Easing into the Cold Weather

No one wishes to hasten a return to the dark mornings, bitter winds and lashing snow that are regrettably attendant aspects of the New England winter. The biggest challenge for dressing this time of year is managing the wide temperature swings that can bring warm afternoons into chilly nights. Anyone with even a passing interest in clothes begins to long for their cold weather wardrobe. Winter - with no blossoming flowers, long evenings or al fresco dining to divert the mind - brings into focus what really matters: and that is the wearing of chunky, tactile fabrics. The winter clothes begin to call from the back of the wardrobe: cashmere, corduroys, flannels and tweeds.


If you want the best and only organic cashmere in the world, you need to go to Mongolia. Cashmere goats live in extremely cold and harsh climates, think -40 degrees winters that can last longer than most places in the world. To survive, Cashmere goats grow long, fine fibers to protect themselves, a third longer than other goats from other regions. Longer fibers equals stronger cashmere. Old school hand combing is the only cruelty free cashmere because shearing goats can be "very stressful" on these goats that have already endured such brutal winters. Even though it takes more time & effort to hand comb, this old-school approach is still the best thing for these goats and the fibers in our sweaters. The harsh geography of this area means that only a very limited number of goats are combed by hand every spring. To make an average-sized sweater, you will need wool from approximately 4 adult goats. Cashmere fibers are some of the only fibers in the world that are hollow. This means that the fiber is very good for blending with other materials, instantly making the material lighter and softer. Cashmere is such a coveted fabric because it is long-lasting and adaptability to temperature due to the high moisture content of the wool. In the winter it will keep you warm and insulated, yet it will ensure you stay cool in the summer.


When it comes to casual winter tailoring, Corduroy is hard to beat. Corduroy is, in essence, a ridged form of velvet, with a “cord” or “wale”. The width of the cord is commonly referred to as the size of the "wale" (i.e. the number of ridges per inch). Both velvet and corduroy derive from fustian fabric. Fustian is a variety of heavy cloth woven from cotton, chiefly prepared for menswear found in the construction of trousers, jackets, casual shirts and suits. A pair of cords is a winter necessity. Wear with chunky knitwear or a tweed sportcoat and you have a foolproof cold-weather ensemble. Pair a corduroy suit with a simple oxford shirt and suede loafers for an effortless look that perfectly walks the line between casual and formal.

Layer with Flannels

Thick flannel shirts are to autumn what crisp white tees are to summer. We like them in heavier, coarser fabrics – made with dyed yarns, not printed, and are a bit more insulating. Layer them open as mid-layers between a thick cotton t-shirt and some outerwear. 

The key to shopping for flannels is to look for a Made-in-USA tag, as those are often a bit sturdier with old-school details such as cat-eye buttons, chin straps and chainstitch run-offs. Busy plaids sometimes hide snags and coffee stains until you get them into natural light, so inspect carefully. And when buying online, double-check measurements. The fit on these things can vary wildly, even within the same label. Flannel shirts don’t need to fit perfectly, but they should be in the ballpark. 



The tweed’s appeal is undeniably universal. When it comes to winter dressing, it’s hard to find someone who’s not enamored by its charms. Originally produced in Scotland, tweeds are smooth and tightly woven reminiscent of traditional checks. They carry the distinctive colors and patterns of Scottish estates such as bark, moss, and heather. They wear warmer than summer fabrics, making them fit exactly in the middle. These secondary shades complement nicely with a well chosen tie and square. Genuine Harris Tweed is harder to beat in its incomparably rich handle and substantial weight. Genuine Harris Tweed is a tweed cloth that is handwoven by islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, made and finished from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the same location. This definition, quality standards and protection of the Harris Tweed name are enshrined in the Harris Tweed Act 1993.

Sustainable Use of Fabrics in Fashion and Design

Photo by montiannoowong/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by montiannoowong/iStock / Getty Images

When it comes to sustainability, fabrics are often times the elephant in the room. They’re all around us but are all too frequently left out of the conversation. We simply overlook fabrics, maybe because we see the end product, the fashion, the design, and not the process by which fabrics are produced.  

The textile industry has been criticized as being one of the world’s worst offenders in terms of pollution because it requires a great amount of two components:

• Chemicals: as many as 2,000 different chemicals are used in the textile industry, from dyes to transfer agents; and

• Water: a finite resource that is quickly becoming scarce is used at every step of the manufacturing process. The water becomes full of chemical additives and is then expelled as wastewater, which in turn pollutes the environment as it is saturated with dyes, bleaches, detergents, optical brighteners, equalizers and many other chemicals used during the process.

In 2014, approximately 90.8 million metric tons of textile fibers were produced worldwide in total, of which 63.3 million metric tons were chemical fibers. The trajectory has been rising since 1975 where approximately 23.94 million metric tons of textile fibers were produced, of which 10.64 million metric tons were of chemical origin. The sheer amount of fabric produced each year is an indication of how much fabric has become a necessity in our lives. The United States is the largest importer of garments in the world, and China accounting for 54% of the world’s textile production.  As consumers we can no longer overlook the production of fabrics impact on the environment. But what can we do as consumers and designers do, to limit the negative impact? 

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when purchasing clothes, or anything manufactured with fabric. 


Any fabric lover who is eco-conscious should stay away from synthetics. Here are some of the many reasons:

  • Chemicals that make synthetic fabrics do not decompose. They leach into the environment, leaving an impact on groundwater, wildlife, air and soil, and they also may be absorbed or inhaled directly.
  • Producing synthetic fibers produces air pollutants. Nylon and polyester are made from petrochemicals, whose production creates nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Rayon is made from wood pulp that has been treated with chemicals, including caustic soda and sulphuric acid. Dye fixatives used in fabrics often come from heavy metals and pollute water systems.
  • Acrylic fabrics are polycrylonitriles, which may be carcinogenic.


Generally speaking, natural fibers have half the carbon footprint of all synthetics. In addition to having a much smaller carbon footprint in production, natural fibers are biodegradable when discarded. Microorganisms can safely break them down and these broken down fibers are easily composted, with all carbon returning to the soil and assisting in regrowth of new plants. Clothing made from natural fibers or discarded textiles can also be recycled into anything from paper, cotton rags or seat cushions, depending on the severity of wear and tear. When unsalvageable, natural fiber clothing is easily composted. 

Organic fibers are the most heavily regulated. Their carbon footprint is almost always, the most impressive. Only organic guarantees no toxic synthetic pesticides, toxic synthetic herbicides, or chemical NPK fertilizers used in production, and no antibiotics or growth hormones are given to animals. Organic producers and processors are subject to rigorous announced - and unannounced - certification inspections by third-party inspectors to ensure that they are producing and processing organic products. Organic, all-natural fabrics like cotton, wool and linen may be the safest options when it comes to your health. Animal fibers such as silk, wool, cashmere, angora are also more intelligent choices.

Substituting organic fibers for conventionally grown fibers is not just a little better but lots better in all respects. A study published by Innovations Agronomiques (2009) found that 43% less GHG (greenhouse gases) are emitted per unit area under organic agriculture than under conventional agriculture. A study done by Dr. David Pimentel of Cornell University found that organic farming systems used just 63% of the energy required by conventional farming systems, largely because of the massive amounts of energy requirements needed to synthesize nitrogen fertilizers. 

However just because it’s organic doesn’t mean it necessarily has a smaller carbon footprint. This is because it is all contingent on the area of manufacture. In a study from Stockholm Environment Institute, they found that the total energy to produce organic cotton in India was greater than the conventionally, non-organic cotton produced in the USA. The reason is because yields are much less in India, so it takes much more land, employees, transportation and energy to grow the same amount of organic cotton that is grown in places such as the United States. In addition, much of India’s energy is still driven from coal, a nonrenewable resource. Organic is great in any capacity but if you’re going to buy organic, just be mindful of where it’s produced.


Shibori, a form of Japanese tie-dyeing technique, that dates back to the 8th century, is still being practiced today. The technique is done completely by hand from start to finish and is very labor intensive but preserves this ancient, artisanal craft of manufacturing textiles.

Think of buying vintage as a form of recycling textiles. By consuming recycled textiles and clothing we reduce our dependency on the production of new fabrics.  The fabrics that Faburiq sources are made from methods that have been in existence for hundreds of years, before the time of modern dyes and chemicals. The same labor-intensive ways, free of modern machinery were used to create these designs and fabrics. These methods are still employed today, handed down from previous generations.

According to the EPA, every year an estimated 13.1 million tons of textiles are thrown away and of that, only 15% (roughly 2 million tons) are reclaimed for recycling! The remaining 11 million tons of textiles sits to decompose in landfills. Decomposing clothing releases methane, a harmful GHG and a significant contributor to global warming. There are dyes and chemicals in fabric and other components of clothing and shoes that can leach into the soil, contaminating both surface and groundwater. In addition to that, the recycling and waste management process is energy intensive and could very easily double the amount of energy already required to manufacture the fabric in the first place. 

Fashion is cyclical and recyclable. They will often come back in style, but in a contemporary form. The fabrics that we source are not only classic, they are also timeless. Therefore…be mindful of your fabric choices. Shop Faburiq’s collection of handmade accessories, all made from Heritage, Vintage and Dead-stock fabrics.


  1. http://www.dailyinfographic.com
  2. http://www.statista.com/
  3. Stockholm Environmental Institute

Author: Aruña Quiroga

絞 : Shibori

The word Shibori comes from the Japanese verb root “shiboru” meaning, “to wring, squeeze, press”.

Shibori a traditional Japanese resist-dyeing technique that has been around longer than any other fabric dyeing method. It was most popular in the early Edo period when lower class people were forbidden from wearing silk. The pattern is made by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, compressing, dyeing, and then releasing the binding pressure to reveal the pattern. Each method that is used is done with harmony with the type of cloth to create beautiful surface designs. Commonly mistaken for tie-dye in the West, the original Shibori techniques were ancestral, handed down exclusively within Japanese artisan families. There are six major known Shibori techniques: Kanoko, Miura, Kumo, Nui, Arashi and Itajime. Faburiq's accessories are made from fabrics that utilize the Kanoko and Miura techniques.

Kanoko Shibori.jpg

Kanoko Shibori, the most popular variation of the Shibori technique and the closest to the Western Tie-Dye version, involves tying cloth to achieve the desired pattern. Each individual knot is hand-tied, creating small variations in the shapes, and is carefully released by the artisan one at a time. Most common are circular shapes achieved with this technique. Sometimes the circles are places in an irregular fashion to create an image, or more frequently, the fabric is folded into layers to create a repeating pattern. This is a time-consuming, painstaking process with beautiful, monochromatic results.


Miura is a technique that involves looping and binding. A hook and needle is used to pluck sections of the cloth and a thread is looped around each section twice, the released pattern resembles water ripples. The final pattern depends on how tightly you bind the fabric and where it is bound, making each pattern unique in itself. This is the easiest of all Shibori techniques and most commonly used.

Author: Aruña Quiroga