By Angela Groom, Intern Staff Writer.
There is a void of good, quality natural fabric fibers in Albuquerque. Nob Hill Fabrics owner, Liz Frank, tries to carry what the big box stores do not. Frank opened Nob Hill Fabrics in March of 2011. On Thursday, June 2nd, Sephen Cuomo (Executive Producer and Founder of SFFW) conducted a vlog interview with Frank.
“I listen to my customers. I watch what they buy and work very hard to match what they like,” says Frank.
Because Frank pays such close attention to what her customers are buying, she doesn’t prefer to chase fabric that is trending. For Frank, it is considerably more profitable to keep up with demand and fabrics that sell (like organic cotton and linens). Frank also tries her best to match fabric to the look, pattern, and feel her customers want. These tend to be her focal point because the majority of Frank’s customers are emerging designers that are creating clothing themselves.
There are times when she has to educate her customers on fabrics. Together they determine what fabrics will work best for what the customer needs the fabrics for. One should take lighting into account, learn the fabrics that will wash well, how fabrics can change with a wash, and how the buyer desires for lighting to effect the fabric.
“For example, black velvet will bounce light off of the fabric (yielding a shine-y effect), whereas black micro fabric will absorb the light” Frank adds.
There is a great deal of experimentation involved. Fabric is very complex; there are specific fibers and weaves that are used to achieve different effects. Experimentation is mandatory when it comes to creating your own clothes.
According to Frank, “If you’re good and lucky you can get what you want the first time but usually it takes a lot of practice.”
Frank is extremely knowledgeable regarding fabrics and their engineering, a much needed quality in the fabric industry. This quality is what has led to Frank’s success.