Louise’s hand embroideries
What happens first
Louise pencils her embroidery designs very quickly onto sample gowns. She thinks up the designs as she goes along, correcting here, changing there.
Her design is then transferred onto transparent paper, then onto a small machine which outlines the design in pin holes.
The transparent paper is then placed onto the sample gown. Special marking ink is wiped over the paper and the design is transferred through the pinholes onto the gown. The entire process is done by hand.
Louise then takes the sample gown to her favourite hand embroiderer, Geeta, and they sit together in her house and work out the embroidery colours and techniques. When the sample is completed Louise takes it back to the sampling room at her factory and the sample gown is pored over by production people.
What happens next.
The embroidery design is transferred by hand onto each individual gown using the transparent paper and ink techniques we have described. Louise orders at least 50 to 100 gowns per design, so this process takes a lot of time. Gowns are then bundled up and taken to the embroidery ladies who mostly work at home. Certain ladies specialise in different embroidery techniques. Some love smocking. Others love bullion roses or satin stitch. Hand embroidery can take up to 7 -10 days per gown. Louise has hundreds of ladies working on her production.
Washing and finishing.
When the embroidery is completed the gowns are brought back to Louise’s factory. They are laid out on long tables according to sizes. Quality controllers then inspect them for loose threads, double seaming, reinforced side splits, perfect smocking and the quality of the embroidery.
Gowns are then washed, ironed, packed in boxes and sent by air to Louise’s agent at Sydney airport.
And happy is the moment when the boxes are opened and Louise plunges her hand in and grabs the first gown to see if it is exactly as she wanted it. Relief when it passes muster. gnashing of teeth if she finds something wrong. C ‘est la vie!