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How are our leggings made?

Welcome! Allow me to be your tour guide.

Our product design process begins with a digital tour of the world's museums and other institutions which offer public domain art. (It's really exciting how much art is available for downloading and unrestricted use, and one of the reasons Rose+Gaia is in business.) I look for artworks that are compelling, have the dimensions and design elements to work well with the product (leggings, tank or phone case) and--a key factor--for which I can find large, high-quality digital images.

I can use the image exactly as it arrives on my hard drive, but usually there is some gentle tweaking in Photoshop. This might include cropping, resizing, straightening, adjusting color, correcting flaws, removing parts of the image that won't contribute to the whole, and so on. So important: maintaining the essence and artistry of the image. Also: how will this image look on your legs?

Here's an example. This is a favorite watercolor and ink painting which lives at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam: Bloemstuck, by Dutch painter Pieter van Loo in the mid-18th century. So voluptuous.

Rose and Gaia art leggings Pieter van Loo
Pieter van Loo, Dutch watercolor, Rose and Gaia

Using a custom template, I messed around with placement of the image on, here, a pair of leggings. In this case, I took the unusual step of layering some sections of the painting over others. I wanted to maintain the integrity of the original while playing up the sense of plenty. I also saturated the color somewhat. Here's about how the template looked when my design work was complete:

art leggings design process Rose and Gaia van Loo
Template for Rose and Gaia art leggings

The template is next transferred to Printful, our manufacturing partner in California. (These guys are utterly reliable, and crazy perfectionists!) Printful uses a method called sublimation to print the fabric and then cuts and sews the leggings. My quality control department thoroughly checks samples before these go on the digital shelf at Rose+Gaia.

Here's the final product. (Find them in the shop.)

Rose and Gaia art leggings Pieter van Loo
Rose and Gaia art leggings Dutch watercolor

Check out this tiny video from Printful for a sense of the production process. (Note: the leggings here aren't designed at Rose+Gaia. But plenty of nicer ones are!)

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