Behind the Seams

An Origins Story

A Closer Look at How Our Pieces Are Made

When it came to nailing the heirloom- worthy fabrics and details for Baybala, a small group of family-run factories near Delhi in India proved the right match. “My goal from the beginning was to work with super soft, high quality woven fabrics and India is known for the handfeel of their cotton,” Baybala founder Katie Gaston says. “It is some of the softest you will find in the world and it gets better with every wash—a really valuable quality for clothes that are intended to be washed often.”

Katie's first trip came about to see a collection already in production. “I am so grateful that we made the call to go,” she says. “We were able to foster an understanding of who we all were. Not all brands go to their factories, but I found it helpful in so many ways.”

Inside the factory, Katie observed artisans working in their specific areas of expertise. “Individuals tend to only work on one part of the garment, rather than an entire piece being made by one person,” she recalls. “For example, you'd have a huge room full of fabric and then a team cutting the fabric nearby; in another room you would see groups doing intricate beadwork; and in another area you had craftspeople working on sewing machines to create the final garments.”

During the Baybala visit, Katie and her American and Indian teams worked around the clock to get every pintuck and every bit of trim just so. “It’s much easier to place these on an actual sample garment than when you have this very abstract idea of a silhouette back home,” Katie says.

And Gaston (being the fabric aficionado that she is) blocked out a whole day of fabric sourcing on the trip as well. “We typically customize our fabrics but wanted to see what was readily available, too, and the amount of beautiful lace and cotton there is so fun,” she remembers. “Also, because India is so known for block printing there were just stacks and stacks of them and bolt upon bolts of woven cottons.”

In other words, a textile Nirvana fitting for future Baybala inspiration.