Plus size sarong facts:
Sarongs or Beach cover-ups come standard at a length of 1.6 to 1.8 meters long and 1.1 to 1.2 meters wide.
Many retailers online advertise them as “Plus” size to gain extra sales, but this is a fallacy.
A true plus size length is 2.1 to 2.5 meters.
Research and focus groups:
I worked I advertising agencies for many years and before I decided to design and produce sarongs I did my research into the product. By conducting focus groups to find out what was the best length for a sarong wrap the following became obvious. The members of the beach sarong group were all of varying sizes and shapes. Three lengths of fabric in various colours were presented to the mostly female members of the group.
Red at 1.8 m long, blue at 2.1m long and yellow at 2.5m long. the group was asked to try the lengths of fabric on and decide which length was most practical for them. None of the group were told which colour correspond to which size. They were only told to choose the one they liked by the colour of the fabric, red, blue or yellow.
After many glasses of wine and some vigorous discussion the group cast their vote by secret ballot and the results were tallied. To my surprise the majority voted for the blue sarong length at 2.1 meters long. The larger women of the group nearly all voted for the 2.1m length and stated that the 2.5m length was to cumbersome to use as a sarong wrap. It was therefor conclusive that 2.1m was the length of sarong coverup that would suit both regular sized women and plus sized sarong wearers.
Applying my findings;
Nude Beach adopted the results from the focus group and my designs went into production in India. I spent three months in the village in Gujarat to ensure my first shipment went according to plan. My designs and fabric lengths were all very foreign to the Indian workers. They had never produced pares of this length and they did not agree with my colour palette at first. But when they saw the finished article, they agreed that it was some of the best work they had ever done.
I am a screen printer and designer by trade and got stuck into the production with them on the factory floor. These people have been printing long lengths of fabric in this village since 340 BC which I found amazing. No other designers ever go up to the village and actually print with the workers. Most of the beach wraps and sarongs you see in shops are all bought off the rack and are standard designs that are produced by Indian artists.
Working with locals;
They have never seen the Great Barrier reef, let alone snorkelled over it and have no concept of Australian beach culture. Concepts like Dunk Island butterflies and Cook town orchids could be from another planet as far as they were concerned. My design images made for lively discussion at smoko over roasted channa and friend green chillies which would often set your tongue on fire. I told them many stories of Australia and we all became good friends, especially when I handed out gulab jamoon at the beginning of the print run to ensure good fortune.
Now I have been working in various factories in India for about ten years and have an excellent rapour with my agent in Mumbai and all of the workers. My reputation as a “hands on” type of guy has proceeded me. This all bears well for my production times and quality of finished products. You as the customer benefit greatly from this extra effort on my behalf.
Much has been said about various types of fabrics over the years.
It mostly depends on the end use of the fabric. In this case, a sarong or beach wrap should be light and sheer enough to be cool to wear on a hot summers day at the beach. Long enough to wrap around the body and cover it from the sun and provide some modesty.
Indians are the kings of cotton and produce some of the worlds best cotton voiles. Many sarongs from south east Asia are made from rayon of viscose, which is hot to wear and doesn’t absorb sweat like cotton.
The reason I chose Indian cotton voile is because I could source a fine 72 x 90 weft and wove fabric produced from small lot farmers and produced on “Power looms”. The old power looms can only weave fabrics 110cm wide, which is all I need. This also give you a cloth with a double selvedge with is perfect for sarongs. Wider wove looms cannot produce such fine fabrics. They require stronger yarns to do this.
The small lot farmers cannot afford the deadly sprays used by in brand acre cotton farms and resort to age and methods to maintain pests. The trend is for fabrics to carry a sustainability certificate imposed on them by western companies. This is an imposition on the Indian farmers that they cannot pay and adds to the end price. We westerners need to stop imposing ridiculous demands on producers that that only profit greedy middle men. Suffice to say that these people need our respect and understanding that they are masters of their craft and have been doing it for a very long time.
Knock on effects:
It so happens that the fine quality voiles I use are perfect for Spas and massage clinics.
I sell bulk quantities to these business because the fine fabric does not clump up with massage oils and sea money on laundry cost compared to towels. My fabric length is also ideal for massage tables and cover the entire length. These sarongs get washed in industrial laundries and take a pounding. I have also had regular clients telling me they have had their sarongs for 8 to ten years and they are their favourite piece of fabric. they just seem to get softer and softer with every wash.
In conclusion, if you want the best quality sarong on the market with original patterns and designs. Look no further than Nude Beach.