TaggerWear started in 2004 with the making of a simple swimsuit - well by hand. A sewing machine was used, but the pattern was hand made and skills were are self-taught.
Back then it took hours to painstakingly draw out a design on a pattern. Once the first pattern design looked right, it then had to be graded (grow or shrink) - again by hand - for however many sizes were needed at the time.
Then each size had to be traced individually so that different pieces could be made.
Needless to say, this process sometimes took an entire day or two - depending on the complexity of the design. Back then we didn't try to do designs that were too complicated, because grading them was very difficult.
Today -- well what a difference!
We use cutting edge CAD software - or Computer Aided Drafting - which as been especially designed for the garment making industry. This cuts the time required for creating and grading a design from days to hours. Literally.
So how do we do it?
First we get a design concept from a customer. Let's say they want a race car. Their theme is high speed racing, and they want a checkered flag and a car on their swimsuit.
The first thing I look for is some artwork. Research online is important to get lots of ideas. It's important to not use images that are copyrighted, trademarked, or otherwise owned. This could lead to problems for the client in the form of a lawsuit. We usually look for royalty-free artwork.
We present these ideas until one of them is chosen. Then we start by creating a similar design on a swimsuit form.
Creating fabric designs from complex images was an impossibility before when we worked by hand.
Today however, technology like pen and tablet, digitzers, and CAD software we can duplicate even complex images.
Our client selected the image on the right -- of a checkered background and a race car. So we use this image and create an illustration in the colours they want.
Next once this image has been applied to a swimsuit template, we can adjust the scale we want.
The next step is to create the same design as a sewing pattern. This is a little more difficult than cut and past; but a pen and tablet really help!
Creating this intricate pattern is just one of several steps -- we need to make them "sewable" which means that the individual components can be cut out of fabric and sewn together. More importantly, if it's a team, they all have to look identical, regardless if they are different sizes.
So the design is divided into sections of colour. The car becomes it's own pattern where we can continuously cut pieces. The flag becomes one black section that overlays the white section.
The pattern then has be be graded -- which means that all of the lines in the design need to move with each different size. The design will expand and contract relative to the size of the swimsuit. In a design as complicated as this one, even with CAD it takes a couple of hours.
The result is a multi-coloured diagram where each size is a different colour.
With a design this complicated, we will do a cut PROOF - just to make sure the pieces work well. Then the pieces are sewn together carefully respecting the design pattern.
When we sew them all together, it is an impressive sight! This particular group was a team of nine -- from the smallest to the largest, the design was precise and identical.
And that's how we produce such high quality swimsuit costumes!
Send us your design, we will make it look stunning too!