When a gymnastics leotard costs so much it is important to consider how long it will last, and with new fabrics appearing every season you want to know that the fabric won’t fail after a week or two in the gym. Also, with designs needing to be more eye catching there is greater use of diamante, studs and holographic foils, but how do we know that these accoutrements are not going to fall off after only a short time? The answer is in the testing methods used by the manufacturer in the designing and making of their leotards, and arguably the best quality gymnastics leotards are made in the UK by The Zone.
This is what The Zone had to say when we met at Move It in March 2013:
Long before the leotards are available for sale The Zone’s models are given the new designs with the intention of breaking them! If a leotard fails in anyway then The Zone look at what broke and then fix any flaws in the design. Emphasis is placed on the suitability of the fabric as it must survive extreme wear.
The percentage of faulty returns on Zone products is incredibly low (currently 0.3%), which is exceptional, considering the high expectations and rigours that The Zone garments experience. We are dedicated to upholding the high standard expected by this range, and test and check the garments thoroughly before they go out to the customer. New strategies have been put in place since the end of 2011, which will reinforce our commitment to The Zone’s high standards.
• Fabrics are independently tested by the fabric manufacturers prior to them being considered by The Zone.
• Further initial wash tests are conducted by the design team, before any prospective designs are produced.
• Rigorous wear and wash tests are conducted by a team of high-level gymnasts, who train for periods of 4 hours + each day prior to the product going into the brochure.
• Wear and wash tests are repeated with future deliveries of new batches of the fabric at our factory.
All garments are packed and checked by trained quality control operatives at our British factory, based in Oldham. In addition to this a spot check (approximately 10%) is carried out at our warehouse, looking at fabric, stitching, appliqué, crystals, colours and general all round quality and finish. Each leotard (whilst still with the original packaging) can be traced back through the production process, identifying each seamstress and machine involved at every different stage, which means that we can isolate any issues and resolve them quickly.
We’re currently wear testing fabrics for the Autumn/Winter 2013 brochure, and so far so good, everything is coming back with very, very positive feedback from the gymnasts. I look forward to seeing it as a complete collection!
I think that you’ll agree that The Zone’s testing methods are very comprehensive and when you buy your leotard from The Zone you know that it will work as hard as you do. Just follow our guide How to look after your gymnastics leotard.
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