You wouldn't think finding the perfect waistband would take 4 months.
Constant sampling, testing, washing and wearing every day, but that's exactly how long it took us to approve our new waistband.
We were literally presented with 30 options. The problem you face is that if the band uses a yarn that is too soft, it feels great and doesn't dig into your stomach. However it can easily be overstretched and like anything softer the lifespan of it will be less than something made with a stronger/harder yarn.
A harder yarn has the opposite effect, it can dig into your stomach and feel quite uncomfortable.
We were taken to several waistband factories to view their wares. I was quite amazed at how a waistband is actually made, the noise and speed of the machines is quite incredible.
Regardless... I was determined to find the perfect waistband 😂
You quickly are presented with some 'interesting' options that were kindly declined :)
I chose 3 to start with that I thought would suit the brief: (pardon the pun)
- Soft enough so it didn't stick into your stomach
- But not so soft that it crumbles over at the front and folds over itself
- Yarn strong enough that it would be able to withstand excessive stretching and last for years
It seems simple, but it's really not. We went through no less than 30 samples.
Each sample I'd receive, I'd need to wear for at least 2-3 days in a row. You are also required to wash and dry them at the end of each day. You can see how the time adds up very quickly.
Once you've worn and washed them, you need to measure every angle to check that they haven't overstretched or shrunk:
Kind of felt a bit like Goldilocks testing out beds:
We had so many that we had to either change the vent colour on the back or make the waistband a completely different colour so we could keep track of which band was which!
Once the vent colours were exhausted we reverted to changing the whole fabric colour to keep track of each version! (No this is not our new colour!)
Each sample would require a 'stress test'. There are quite expensive machines you can buy, however, we reverted to something quite simple, cheap, yet highly effective :)
We also found that adding a special 'Tack Stitch' where the waistband connects adds extra strength and prevents loose threads from appearing:
Finally after months of testing we chose the perfect sample that would be the 2nd version of the Step One Waistband
And once you're done, to make sure you sign off the on the correct version, you literally sign off....
We are always striving to improve our product and make it the absolute best on the market. It's kind of like the evolution of for example, iPhones, if you think about how they started out with iPhone, no MMS or 3G, now they can do pretty much anything, including ordering your some damn comfy underwear :)
The band is awesome and we're stoked with it.