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Our Local Manufacturing
BlackMilk was born right here in Brisbane, Australia. It's where we built up our expertise and still today our local team here at BMHQ works to bring you the BM you know and love, every day! Here's a snapshot of our local manufacturing process:
Fabric Warehouse & Cutting
We use roughly 80 different types of fabric to make your amazing clothes so, as you can imagine, we hold a lot of fabric on site. Our Warehouse team receive up to 400 rolls of fabric each month, delivered from our various suppliers . Using their amazing Tetris skills (and a forklift), they organise the fabrics from newest to oldest and complete regular stocktake to keep track of how much we have on hand of any specific fabric.
The cutting process takes precision. In our cutting room, our talented team create markers for the cut process. These markers are used to cut the fabric into pattern pieces. The marking involves arranging the various pattern pieces on a computer screen to ensure best utilisation of fabric to minimise waste. Working together, our Marker Maker and Spread Operator, use an automatic fabric spreader to lay out the fabric, ensuring only the fabric that is required is used in the lay for cutting.
Once the fabric lay is completed, our Cut Operator programs the markers into the cut machine for automated cutting using large, specialised machinery. Items are then bundled and prepared for printing or sewing.
Our BlackMilk prints are something that we are super passionate about. We have a history of creating prints that are unique and bold. We don’t just believe in wearing your heart on your sleeve - we think that’s a total wardrobe kind of deal. We love the idea of dressing how we feel and using our clothes as a form of self expression and what we love even more is empowering our customers to do the same.
The majority of our prints are achieved through the sublimation process. Haven't heard of it? Sublimation a fancy name for the process of turning a solid into a gas using high heat.
Our print team work closely with the Graphic Design team on the artwork which is then printed onto giant rolls of paper. Next it’s taken through the heat press.
While the paper is running through the heat press, one of the team are at the helm laying out the cut fabric panels on to the moving paper. We find printing onto pre-cut fabric panels reduces ink usage and makes the process more efficient but you've gotta be quick, this paper waits for no human!
The heat causes the ink on the paper to turn into a gas which is absorbed by the fabric. When it comes out the other side, the now boldly-printed fabric is removed unstuck from the paper and voila!
The printed panels of your garment are now ready to be neatly stacked, counted and checked for any slight printing misses or faults, before we send them down to our sewing team who put them all together for you!
With so many different styles, shapes and fabric types, our talented team of Sewing Machinists are kept on their toes! It is important that our team are multi-skilled across fabric types and machines.
Once the cut and printed panels arrive at sewing, they are given to our highly-talented sewing team together with our tech packs to assemble.
Sewing Machinist work in smaller teams or modules and each person in the team complete one stage of the assembly process. Depending on the garment this could include overlocking the panels together, cover seaming to finish the garment edges or plain sewing pockets onto garments.
One product that we are super proud of is our Inside Out Dresses. So that these products are able to be worn either way, our talent Machinists use a special machine called a flatlocker. This is a little like an overlocker but instead of the seam being raised on the inside of the product is sews the seam completely flat. Once all of the stages of assembly have been completed, the garment is passed on to our Quality Control Team.
Our Sewing and Quality Control teams are proud of the their work and for good reason. The quality of our finished garments is of the highest priority so our talented senior sewers conduct product quality checks at regular intervals throughout the day and support their teams with advice and guidance. To maintain our high standards, our quality checks are recorded daily, so you can shop confidently knowing you will get a great product.
Once the garments are sewn, they are taken to the the Quality Control room, where they undergo a full visual quality inspection. Our eagle-eyed and highly-experienced Quality Control team can spot the tiniest detail and thoroughly review each garment.
After they have been given the all clear, garments are labeled with a green QC sticker to indicate they have passed the rigorous inspection process.
After the QC checks are completed the garments are tagged, barcoded, folded and packaged by hand as the final stage of process. Each person responsible for folding and bagging gives each garment a second visual look over before the final products are transferred into the warehouse - ready for delivery!
The Warehouse is the final step of the process before you get your shinies! Once garments have been folded and bagged the team bring all the goodies into the warehouse so that when you click buy, they jump into action!
Once an order is received, these are the ninjas who pick out all the things that you want on your bod, package and label them up and load them up for collection from our delivery partners!