Good Sweat

When a young man asked for our advice on his career plans, the first thought that came to our minds was "做甚麼都好,用心做就好". Good Sweat started from this: an old-fashion reminder that what matters is not the scale of the work or its reward, but to take care and take pride in doing whatever we have chosen. Good Sweat also celebrates the spirit of those who persist, however humble or challenging their job may be, in perfecting their craft.

Towards the end of every year, we try to spend some time creating something to share with our clients and friends. Last year, it was Turtle Time.

We had started work on Good Sweat in October last year, pleased that we had started quite early this time.

With a design that was to be screen printed across the entire handkerchief, we met up with a seamstress and a factory specialising in manufacturing cloth bags to see if either of them could help us with the production. The seamstress recommended us to a T-shirt screen printing company which said they weren't sure they could create a screen print that large. The factory said they would get back to us, but they never did.

We approached a friend who ran a T-shirt manufacturing company, who gamely agreed to help, but with several qualifiers: one, it would need to be manufactured in China; two, there was no guarantee on the consistency of the print and the quality of the fabric; and three, all this could only be done by April as his production line is tied up now.

How could something as simple as a one-colour print on a 15x15 inch piece of fabric with its edges hemmed be so difficult to achieve in Singapore?

In December, we met an old friend with a science PhD who decided not too long ago that he wanted to pursue his interest in fabrics by working with an uncle who ran a bespoke menswear. He decided to take this challenge on. A morning with him led us through many tempting fabrics to a lovely Egyptian cotton interwoven with the finest Irish linen.

The test print resulted in a handkerchief that lacked the necessary absorbency and softness as a result of the print. We worked through several designs that would minimise the print area. Then it occurred to us that we were working with a medium that was not dependent on print!

We could embroider.

Good Sweat is proudly made in Singapore, in an edition of 100.

Project Year: 2010