For this blog post, I thought I’d highlight a little part of our prototyping process. One of my responsibilities these past couple of weeks was (among other things) to order the material that would cover the surface of our insert. Our group wanted something like leather; a material that would be durable, comfortable, and supportive. We started off looking at craft supply stores like Hobby Lobby for leather, but it was expensive and the selection wasn’t really what we were looking for (i.e. thin pleather rather than genuine leather).
Example of suede leather (source)
Luckily, we found a better alternative. Faytex Corporation, a company which develops and sells fabrics for shoes, offered a free A4-sized sample sheet of their product- perfect for creating our prototype. I could tell from their website that the target consumers are professional shoe designers- which is cool that the shoes I buy at the mall or the sporting goods store could potentially be made with material from Faytex. I guess I never really thought about it this way before, but it occurred to me that when someone from, say, Steve Madden or even Nike wants to create a new shoe, they have to go through sort of the same process as we’re going through. Translation: we are basically Steve Madden. Word.
We’re receiving the Lammy Suede (pictured below), which is advertised as a “Microfiber suede-like fabric. When printed, Lammy Suede’s vivid colors create visual interest and a unique look especially appealing to fashionable consumers” (source). I thought this would probably be best because it’s versatile and visually appealing.
Swath of Lammy Suede pictured on the Faytex website.
Anyway, I recently received an email from a lady named Pattie at Faytex saying that our suede has been shipped. This means that very soon, we’re going to be able to start developing our prototype. We’ve spent this whole semester designing a rough version of this insert, and at last we’re finally going to be able to touch it and work with it and make it. I’m a very tactile person, so this is going to be nice.
The copy of the packing slip emailed to me by Pattie.
Also, we’re getting the gel for our prototype from a gel bra insert. We are all extremely excited about this. That is a true testament to the power of an all girl’s school- I don’t think we’d be doing that if we were at a coed school.