Fabric Sourcing

22 Hours in Milan

22 Hours in Milan

SS18, is well underway, yes as crazy as it sounds, we do plan that far ahead! The only thing I’m missing are some key fabrics. Italy is my destination of choice for beautiful, fair trade, high quality fabrics that are good enough for Manley!

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SS16 Fabric Sourcing AHOY!

The start of a season, where all the fun starts. No limitations our boundaries … just yet! It’s a time to gather inspiration, experiment with new colour palettes and time to choose fabrics for the coming season.

04:50am alarm call, 07:00am flight and I’m in Milan by 10:30am having caught up on fashion mags and having made lists for the day ahead.

It’s important to go over with a clear plan on what I’m looking for and what I need. Otherwise I get caught up in all the beautiful fabric offerings and completely lose sight of what I have already decided on for the season.

I was packing in so much that my first meeting was held in Bergamo airport. Yup, the airport, not as glamourous as you thought! Beautiful fabrics are beautiful fabrics no matter where you see them right?!



Though a flying visit, 19 hours to be precise, there’s always time to grab lunch on the go. Check this out for Italy’s version of petrol station grub, not bad eh! Beats the jambons and coke that Ireland offers!




The remainder of the day was spent travelling from fabric mill to fabric mill, scouring through books of fabric samples. I need to be decisive about what I do and don’t like but also what I do and don’t NEED, because otherwise I end up coming home with too many samples and that just makes the decision process longer and harder. See the fabric mills is always a pleasure. I love being that close to the process, knowing where it came from, how it’s treated and I feel it informs me better on how to use it.

And so it’s time to bring my bag full of samples back to Dublin. With all the rushing, there’s no harm in having a little airport grub and a glass of the good stuff. Make that two glasses of the good stuff, my flight was delayed by three hours ...

Fabric Sourcing in Milan

Each season starts with ideas, mood boards, doodles and a trip to Milan to see what fabrics are on offer this season. 

Manley @ Dublin Airport

04:30am alarm call, 07:00am flight and I land in Milan by 10:30am having caught up on Cara, Image and Tatler.

Cara Magazine

Its easy to get flustered with all the choice so I make sure to have a clear vision of my colour palette and textures for the season. A fabric warehouse filled to the brim with every fabric you can imagine, a tuna salad and a fabric agent for silks and wool's later and day one was done.

A 2 hour car ride to Bologne and it was time to roam around the city and admire its beautiful architecture and gorge on Italian delights {all gluten and dairy free mind you so not entirely sure how Italian they are!}. A good nights kip and a strange hotel breakie was had and it was off to see a new knitwear factory. Impressed by what I saw and the family that ran it, I’m looking forward to sampling with them for AW15. 

To the airport I go and back to Dublin with a bag full of swatches and a few bottles of wine! 34 hour round trip. Very efficient don’t you think!