Friday, July 12, 2013

Finding Quality Products: Seams

An example of very misaligned seams
Quality products come at all different price points, so sometimes it can be difficult to know if the item one is about to purchase is worth the price tag.

One thing to look for is seams that line up the pattern so that the seam is unnoticeable.

When a pattern does not line up at the seam, it is a good indication that corners were cut in the production of the item. It could mean that the factory is also not using quality fabrics, or that they are purposely trying to use every inch of fabric to cut down on costs in order to drive up profits.

When patterns do line up at the seams, it means that the manufacturer has chosen to discard some fabric in favor of detail. In other words, the manufacturer places a priority on quality details over saving a little money in production.

Placing this type of quality detailing over profit is a solid indication that the manufacturer takes pride in the way the clothing is made, so one can trust that other high quality details such as strong seams, good quality fabric, trusted dyes, and consistent cuts have also been scrutinized.

Side seams are a place to check, but button downs should also include a placket and pocket that line the pattern up. The idea is that the pocket and placket are not noticeable as separate pieces, but that the shirt is seen as a unified piece, without the distraction of misaligned seams.

It is possible that the misaligned seam is the only problem, or that it was just a mistake the factory made on that singular piece, but if one is paying full price for an item with misaligned seams, she should be wary.

If the item is found at a discount store like Marshalls or T.J. Max, and it is made by a manufacturer one has had good experiences with in the past, then it is likely that the manufacturer has high standards and was simply not happy with the seams, and therefore did not want to sell it at full price. Quality manufacturers will often release these pieces to discount stores. So, if I found an item with slightly misaligned seams at a discount store like Marshalls or T.J. Max, I would be willing to take my chances that everything else on the item was produced with high standards, and make the purchase.

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