Part of our newest Collection includes our first garments made from organic chambray fabric, courtesy of organic cotton pioneer Sally Fox. Sally was an invaluable resource for Alabama Chanin + Billy Reid as we tackled our challenging experiment in growing organic cotton in Alabama. She has worked for decades experimenting with colored cotton and researching pest-resistant strains of organic cotton through her company, FoxFibre.
In the past, we have utilized Sally’s sturdy organic colored cotton for aprons, and we have maintained our relationship with her, as she is always innovating and looking for new perspectives on employing her fabrics. The cotton used for the organic chambray is grown on Sally’s farm in California, then spun, woven, and eco-finished in Japan. The black chambray that we use is dyed using a combination of steps including actual natural indigo and low-impact dyed indigo. The chambray drapes differently than our traditional organic cotton jersey, allowing us to experiment with new silhouettes and structures—creating patterns with a bit more structure and architectural features.
These chambray garments allow our design team to utilize more tailoring details and experiment with new shapes and techniques. The chambray pieces, like the Sylvia Dress and Leighton Skirt, are constructed using a combination of machine-sewn and hand-finished techniques, combining all aspects of our design and production methods. This woven fabric provides variance of texture and adds new facets when incorporated into appliqué. Our design team finds that it brings an interesting depth of surface dimension, adds interesting edges, and provides cohesion for this new collection.
The quality of the chambray is remarkable—exquisite, fine cotton with a slight slub texture. It feels distinctive and luxurious. We are excited about this new offering and the diversity it brings to our collection. We invite you to explore our chambray garments— the Alexa Skirt, Leighton Skirt, Lee Dress, Sylvia Dress, and Valerie Dress—and look for more offerings in the future.