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    Live Boldly Blog — Designer Knitwear

    Sweater Fiber 101

    Sweater Fiber 101

    There are so many different fibers these days, it’s hard to keep them straight.  Here is a quick checklist of some of our favorite fibers.

    Constellation Ski Sweater, made with 100% Extra Fine Merino Wool
    Our Pearl dress is made in a viscose blend
    Our Maggie wrap sweater is made in a Alpaca / Merino blend

    Fibers From Animals:

    Merino Merino Wool – Prized for their wool, Merino Sheep deliver a soft, fine fiber that is naturally antibacterial, repels water and stays warm and toasty even when wet.

    Cashmere – Cashmere fibers come from the downy winter undercoat of Cashmere Goats.  Cashmere wool is finer, stronger and lighter and three times more insulating than sheep’s wool.  Often garnishing a premium price even over Ultrafine Merino Wool.

     

    Mohair – A fine and delicate fiber from the Angora goat.  Angora is notable for its high luster and sheen, mohair is warm in winter yet moisture-wicking and cool in the summer.  Mohair is naturally elastic, flame and crease-resistant.  Mohair is often blended with other fibers (like nylon) to increase its durability.

    Angora – Not to be mistaken for Mohair, which comes from the Angora Goat (see above).  Angora refers to the downy coat of the Angora Rabbit.  Angora Rabbit fur fibers are much warmer and lighter than wool due to the hollow core of the angora fiber.  There are several animal cruelty concerns in the “plucking” of fur from Angora rabbits.  “Plucking” might sound bad, but plucking in this sense refers to the brushing out of the rabbit’s undercoat so you get fewer outer fibers (sort of like using an undercoat brush on your dog).

    Alpaca – Alpaca is a cute animal (well, we think so) resembling a Llama.  Alpaca fibers are similar to sheep’s wool but actually hypoallergenic because it lacks lanolin.  Alpaca fibers are naturally water-repellent and warmer than sheep’s wool.

     

    Silk – The silk worm isn’t so much an animal as insect, but we’ve put it into this category.  A silkworm creates a cocoon from one continuous thread of protein. The silk is harvested from the cocoons.  The cocoons are boiled or steamed to kill the pupa and loosen the seracin that holds the cocoon together.  Individual silk threads are unraveled from the cocoon and spun into a thread.  Each cocoon can contain a continuous thread between 300 and 900 meters in length.

    From Plants:

    There are many different plants and plant products made into apparel fibers these days.

    Flax stems during harvest
    Flax stems during harvest
    Cotton
    Cotton
    Soy BeansSoy Beans

    Cotton – The most widely produced natural fiber on the planet.  The cotton seed head contains the fiber that is spun into yarn.

    Linen – made from the stems of flax plants.  Linen is one of the few fabrics that is stronger wet than dry.

    Lyocell and Modal – fibers are manufactured from wood pulp.  Chemicals are used in the production of these fibers, but the process is free from harmful solvents, and the processes are closed loop (meaning that the chemicals are captured and reused over and over again). Tencel® is a certified form of Lyocell that is guaranteed to be made from sustainable wood pulp.  Bamboo Lyocell is sustainable because bamboo is a fast-growing sustainable crop.  Our Fall 2018 Lightweight Base Layer collection features Tencel®.

    Soy – An eco friendly fabric manufactured from food production waste (tofu manufacturing), made from the hulls of soy beans.  Soy is soft, easy to care for and absorbs dyes quickly.

    Viscose,  Hemp, Jute, Bamboo, Sisal, and several others – are all different wood pulps and plants used to make apparel fibers.

    #WCW -- Hillary G.

    #WCW -- Hillary G.

    Meet the woman behind the amazing illustrations on our lightweight base layers and new bags coming out this Fall. Hillary G. is based in Boulder, CO just down the street from the Krimson Klover office. Hillary has a natural talent when it comes to art and design. She has vast experience in apparel design starting with Diane von Furstenberg and ranging from Macy’s to Neve Designs and now Krimson Klover. I had the pleasure of meeting up with her to ask a few questions about her artwork and her lifestyle and how each influences the other.

    When it comes to what inspires her artwork, her base layer designs are motivated by vintage ski posters and retro ski fashion ranging from the 1920’s through the 1970’s. She aims to modernize the vintage ski look into a new, fun, yet relatable image. For her folkloric prints, she focuses on different themes each season. Hillary explained, “If you stick with the same traditional Nordic motifs and patterns they tend to look a little repetitive and can be overdone. Each new collection is inspired by traditional art motifs from different cultures to keep it fresh and interesting.”

    Some of her Fall ’18 inspiration came from the Ukrainian Psyanka designs (traditional Easter eggs) with intricate line work, whereas her upcoming Fall ’19 designs are influenced by Romanian embroidery motifs and Peruvian floral designs. She gives her vintage fashion girl designs a modern retro vibe in fun après ski scenes.  Adding bright pops of color makes this artwork come off as modernized and fresh pieces that are highly sought after.

    North Star Base Layer

    After touching on her inspiration from different places around the world, I wanted to know where she likes to travel and how much of an influence that has on her work. Immediately after asking her, she responded with “Everywhere inspires me”. Wherever Hillary goes she is searching for and aware of her surroundings that inspire her. “The more you travel, the more knowledge and inspiration you gather”, she told me, so she tries to travel any chance she can. Hillary went to Morocco last year and found herself drawn to the beautiful tile work, natural dye colors and architecture around her. On her honeymoon in Italy she was surrounded by gorgeous ceramics with ornate patterns and bright colors.  Just a few months ago she traveled throughout Scotland and was inspired by all the rich plaid tartans and elegant wool and cashmere knitwear.  Hillary is hoping to explore Peru next, and I’m sure many more places in the future.

    Hillary started illustrating custom prints at Neve Designs in 2012.  Rhonda, founder of Krimson Klover, founded Neve designs back in 2010.  When she started designing at Krimson Klover, Hillary and Rhonda wanted to transition those dynamic prints into something a little more modern and fresh, and still reflect the retro flair of the European ski heritage.

    Hillary was fascinated with art from the moment she was able to hold a crayon. Her mom saw the talent and potential that she possessed and signed her up for many art classes as she grew up. Hillary’s mom and sister are both designers as well, so the passion clearly runs in the family. She attended CSU for fashion design and was admitted into the competitive fashion program as a freshman where at the time only 25 students were accepted. As her apparel design career developed, “It was a nice surprise falling into print design”, she told me as she talked about her life after graduating from CSU. Hillary has designed prints in previous roles and learned how to design knitwear when she was hired as an Assistant Sweater Designer at Macy’s in New York.

    With two offices, one at home and one on swanky Pearl Street in Boulder, Hillary likes to switch up her location of work to keep ideas flowing and fresh. “Staying in one place for too long creates a bit of a road-block for me, so I like to change up my surroundings.” She shares her office in Boulder with her older sister, Jillian, who works as a contract Art Director. The two are actually starting their own apparel brand called Glenn + Glenn, launching in the Spring of 2019. Glenn + Glenn will feature women’s woven contemporary apparel such as tanks, dresses, skirts, blouses and items of the sort. They are aiming to achieve a minimalistic, clean and modern look. “This line will be very different from what I currently design for other clients, but will still have that same modern, fresh look.  It has been a lot of work in the making, but we are very excited to create this together.” Be sure to look out for Glenn + Glenn coming out next spring!

    Adrenaline Base Layer

    Lots of artists and designers have a ritual or routine they do before getting into their work. Hillary likes to take a couple of days after she gets her design brief to begin looking for inspirations and motivations. She likes to go through her daily routine with the idea in the back of her mind, seeing what might pop out to her. Like most of us creatives, she likes to look through Pinterest, magazines, and books to spark ideas. “Inspiration takes the longest time, for sure, but it is the most fun”, Hillary said while talking about the process. “Once you know what your client is looking for, it’s helpful to keep that idea rolling around in the back of your head for even several weeks before putting anything on paper.” On that note, I was curious to see if she found herself creating several drafts before presenting her final idea. Since she takes her time curating the idea in her head, she is able to come up with several options once she begins her sketches to present. Rarely does she completely throw away an idea, rather just narrows down and makes changes when presenting them to her clients.

    Hillary’s favorite thing about illustrating is seeing her sketches evolve into actual garments. Usually the initial print idea and the final product evolve quite a bit along the way as tiny details emerge in the design, so she loves to see how the final design compares to her original vision. “Seeing my rough black and white sketch turn into colored vector art on the base layers is a really fun experience. Typically, the original design ideas are done in pen and ink because the color palette has not been finalized yet.  “This makes the process very exciting as the design kind of jumps to life when we add in the color,” she told me when talking about her sketches. If she ever gets stuck on a design or idea, she tries to switch gears, work on something else and then goes back to it. It usually just takes reworking the design until it flows– whether it’s moving motifs around or re-doing spatial patterns. Attached at the end are a few examples of her sketches moving through the process.

    North Star Base Layer

    When it comes to working with Krimson Klover, Hillary likes the fact that we are easy and fun to work with. “Rhonda gives me a lot of creative leeway, which is nice because it allows me to add in my personal creativity and come up with a few different ideas that maybe weren’t initially included on the design brief.” She said that Rhonda likes to push the envelope as much as she can with ideas and imagination, which creates a productive working environment. “Rhonda is so great to work with because she can look at my initial designs and can see the vision and potential. After working together for several seasons, we both have an understanding in the process.  Rhonda shows confidence in my initial ideas and they usually turn out better than we originally expected. It makes it a lot easier to work with someone who is creative in that way and can see my vision from the beginning.” Hillary also mentioned how important Krimson Klover’s new “slow-fashion” movement is and how Rhonda really stands by that. “Rhonda understands that creating detailed prints takes time. She wants to get it right for the customer and doesn’t rush the process which is very helpful for a designer.” Something Hillary really notices about Rhonda is that she is very in-tune with the Krimson Klover customers; “If there is a piece they really loved from last season, we will be sure to include a new update in the next season to serve those customers wants and needs.”

    Back Country Base Layer

    Hillary has a few people that really inspire her and that she would love to do a co-lab with if she ever got the chance. “Print-wise, Diane von Furstenberg has always really inspired me because I was able to go behind the scenes of their design process.  Every print is done in house and created by their designers. They also resurrect a lot of DVF’s classic vintage prints and rework them in a fresh way.  Mara Hoffman is another fabulous designer I would love to do a co-lab with. Her use of color and variation of print work is always exciting to look at.”

    When it comes to how Hillary Lives Boldly, she is very active and loves to take advantage of living so close to the mountains and being outside as much as she can. “I love to snowboard and travel.  That is the benefit from being a contractor – you can work from almost anywhere!”  Tennis is a big love of hers and she also attempts to keep up with her husband mountain biking. Whenever she has the extra time, Hillary loves to be a part of the community and participate in any social events happening in the Denver and Boulder area.

    Submitted by:  Emma Feeney, Krimson Klover Intern

    #WCW -- Ellen DeLisio

    #WCW -- Ellen DeLisio

    We have a new member of our KK team to welcome – Ellen DeLisio, our new product project manager. Replacing Andrea, who is settling down in LA as we speak getting ready for the next chapter in her life, Ellen will be taking over the product development arena. We are sad to see Andrea go, but we are lucky to have Ellen as part of the team now! Ellen grew up in a small town near Boston and actually went to school out there as well at a small arts college to study fashion design.

    Curious to know how she got into the apparel industry and where her passion stems from, we asked when she got into the fashion world and how she knew it was what she wanted to do after school. Ellen told us that she started sewing in high school while participating in her town’s youth service club called Keep It Wild. This club had annual fashion shows that Ellen took part in for two years and during her senior year she created a collection based on Alice in Wonderland with her best friend. After being a part of those events, Ellen knew right away that fashion was her calling and she decided to go to school to study fashion design so she could confidently go into the industry afterwards.

    Being from Boston and going to school there, we weren’t too surprised on her decision to come out to Colorado but still wanted to know why. “Colorado is what made me come here. Just the mountains being right where you are and going from a small city to a mountain town within steps is amazing to me”.  That being said, we wanted to know what she loves most about being in Colorado now that she has settled in, and she said that the mountains will never get old for her. Ellen climbs and had started climbing right before she came to Boulder.  Now that she is able to go and do the real thing, she is very grateful.

    Though she loves being in Colorado and takes advantage of everything it has to offer, Ellen also loves to travel. Her favorite place to go is South America, specifically Guatemala. “The culture is so interesting and colorful there. They also have amazing mountains”, Ellen said explaining her love for the destination. She is inspired by places she goes and people she surrounds herself with but, specifically, she is inspired by her mom. Ellen’s mom is hard working and made Ellen into the focused and driven woman she is today. Her mom is also a traveling connoisseur, she is a flight attendant, so they share that special love together. “She is pretty classic. It’s funny because she claims that she isn’t trendy or on top of what is the new thing, but she is usually the first one to come out with the trends. She seems to be really hitting the trends before anyone else is, which always inspires and impresses me”, Ellen said about her mother.

    On the other hand, when it comes to people that Ellen hopes to inspire herself, she doesn’t have anyone too specific. She hopes to be able to inspire and be a role model for younger women everywhere. She wants to be able to show that your path doesn’t always end up how you imagined it and wherever you are now, is where you’re supposed to be. Ellen really hopes to get that message across in things she does and is confident saying that whatever happens will happen for a reason and that you just need to go with the flow sometimes, as hard as that can be.

    All of that aside, the most important thing we needed to know was what her superpower would be if she could choose any. “I would have to say flying; I have flown in my dreams before and it is so thrilling and I want to feel that in real life” Good choice Ellen; we approve. Besides someday being able to fly, Ellen has a passion for ultimate Frisbee and plays with a group on a weekly basis. Of course I had to ask her to explain the sport to me a bit, but it’s just like football and sounds like a heck of a good time (and workout). She also loves to cook and try new recipes whenever she can. She makes her own almond milk and has just recently started making her own kombucha as well; definitely the signs of a creative and motivated mind. Ellen hiking Maroon Bells

    On that note, we wanted to dive into what she is most excited about when it comes to working for Krimson Klover and being a part of the team. “I’m super excited about knits. I see so many interesting pieces being designed for Spring ’19 and some interesting [knit] techniques as well. The possibilities with the colors, materials and unique designs are getting me very excited”.

    I had to ask Ellen how she lives up to Krimson Klover’s motto, “Live Boldly”. Ellen lives boldly by having strong opinions about her ways of life, decisions that she makes and lifestyles she chooses to live. “I stay true to how I choose to think and go about my life and don’t see myself ever changing those opinions”. Strong women are who we at Krimson Klover aim to inspire and create with; Ellen is going to fit in great here and we can’t wait to start creating with the new addition to our KK family.

    Submitted by: Emma Feeney, Intern

    Sweater Care: 10 Tips to Keep Your Sweaters Hygge Worthy

    Sweater Care: 10 Tips to Keep Your Sweaters Hygge Worthy

    The Delicate Cycle Isn’t So Delicate – 10 Tips for Sweater Care

    In today’s wash and wear world, we often forget that beautiful fibers like Merino wool need a little special care to ensure they last a lifetime.

    1. Smelling pretty.

    Merino wool is coated in natural lanolin, this lanolin acts as a barrier to odor and is a natural stain repellent.  Unless your garment is visibly stained, you really don’t need to wash it.  You can wear your wool items many times before they need a little sprucing up.  This isn’t just a great time saver – but it’s also super friendly to the environment.  Less washing means less water and electricity used for cleaning.

    After wearing, just hang your items to let them air out and they are ready to be added back into your wardrobe rotation.  If you are around smoke or had a little spill, you might need to give your sweater a little extra attention.

    2. Spot Check.

    If you need a little more sprucing up, we recommend dry cleaning or using the at home dry cleaning sheets (like Dryel).  We don’t recommend putting any of your wool items in the washer or dryer!  You’ll end up with beautiful tiny versions of your favorite knitted items for sure.  Even the “delicate” cycle will render your favorite sweater unwearable.

    3. Give Them a Hand.

    First, make sure to read the care tag on your garment.  Some sweaters have special knit techniques and designs and may stretch/shrink differently after being submerged in water.  If you are unsure, using Dryel or dry cleaning is your safest bet.

    Here’s how to hand wash like a pro:  Fill a sink or large plastic container with as much cool water as you can.  Add a few squirts of a gentle detergent like Woolite.  Submerge your sweater and swish it around.  Let it soak for 30 minutes, then rinse it well under cool water.

    4. Get Horizontal.

    Never wring or twist a sweater to get the water out after hand washing.  Gently squeeze as much water as you can out of your sweater then lay it flat on a towel and roll it up like a sushi roll to soak up any excess water.  Lay it flat on a clean dry towel or sweater dryer.

    Please don’t hang your wet sweaters, the weight of the water will stretch out your sweater while it dries and all of your hard work will be for naught.

    5. Sometimes shrinking isn’t the problem.

    If you leave your knitted garments hanging all year long, the weight of the sweater or dress will stretch your garment after time.  This is especially true for those that have a looser weave.  It’s best to store your heavier and knitted items folded.  However, if you do want to hang them, the best way to hang your sweaters is by folding them over the hanger.  This will prevent stretching as well as the “bumps” you get in the shoulders of the sweater from the  hanger.

    6. Moth Holes are Really a Thing.

    Midnight merino snack for moth larvae. Moths are very sneaky little critters, they love natural fibers and the moth larvae will chew little holes in wool, silk and sometimes cotton.  You won’t typically see the moths hanging around, but you’ll know they were in your closet when you find a hole in your favorite sweater.  The best way to prevent your sweaters from becoming a midnight snack, is to store them in moth proof containers (sweater bags, plastic bins) with a few cedar chips thrown in for good measure. This dress has pilling, most likely from crossed legs rubbing under a desk or table.

    7. Bumpy situation.

    Pilling, or the little bumps on your sweater is caused by friction, from things like seat belts, purses, and arms.  Most sweaters when subjected to friction will pill, you can easily and gently remove them by holding the sweater flat and slicing the pills off one at a time with a razor.  There are sweater “shavers” that use abrasive stones and convenient battery operated versions as well.

    8. Snags Happen.

    Inevitably you’ll have a purse or piece of furniture that pulls a snag in your sweater.  Lightly stretch the garment around the snag to decrease any puckering.  You can pull the extra yarn through to the inside of the garment.  Please don’t cut the yarn off, you will end up with a hole.

    9. Wrinkle in Time.

    If your sweater has been crammed in a storage container for a season or at the bottom of the pile on a shelf, don’t plug in your iron just yet.  Some fabrics, such as cashmere, are especially susceptible to heat and require special care.

    Lay your sweater flat on your ironing board and lay a thin dish towel on top of your sweater, this will protect your sweater from the extra moisture.  Note:  Don’t use a colored towel, the dye may transfer to your sweater.

    Using the steam setting on your iron, lay the iron on top of the towel without applying additional pressure and move it quickly over the sweater.  Do not stop the iron or leave it in one place for long.  Remove the towel and leave your sweater on the ironing board for a few minutes to let the fibers cool down.

    10. End Game.

    At the end of the season, clean or air out your sweaters and it’s best to fold up your sweaters and store them in breathable-bug-proof containers in the off-season.  You can easily find these at home stores or Amazon.

    2018 Spring Trends

    2018 Spring Trends

    Despite the recent snow here in Colorado, we are getting excited for Spring! We wanted to give you a sneak peek into our Spring 2018 line and talk about upcoming spring trends.

    The first trend we are particularly excited about is Tropical Inspiration. You’ll see lots of beautiful and bold flashes of color interwoven through intricate floral designs this spring season. The twist: these designs aren’t your typical floral design or Hawaiian shirt look, they have a tropical inspired abstract twist to them that is booming in the fashion world. Our Spring ’18 line will feature several different pieces with tropical inspiration such as scarves, ponchos, tunics, swing skirts, and halter tops. Some examples are the Skimmer Swing Skirt, Zaharra Tunic, and Flamenco Dress. Shown below, these pieces are a perfect example of a pop of vibrant color for any spring day or the seamless-looking resort wear outfit.

    (1) Skimmer Swing Skirt Paired with Everyday Tee, (2) Flamenco Dress, (3) Zaharra Tunic

    Another trend you'll see this spring and will create lots of talk this season is Feminine Detailing. You'll see a lot of geometric mosaic designs crisscross strap detailing and bell-shaped sleeves. The pleats flounces, and ruffles in pieces this spring are going to be very popular and sought out for. These small and subtle features are the perfect surprise to pieces that you all already love. This trend can be spotted in our Joni cardigan, Rey halter top, and Arlo sweater, shown below. The intricate layering at the bottom of the Rey halter creates a flowering and flattering look that can complete any outfit this spring. Pleated detail is another feature you’ll find this season which creates an ultimately slimming look that we can’t get enough of.

    (1)Arlo Bell Sleeved Pullover Paired with the Starboard Skirt (2) Rey halter top, (3) Piper Racerback Dress with Keyhole Detail 

    When it came to creating an overall look this coming Spring season, we think it is more than necessary to have Everyday Basics available. These pieces can be paired with just about anything to create a sought-after outfit. We wanted to re-invent the closet staples and give these pieces little surprises. By adding small details such as keyhole cutouts, ribbing details, and pointelle stitching, we are able to keep the look simple and at the same time create a sense of uniqueness. The combination of timeless tones and revamped classics with unexpected detailing, we have the perfect go-to pieces for you this season. Our basics are the Capitol T-shirt and Suki halter dress.  The Suki has pointelle stitching around the neck and pleating in the back adding unexpected details to this solid dress.

    (1) Capital 3/4 Sleeve T-shirt  Paired with the Ginger Skort, (2) Pointele Detailing on the Suki Dress, (3) Suki Halter Dress showing the ruffle back detail.

    Performance Knits are a huge focus for us this Spring.  Our knit pieces fit nicely into everyday lifestyle looks. Adding structural texture along with elasticity, strength, durability, and breathability, these pieces will help you complete your active and sporty lifestyle wardrobe. We had a feeling we would be seeing this trend all over this season and we are beginning to see we were correct.  The stripes and clever rib placement on these pullover tops, create a sporty look that can easily be transformed into casual looks just by switching up the items you pair with it. Made from viscose, which is a naturally derived fiber from a wood pulp, in these performance pieces gives them the strength and resistance to abrasion making them breathable and dependable. The Harbor Hoody and Britt Tank are a few of our favorite performance knits for Spring.

    (1) Brit Tank paired with the Farrah Skort, (2) Back view of Harbor Hoody, (3) Leia Crew Pullover 

    The spring trend that really intrigued us this season was the Laser Cut and Mesh look. This has been very popular featuring graphic geometrics with high contracts and negative/positive space. It’s the new and modern take on the traditional feminine lace, giving it an updated and fresh look that is unmistakable. The precision peekaboo’s and pointelle holes create a twist on our popular silhouettes. We had fun with this one because it is such an intricate and delicate process. The Jasmine Dress and Pepper Skort are perfect examples of the laser cut trend within our line. Dress them up or down, they are ready to go from the park to dinner with the family.

    (1) Jasmine Laser Cut Dress (2) Pepper Laser Cut Skort Paired with Lily Tank (3) Lily Tank Features a Laser Cut Look Detail on the Back. Paired with Georgia Skort 

    Versatility and functionality is a trend we can get behind, everyone loves a good “Athleisure” outfit. Who doesn’t want to be comfortable yet in style? Everyone loves a high functionality piece that they can always rely on for a day of spontaneous adventure. These pieces are perfect for when you don’t know what is coming your way, but you want to look great and be prepared. Including a bold color palette and your classic red, white and blue palette, you can go for either look to go along with your fast-paced lifestyle.

    (1) Camellia Dress (2) Ginger Skort paired with Capital 3/4 Sleeve Tee (3) Mae Wrap Romper 

    Lastly, this Spring we added a few Nautical Inspired pieces. With billowing stripes and classic color palettes, this look is perfect for any spring day paired with any of your favorite solid pieces. Timeless horizontals and innovative mashups with the striping are essential for the nautical style.  Check out our Leia pullover, Dorothy Dress, and Abella Scarves.

    (1) Dorothy Dress (2) Frida Racer Back Dress (3) Everyday Tee Paired with Abella Scarf

    p.s. All jewelery provided by Bronwen Jewelry, some items are only available at our retail locations. 

    Get excited, our spring items will be available on our website March 1, 2018.