Spectacular Sackcloth: How ArmStreet Made it Fashionable
Today we’d like to share with you our love for one of our favorite fabrics. We have used it for several years already but want to put it in the spotlight, as even today it is constantly inspiring new ideas, leading us to create new, beautiful items. Our use of this fabric has been met with many questions and a healthy dose of skepticism from customers, so we’re happy to show you all of the amazing things that it can produce! That fabric is, of course, sackcloth linen.
At first glance, this fabric appears to be just unremarkable sackcloth. If anything, it resembles the itchy flax of hessian bags that you might pack potatoes into, and has an unpretentious colour that elicits images of sand, thorns and dry dust. It's hardly even considered a basic fashion fabric, and when envisioning what kind of clothing one might produce with this fabric, something like this comes to mind:
Luckily, our ArmStreet designers are anything but ordinary! We never saw ill fitting, unattractive garments. From the first moment, we were flooded with ideas of how we could make use of this magnificent material in a way it's never been utilised before. It wasn't long before ideas starting pouring out and extraordinary things started to be imagined.
Once the creativity started flowing, we continued to develop our ideas, put deeper thought into it, and took it all a bit further to really push what we could create. In no time at all, we were starting on the manufacturing process, eager to see how the finished product would look. Some things look great on paper, but don't quite translate to real life!
Luckily, our sketches had the right idea and our prototypes looked amazing. We ended up with a variety of fantastic new garments, taking advantage of the unique characteristics of sackcloth. In the manufacturing process we also discovered that when cut on the bias it produces a flattering drape, and once it has been worn it is actually very comfortable, even against bare skin. A truly magnificent fabric indeed.
This is our Wanderer Dress, a festival favorite, which features long sleeves and a huge amount of fabric that dances in the breeze. Half way between a dress and robe, in this garment you'll find a woman who moves with the wind, as beautiful as she is mysterious. We can see the generous fabric draping itself across witches, druids, and magic users.
Our “Halloween Dress” puts a darker spin on our original "Wanderer" design, including patchwork embroidery to add more character. This garment is worn by a fearsome banshee who wails through the forests at night, not caring as her clothes catch and rip on gnarled trees. This is a spellcaster who lives in the light around midnight bonfires, chanting black magic and casting curses on her enemies.
By the time we created the "Labyrinth" robe, we were truly starting to understand how to accessories with this stunning fabric. We produced a whole line of etched brass and leather accessories that complement the tone of the linen.
Our most recent creation takes the best from the Halloween Dress and the Wanderer and creates something new. Flax linen sleeves add a bit of contrast and the corset brings the whole thing in for a flattering waistline. Decorative stitching frames the whole piece and makes the entire outfit a stunning image.
A dress of such personality requires a careful approach to design, great attention to detail in the finishing and of course our careful accessorizing to complete the character. For example, we decided to finish our last creation with hand embroidery, done in a beautiful natural black linen thread which stands out against the color of the sackcloth and brings out all of its best qualities.
While the fabric is unique, it is hardly appropriate for a noblewoman at the ball. We intended these garments for a different audience, and imagine them cloaking a mysterious wanderer, draped across an ancient druid or adorning a witch or magician.
Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest fabric to work with, and finishing the seams takes a lot of time and effort to make sure it meets our quality standards. That doesn’t stop us, though – we think that the results are worth it! To think: all of these amazing and unique dresses wouldn’t have seen the light of day if several years ago our designer hadn’t noticed this unremarkable fabric, used mainly for curtains and textile decorations, and turned it into something extraordinary.
There's nothing that brings us more joy than seeing the kinds of characters that end up wearing our clothing. While we may have great imaginations ourselves, we know that they are nothing compared to the creative power of our customers! We love to imagine that our designs have seen sunrises, long journies, midnight rituals, romantic sunsets, the birth of new friendships and the ends of storylines. So – what do you see when you look at this fabric? Do you see your next great adventure?