Monday, March 3, 2008

Notes from Moda

Dear Emma,

You and your mommy have so many friends that wrote such nice things about Moda fabrics in my first blog. Thank you for that! In this issue of Notes from Moda, I am introducing you to a friend of mine, Cheryl Freydberg, Vice President of Design. She is going to tell you all about her job and the design process. You will also see a sneak peek of Bistro by Deb Strain that will be delivered to stores later this fall. (See what happens before it happens!)

A Little Bit About Me

I am the design director for Moda fabric. I am the mother of three and I have been working for Moda for over 20 years. Moda fabrics and my twins are both 16 years old - 1991 was a big year for me! I’ve nurtured both over the years and have enjoyed watching both change and grow. I grew up in Michigan sewing with my Mother & Grandmother and I continue to enjoy sewing when time allows. Everyone at Moda thinks that their job is the best, but mine really is the best. I attend trend shows all over the world, work with over 20 talented designers and art studios, and visit our production offices in India, Japan and Korea. It’s my job to make sure that every designer's vision is met or exceeded.

The Making of a Fabric Collection
Every yard of Moda fabric begins with a simple conversation. I sit with each designer to discuss the three most important things of a fabric collection; color, theme and feel. More than being just a sounding board, it is my job to make sure that every collection has its own unique voice and reinforces the designer’s personal style without overlapping the vision of another.
After the theme and palette of a fabric collection are nailed down, it’s only a matter of time before page after page of intricately hand-painted designs start rolling in. These paintings are then sent overseas to one of Moda’s production offices and the real process of making fabric begins.
The artwork is expertly separated into each print color and burned into separate screens through a photo emulsion process. Each color screen is represented by a dot at the bottom of every yard of fabric. These dots accumulate on the selvage. Moda will often use up to 18 screens to create a single print. This extra expense is what creates the maximum depth and detail that has become Moda’s signature.
It takes roughly 60 days to get everything sorted, burned and printed in all of its many variations. That is when the strike-offs begin landing on my desk. Strike-offs are a small sample swatch of the fabric sent for approval. Sometimes over 100 samples will come in for one collection. Those samples will then be narrowed down to the best of the best, colors will be fine tuned and a sample of the final collection will be compiled. Based on this sampling, an order will be written up and the Mill will begin production on the final collection.

And that’s how it all happens, from my desk to your sewing table.

Cheryl Freydburg
Design Director for Moda


Jessica Goldman said...

Marvelous! I think we really take fabric for granted, it's just something we buy at the store, and sometimes a lot of it w/o thought of the whole process to get it there! It's really fascinating!

Chookyblue...... said...

love to hear about the process.......thanks

Gena in Dallas said...

This was very interesting. I could picture the process at each step from your description. Thank you for sharing this "inside" look.

eamylove said...

OK - you DO have the coolest job in the world!

Sharon Stevens said...

How would one go about being a designer for fabric? Thanks for the info you've given.

PamKittyMorning said...

Love hearing all about it.

blueberrylane said...

Oh heaven, can I please come work with you ???

Perry said...

Thanks for explaining this process. It was very helpful.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Wow thank you for the great info. Loved reading about it. Moda fabrics are beautiful.

Vicky said...

(sigh) I can't even imagine how wonderful it would be working for Moda! Thanks for the great blog about the inner workings of the company!

Quilted Quickies said...

Great article!! Don't you just love Moda!! Who ever said work couldn't be fun?!

Cheryl said...

I think you do have the best job in the world! It's wonderful to see how it all comes about.

Daisy... said...

Dear Cheryl,

Fabulously interesting!
You sound like you do have the best job :o)
I have always wondered how our fabrics are created and 'come to be'.
Thanks for your letter.

Happy Sewing
Robyn in Australia.

EmmyLizzy said...

oooooo, very interesting! I love hearing about the entire process!

The Jen said...

I just found this post (a year or so later) What a great read! Thanks.