Once upon a time, bras were made by sewing two handkerchiefs together with ribbon. Today, the design and manufacturing process is a little more complicated, but once you find out how much work goes into every bra, you’ll appreciate it even more!
Before a bra can be made, it has to be designed. As bra styles range from shelf to deep plunge, the design process varies. Today we’ll focus on a simple full cup bra.
As most bras are mass-produced, they are generally designed to fit a woman whose breasts are equal in size and shape. A bra can have anywhere between 20 and 50 parts, which includes the four main sections of a bra: band, clasp, straps and cups. Each of these has a special function:
The bra band is the most important section of the bra, sitting tight against the body. Its function is to carry the majority of the weight of the breasts and is comprised of the wings and center section.
The clasp of the bra includes the hook and eye and functions to close the band at the back.
Many women believe that the straps of the bra carry the weight of the breasts. As a result, these women generally end up with shoulder or back pain. Straps should function as a stabilising element, enabling the length and fit of the bra to be enhanced.
Bra cups function as a place for your breasts. Depending on the style, they can vary in shape. Cup sizes vary and are denoted by an alphabetical hierarchy, where AAA is the smallest and K the largest commercially available sizes.
Bras can be some of the most well worn and washed articles of clothing that a woman owns, hence the seams and structure of the garment needs to be designed to be durable.
After the garment is designed, the sections are cut to size. These sections are then gathered by workers and sewn together by hand with industrial sewing machines or assembled mechanically. The clasp is also sewn into the garment using the sewing machine or automated process. The brand label is then attached and the garment is ready to be packaged.
While packaging is dependant on the brand, generally all products are sorted by style, folded, wrapped and boxed to be sent to distributors.
So why bother buying more expensive bras?
You might be thinking “If all bras are made the same way, why should I bother spending $80 more?” The details and precautions that each individual company takes with their bra manufacturing are where the details lie. Higher quality bras are produced after hours of research and development during each stage of the process, whereas cheaper bras forego this and focus on high volume production. So spend the money, your breasts are worth it!