By Dovilė Utaraitė
If you were asked how many fabric stores you know in Vilnius, you would probably list one or two, or maybe none. Even fashion design students would mention „Danesa“, „Aviko Tekstilė ir Ko“, and maybe some of them would say fabric hangar in Gariūnai. However, as soon as we search for „tissue stores in Vilnius“ in a google web search, we would have a huge list of fabric and other textile stores on offer. There would be „Audinių Pasaulis“, „Amado audiniai“, „Spalvoti audiniai“, „dress2dress“, „Lino Namai“ and etc. We would be very surprised that we have not even heard of some of them.
If there is such a wide selection of fabric stores, so what we can say about tissue diversity? Yes, as well as fabric outlets, the range of fabric choices is very wide and varied. From real hides to faux leather, from knitwear to the most expensive silk… However, there has to be some category of fabric that is most affordable, right? Although I was looking for the answer to this question at a number of fabric stores, there was a very similar answer in all outlets: everything depends on the season. Yes and no otherwise. In the winter and autumn season coats fabric, wool, artificial fur, gabardine and knitwear are becoming more popular, during the summer time – silk, linen and other thinner fabrics.
It is not surprisingly that changing catwalk fashion dictates fabric trends as well. People follow high fashion trends, so when they see some fabrics on the catwalk, they want to buy them and sew a similar garment for themselves. According to the fabric stores, customers are quite actively following developments in the fashion world, so boldly use nontraditional fabric and they are not afraid to combine different materials together.
But there is another side of this colorful industry. Have you ever been asking yourself in the fabric store: why are the prices of fabrics so high and the quality that should be at the given price is not excellent?
After all, there is no secret that „Danesa“, one of the biggest fabric store in Vilnius, rises fabric prices 3 or more times. But despite all of this, probably all the designers and brands we know today, started from this store because they didn’t have enough knowledge, experience and contacts. When you don’t know the other options, then you almost have no choice, you’re forced to buy what’s available and pay as much as is written.
Lithuania is a linen country, but it is a pity that this fabric is often more expensive here than elsewhere. We have not only one linen fabric shop, but also several linen and knitwear manufacturers („Omniteksas“, „Pakaita“, Utenos trikotažas“ and etc.). But have you ever had to shop at these factories at all? Have you seen the goods they produce? However, you have at least once visited a shop where you can find several Lithuanian designers clothes in one place. So, if we have Lithuanian designers shops, why not open Lithuanian textile shops as well? Thus, in one place, we would have Lithuanian and, above all, quality textile products.
There is another dilemma when you think about fabrics: the residuals of tissue in warehouses. In this situation, young designers can certainly be called sustainability representatives, because usually they use fabric which is left of others production. However, it is a shame that they have to buy these residuals of fabric with increased prices. Previously, the production of special fabric for the collection sounded exclusive, but now the individual ability to recycle fabric and create a new impression on an old fabric or item is far more appreciated.
This is what young designers do, so why don’t their eco-friendly and unique ideas get attractive conditions?
After all, those who have been working in the fashion and fabric industry for years have accumulated rooms and lofts with scraps of fabric. It is often an impulsive purchase: I saw, liked it, took it, and then no longer knew what to make of that fabric. But perhaps this piece of fabric would happily start life as a garment made by another designer. So it would be a great option to create a space to exchange unnecessary fabrics and sell off any tissue leftovers. After all, someone might be in dire need of this unnecessary fabric, and the price at the store is far too high.