece jackets and I am really excited about this project 🙂

A lot of work has been done on getting the pattern ready and making sure fabrics and all other trim details arrived to the factory so that they could start prototyping a few weeks ago. I have just received the samples and I am really impressed.

The cardigan.

The first product is a mid-layer that can work in so many different situations, basically every day from work to adventure.  Therefor it will be placed within our outdoor essentials range together with the Lupin t-shirt.

I think it is the simplicity that makes this mid-layer so interesting. The collar design is based on the Lupin t-shirt collar where you basically do not have anything that could be bulky or annoying around your neck.

Cardigan
fleece-fabric

A very straight forward closing system with snap buttons from Duraflex, these buttons as well as the fabric are BlueSign approved.

The hoody.

The second product is a classic mid-layer hoody and I think it turned out really nice. It is a balancing act to find just the right features while keeping the price in a reasonable range, but I really believe that this hits a sweet spot.

The hood sits quite snugged and the zipper has a chin-guard making sure you do not get any chafing on your chin.

fleece-hoody
Thumb hole

Classic thumb holes keeping your hands warm.

All zippers are YKK zippers and we have used the zipper size 5 for durability, where many other fleece jackets just uses size 3 zippers.

Two zipped hand pockets with semi-locking sliders making sure the pockets does not accidentally opens by them selves.

zipper
cord

An elastic cord with adjustments on both sides gives you the possibility to tighten the bottom of the jacket. This is a quit classic feature but in my experience also something that often breaks, and this is because the normal way of attaching the elastic cord to the fabric is by sewing it to the fabric. As the cord is so thin the stitching becomes very weak and eventually the cord will come loose.
I have solved this by instead of attach the cord to the fabric, attach a webbing that the cord is tied to instead. This also makes is possible to easily replace the elastic cord if something should happen to the cord.

As these are production intense products, we will need to fund the production in the same way as we did with the Ljung pants via a Kickstarter campaign but the next step is to have these prototypes tested by some of you, more info on this soon.

We also need some help with two good names on these jackets, any suggestions?

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The merino & tencel fabric named Äng.

The merino & tencel fabric named Äng.

The production of the Lupin Merino & Tencel Tee is progressing and we have just approved the labdips which is the process where a small piece of fabric is coloured following our suggested Pantone code. 

We have decided to call this blend of merino & tencel for the Swedish word Äng.

It is a 170g/sqm fabric and the main fiber, 60%, is merino wool. Merino wool has some of the most astonishing qualities. It is a great insulator and has at the same time, great evaporate properties. This means that when in cold climate, merino wool keeps you warm and when in warm climate, merino wool cools you down.  

It is also naturally anti-bacterial which means that you can wear your t-shirt longer without starting to smell.  Merino wool is an organic and sustainable fiber and we have sourced the highest quality wool, guaranteed mulesing free. 

The other 40% of our blend is tencel. Tencel is a cellulose fiber that comes from the raw material wood. It is such a fine fiber that it is soft like silk to your skin.  

Not only is tencel extremely smooth, it has also really good absorbent and evaporate properties. This means that it helps the merino wool to regulate your temperature and keeping you, not too warm, not too cold. Just like merino wool the tencel fiber is an organic and sustainable fiber. 

Stay tuned for the next steps where we will visit the knitting factory in Marbäck and check out the process when the fabric is being produced.

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Five times better when working with the best.

Five times better when working with the best.

It is really exciting to finally let you know some more details about our third project.

It all started with an idea to make a set of mid-layers that would compliment both the Ljung pants and the Lupin t-shirt. One mid-layer within the Outdoor essentials range and one mid-layer within the Outdoor specifics range.

In February this year I got the opportunity to meet with the worlds leading fleece fabric company, Polartec®. They are known for leading the innovation on these types of mid-layer fabrics and it was a really interesting meeting.

 

Fleece fabric has been around since the late 1970, and it was originally developed by Malden Mills, a Massachusetts textile maker. In the early 1980, through a collaboration with the California based outdoor company Patagonia, the fabric was brought to the sportswear market. The initial idea was to make a fabric that could mimic wool properties but with the benefits that a synthetic fiber could provide.

I believe that most of us have used a fleece jacket and been amazed by the comfort, warmth and quick drying properties the fleece fabric has to offer.

There have been quite a few different variations of fleece fabrics available over the years, but it has never been reinvented like this before. During my meeting with Polartec® I was introduced to their newest fabric that they call Polartec®Power Airand was introduced to the market last year.

This fabric does not only have all the great properties of regular premium fleece like great comfort, warmth and quick drying properties, it also sheds up to five times less  microfiber than other premium mid-layer fabrics. On top of this, being made form 89% recycled polyester, Blue signed approved and Oeko-tex Standard, make this fabrics as far as I know, by far, the most sustainable fleece fabric available on the market today.

All this is achieved by a new knitting construction that encapsulate fibers, making small air pockets which also gives this fabric a quite interesting and unique expression.

 

As this project has been running slightly in the background, l have not been able to share that many details until now. But here comes everything that have happened up until today.

The plan is that this will result in two fleece jackets. The first one will be in the outdoor specific range and this jacket will compliment the Ljung pants perfectly. The idea is to make a hooded jacket that is as versatile as the Ljung pant featured with everything you need to have it perform in any outdoor activity.

The second jacket is to be placed within the Outdoor essentials range. The idea is to make a mid-layer that is much more simpler than the fleece hoodie, and that works as a base reinforcement layer, I see something like a fleece cardigan infront of me.

Working with the design, I have focused on applying the same design principles as used on the Ljung pants. Keeping everything quite simple and straight forward.

Apart from this amazing fabric these jackets will also use zippers from YKK and Blue signed approved buckles from Duraflex.

 

Once the initial design sketches had been dialed in, I seized an opportunity to work with a really experienced pattern maker called Malin.  Malin has been working in the outdoor industry for more the 15 years and this really speeded up the process. It was a real joy bouncing design and constructions ideas back and forth.

All instructions and patterns have just been sent to our factory partner in Vietnam, the same factory that produce the Ljung pants (you can read more about the factory HERE) , and as soon as all trims and fabrics have arrived, the production of the samples will get started.

 

 

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The merino/tencel t-shirt.

The merino/tencel t-shirt.

Firstly, thank you all so much for the shown interest in the t-shirt project. We where overwhelmed by how many of you that applied for the beta testing. We only had a few prototypes and they are now being tested around the world.

The initial feedback has been very positive and we have made some smaller adjustments getting the fit just us we want it.

The colors that were selected by you are now being the labdiped and we really think that the Fjällblå and Barrgrön will look good with the melange effect that is achieved with this fiber combination of merino wool and tencel.

It has for sure was been a challenge to pick the name as so many good suggestions were presented by you. Finally we choose to name the T-shirt after the beautiful flower named Lupin. The name Lupin was suggested by Annica, thank you 🙂

 

The next step will be to knit the merino wool and tencel into a fabric and this will be done in a small city called Marbäck outside Ulricehamn. This is scheduled to take place in August so hopefully we will be able we to start delivering the Lupin t-shirts in the end of September.

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