BRA DEVELOPMENT

HANDMADE STEP BY STEP

 

 


AN INTERVIEW WITH EXPERT FRAUKE NAGEL


There are many steps before a bra reaches the sales floor. The development of a new bra is complex and challenging. It takes a team with a lot of experience, intuition, and a clear direction. Bra developer Frauke Nagel uses the new 'Cotton Sensation' T-shirt bra to explain how a new bra is created, how long the development process takes, and the challenges that are involved. 

"There are no machines that can sew bras on their own. It takes experienced seamstresses, hand-sew every bra."


FRAUKE NAGEL

Bra Expert

HOW A NEW BRA IS CREATED

 


The sketch from design team is always the guide for the feel and texture of the bra. 


How does the creation process for a new bra work?


1. PROTOTYPE

It always depends on the style of the bra. A bra with a cup is special because you have to find the right cup for it. For the new “Cotton Sensation” bra, I visited all the European cup manufactures at the international fair in Paris and ordered some samples. Then, we were able to create samples and sew the cups into the bras to determine which matched best. These mock-ups are incomplete prototypes used to assess the fit of the shell which can only be done by trying it on.

2 . FITTING

Since our company is mostly made up of women, it is easy to fit in-house since we all are different shapes and sizes. The shell for the 'Cotton Sensation' T-Shirt bra impressed us from the beginning. It has a nice round shape and slightly shapes the breast without pushing it up. When the bra is tried on, we always put a T-shirt on over it to see how the figure is shaped and if there are any pinches or bulging. We loved the way the cup shaped the breast, but the overall cut was not ideal.  


Therefore, our supplier had to produce a new mold, which is time-consuming and expensive. The mold is cut out of aluminum under computer control and is the tool used to manufacture the bra shell.

3. GRADING

After we had a well-fitting prototype, we could start with the grading. Grading is the development of the different sizes, beyond the initial prototype. For every cup size a new mold must be made. In the following months, we developed size by size, tried them on, and changed them until the bra fit well in all sizes.


4. MORE FITTINGS AND SAMPLES

It is also important that we try on each size, e.g. the 75C, was not only tested by just one woman, but on several. Every woman is unique and, to ensure that the bra will fit as many as possible, we had to try the bra on many women when developing the fit. The bra samples are given to the women to wear and wash the bra for four weeks, after which they gave their personal feedback. The results are evaluated and incorporated into the product development.

 

BH-Entwicklungsdauer EN
BH-Entwicklungsdauer EN

 

The creation of a new bra takes 6 months to 2 years, depending on the complexity of the style and the material that is used. The most time-consuming part of the process is the development of the fit. Every woman and every bra is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

 

 


Christiane Braun was vital for the success of the 'Cotton Sensation' bra: "Since padded bras shape the breast, it was important that it gave a natural appearance. After countless fittings with many women in different sizes the 'Cotton Sensation', bra was created. It creates a beautiful cleavage without pushing up the breasts."


How long does it take to turn the initial concept into the finished product?

It depends. Are we working with an existing cut and material that we have used before and it has proven itself, or are we starting with a new cut and new material?
The expectations of the fit has an impact on the production timeline. Considering this, one bra can take from six months up to two years from conception to the finished product.

How many steps go into making a bra?

It depends on the type of bra, how it is made, and how many materials it contains. Focusing on the 'Cotton Sensation' T-Shirt bra, there is the main material, our cotton, which has to be harvested, washed, spun, and knitted in our own textile production in Vorarlberg. Then it is dyed and finished before the sewing room can cut the fabric. The cut for the shell cover has to be molded. It is shaped under heat on special cones and tailored again. 


For the shell, polyurethane foam is laminated on both sides with polyester fabric, molded and cut to size. The elastic bands are spun, woven, dyed, and cut to size. Even the sewing itself contains multiple steps. The different types of stitches are all carried out with special machines that require skill and time. There are no machines that are able to sew a bra its own. Each bra is still sewn by hand by an experienced seamstress.

What are the challenges in creating a bra?

The biggest challenge is the fit. The bra should fit almost any woman; however, every woman is unique. Even women with the same bra size have different body types. Each woman is different, what seems comfortable for one may not be for another. To find what works for most people, it takes time and patience.

IN THE PRODUCTION


This 'Cotton Sensation' bra is sewn together by hand from 29 individual pieces. Only experienced seamstresses can do this. Some of our seamstresses in Hungary have been working in this industry for over 25 years and pass on their knowledge from generation to generation.


 

THE RESULT


"High quality bra for everyday."

 

The 'Cotton Sensation' padded bra fits perfectly, it is comfortable, and does not show under clothing, thus the name T-Shirt bra. For a perfect, smooth look, everyday.

Cotton is part of HANRO’s DNA and plays an important part of every collection. We have redesigned our padded “Cotton Sensation” bra and given it a new fit. It can be paired wonderfully with many briefs from our basic collection. As one of the few cotton padded bras on the market, this modern T-shirt bra is a must-have for every underwear drawer.

SHOP THE ENTIRE
COLLECTION

 

 


How many individual parts does a bra consist of before it is sewn together?

Each bra consists of numerous components. There are visible parts, e.g. the clasp, and other parts which are invisible and disappear into the bra, e.g. tapes to stabilize edges and seams. The number of pieces for each style depends on how complex the bra is. When it comes to the ‘Cotton Sensation’ T-Shirt bra, there are 29 single pieces consisting of two fabrics and 14 different additional materials.


Can you say something about the HANRO quality standards for bras?

To ensure that our customers enjoy their HANRO bras for a long time, every material is tested in the laboratory for color fastness, shrinkage etc. before it is used. In addition, we only use materials that are STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified. Our wear tests ensure that the bras can withstand everyday use in private households. The quality controls in the sewing factories ensure that the standard we have developed is also implemented in production. If, however, a quality defect should occur, our quality manager will take appropriate measures.



„A strong and determined team is essential when creating these well-designed, high-quality everyday bras .“



ANETTE SCHEIBAL

Quality assurance HANRO 

THE RIGHT BRA CARE

 


What are the three most important care tips for bras?

1. The best way to wash your laundry is in lukewarm water with a mild detergent without softeners. For the best results, wash underwire and soft cup bras by hand as the strong movement of the washing drum can harm the material.

2. Machine wash only using the hand wash setting in a laundry bag and make sure the clasp is fastened so they do not get tangled.

3. Bras should be left to air-dry on a clothesline or over the shower basin , use your hands to form padded cups back into shape.


MORE CARE TIPS IN THE BRA GUIDE


You should always try to wash your bra by hand but if you prefer to wash them by using a washing machine, use a laundry bag for the best results.

 

BRA GUIDE

 

HANRO has created the right bra for every woman, as every woman is different and wants to feel comfortable in her skin.


LET YOURSELF BE INSPIRED

 

HANRO Wohlfühl-BHs-1
HANRO Wohlfühl-BHs-1
HANRO Wohlfühl-BHs-2
HANRO Wohlfühl-BHs-3
HANRO Wohlfühl-BHs-4
HANRO Wohlfühl-BHs-5
HANRO Wohlfühl-BHs-6
HANRO Wohlfühl-BHs-7
A bra should support the natural shape of the breast and the wearer should be comfortable.

 

 

DESIGNED FOR
YOUR COMFORT

 


"For us, the well-being of the woman is always the main focus when creating a bra."

 


STEPHAN HOHMANN

HANRO Managing Director

 


 

 

HANRO BRA BROSCHURE

 

This brochure contains valuable tips and suggestions for your next bra purchase.

 

 

THINGS TO KNOW

 


CUSTOMER RECOMMENDATIONS


Five women from different walks of life, age groups, and styles talk about their favorite bra.

 DISCOVER MORE


BRA STYLES


We offer a wide variety of styles and materials to suit different body shapes.
 

DISCOVER MORE


THE RIGHT SIZE


Choosing the right bra size is essential for a good fit and comfortable feeling.
 

DISCOVER MORE


THE PERFECT FIT


With the perfect fit, you should feel as if you are not wearing a bra at all.
 

DISCOVER MORE

 



"A bra is one of the most intimate pieces of clothing that we as women own. It supports, it shapes, gives you a sense of security and self-confidence. Our bra is our invisible best friend helping you as you navigate your daily life."

 

CHRISTIANE BRAUN

Head of Product Management & Design