At Hanna, the quality of color and print that we produce and offer to our family is so important to us. This season, the designers were just a bit more inspired.
Thanks to a trip to revisit our roots in Sweden, our CEO and head of Creative and Merchandising brought back such an inspiring story full of photos and vintage hannas that the designers knew their process would change this season.
“The theme of the season became ‘Let it Glow.’ Inspired by clean, modern, simple Scandinavian design. During the holiday kick off concept presentation, there were candles everywhere inspired by the brightness and glowy essence of our Swedish origins,” says our girls designer.
Curated, grouped and pinned on the walls were samples, fabric swatches and photos representing new color pallets. So we went back to the basics and re-imagined color.
“Our creative VP’s and CEO brought back inspiration that really touched at the core of our hearts and where Hanna started,” says our girls designer.
With a new color palette and imagination roaming free, the designers went back to our Swedish roots with new energy. They searched through Hanna archives to see what prints and patterns could re -inspire something that is classically, modern Hanna.
An acrylic painting on watercolor paper, dated 1993.
Within the brightened neutral color pallet and an updated cranberry red color, there was a bright opportunity to bring it back to life for 2015. The Swedish Bouquet Rose pattern was born.
“It went through all illustration processes. I hand drew drafts, scanned them in, combined them with computer illustration to digitize it. It became my pet project of the season and it was very hands on,” says our women’s designer. “I might have spent a total of 20 hours re-developing this print from inspiration to final approval.”
Visually you might only notice the addition of black and white flowers, and updated color. Yet the weight of each line, the type of brush stroke, the space between and size of each flower is all designed meticulously and what brings this print to modern day.
Creating a print that transcends age made this print the hero. A way for Hanna to incorporate much loved family matching in Holiday that could be used across girls, sleep and women’s categories and be worn year round.
Once the final print is approved, the process doesn’t stop there.
“We create a repeat of the pattern and send to our vendors who then take our digital file and adjust it to fit into the constraints of the fabric or print rollers.” The designers are involved in every step.
To ensure Hanna color quality standards for our organic long johns, this print became a reactive print.
Best explained by our women’s designer, “the fabric starts out white, and the base color is printed rather than dyed. When a dark color is created in any other way, it doesn’t meet our standards for colorfastness and soft hand in our organic cotton fabric. It’s the absolute only way to get dark rich color to be as soft as the rest of our lighter colored fabrics.”
Once the print is adjusted for our vendors, a “counter proposal” gets sent to the designers. Things are reviewed like balance of the pattern repeat, color consistency; saturation, and color saturation are analyzed.
When the pattern repeat is approved, then quality assurance testing begins. Strike offs (smaller color swatches) are sent to the design and technical team from our vendors to ensure that the printed fabric meets all of our color standards, inch by inch.
“It is incredibly important to us that all the colors across the board and in every category match.”
Under a light box, the designers and quality assurance team work together to ensure each fabric meets our longevity and color quality standards. From fabric pilling, color vibrancy after wash, tear strength, and shape retention. This process can be repeated up to three times to reach perfection.
“That’s takes up half our time in design and production process, in the light box, making sure the strike offs match our standards,” says our girls designer. “There is a certain tolerance that we use, but we pretty much ask for perfection when it comes to color quality.”
"We pretty much ask for perfection when it comes to color quality."
With a print that appears across categories, this process is used for every single one of the fabrics. There is no garment or fabric that goes untested before it goes into a sample. Which is why we have our unconditional guarantee.
In this case, girls outerwear in woven, woven challis dresses, cotton knits for baby and women’s sleepwear. Each time a new print and fabric is created for our organic cotton sleepwear, it also has to be evaluated under OEKO-TEX® standards for safety as well.
“At the same time, we are also looking at our solid color lab dips and making sure they match our finishes. The piping around the neck seam, the ribbed cuffs and any accent fabrics have to match to the printed fabric,” says the women's designer.
Everyone on the design and technical design team work with the vendors in this process.
Our vendors care just as much about quality as we do.
Strong relationships with our partners are incredibly important to Hanna. With some of these relationships lasting as long as 25+ years, the love and care we have for our clothing lives and breathes within the close relationship we have with our makers.
So when it comes to developing new prints like this re-imagined rose print...no color, brushstroke, fiber, yarn, thread or stitch goes through without the care and love we have for what we make. Our everlasting goal is to bring our customers the best quality to let kids be kids without a worry in the world.