Tactile Trends.

Sustainable Design and Material Futures

Fabric Trend Story - Labour of Love - Spring/Summer 2018

Fabric Trend Story - Labour of Love - Spring/Summer 2018

Cover Image: Porter Classic

During our weekly coverage of fashion month Tactile Trends touched on the concept of decorative utility and luxury slow fashion. Today we want to elaborate on these key concepts through a fabric story called 'Labour of Love'.

The idea of re-purposing and decorating work wear is something Li Edelkoort touched on in her Autumn/Winter '17/18 Trend Union manifesto and we see this concept evolving perfectly into Spring/Summer '18, as the season accomodates natural fibres like linen, flax, hemp and cotton.

In Labour of Love we look into the charming world of Japanese Boro and the art of mending through brands like Porter Classic and Darn & Dusted but first lets set the scene with a mood board that pulls together the core elements of Boro, a term derived from Japanese boroboro, meaning something tattered or repaired.

Fabric Trend Story 'Labour of Love' | Sources: Sri Threads | Gordan Fikes | Wenzhou University | KapitalPorter Classic | Sasaki-Yohinten

Boro cannot be made on purpose. It cannot be made to sell. It has to be made by accumulation and use - by using up old things.
— Gladly Beyond

The Art of Mending

Turn back time for a moment and imagine a historical Japanese Minka house, a farm worker is sat in the shadows patching cotton and linen garments with hemp thread. She breathes life into time worn work clothing and soft furnishings by mending.

Tapestry of Repair

Stab stitch, darning and patchworks characterise her rich tapestry of repair as we take inspiration from traditional mending as seen at Darn and Dusted and Porter Classic.

Farm Hand

Working on a farm is a labour of love, it calls for fabrics that can brave the elements and silhouettes that protect, wrap and surround the body like aprons and traditional Monpe breeches.

Rustic Treasure

Natural fibres and patchworks enrich garments with flax, hemp, cotton and linen working together to make durable, dry and characterful texture.


When it comes to promoting and honouring the tradition of mending through trend it is important to approach in new ways and not simply replicate a time worn look which is not authentic. Instead this trend could be approached as a customization, embroidery or mending pop-up service, empowering the customer and playing into the area of sustainability.

Want to learn more? Head over to our Labour of Love Pinterest Board

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