Fabrics - Make it Burn

Tips For Promoting Burnout Fabrics To Progressive Clients

Burnout FabricsIt's time to take a fresh look at burnout-style T-shirts. The distinctive gossamer quality of this almost see-through fabric has been turned up a notch. What used to be available mostly in lightweight cotton/poly blends has evolved. Today's newest burnout offerings vary in fabrication, color and weights.

For example, the addition of rayon to create a tri-blend has given some styles a desirable fluidity. US Blanks (asi/92423) carries such a style in a butterfly sleeve blouse made of 50% polyester, 37.5% cotton and 12.5% rayon. "This style embodies a relaxed, Californian-inspired fit that is not only comfortable, but flattering for any female," says U.S. Blanks' account manager Stephanie Sherwood.

Mary Ellen Nichols, director of marketing at Bodek and Rhodes (asi/40788), explains how today's generation of burnout fabrics, such as Ombré burnout styles from Next Level Apparel (asi/73867), reflect a younger audience's desire to stand out with vibrant color and a unique finish. "First, the fabric is actually burned out randomly so each piece is a work of art. Technically, some of the fibers are dissolved through a chemical process, creating a semi-transparent pattern against more solidly woven fabric. But texturally, this makes an incredible background palette for a graphic design. Or as a young person would say: ‘It's so random.'" The gradated light- to-dark look of ombré embodies recent color trends. "It has that ‘dipped effect,' so the wearer can have a splash of color to accent her artwork or mood," Nichols says.

Recently, SanMar (asi/84863) added a dozen new fabrics to its District line, including a riff on burnout called "Microburn." It's a modern take on burnout with a weathered look and feel. Microburn shirts feature a rare blend of shades and layers for an unusually lightweight feel and one-of-a-kind look. "The fashion basics market continues to evolve," says Rhea Aslin, senior brand manager at SanMar. "Dyeing techniques and unique heathers add freshness to fabrics, while neckline and hem variations are changing the T-shirt landscape."