The inspiration takes shape

over several weeks, as ideas from images, fabrics, trims and trend resources evolve into a plan for the next season’s line.

Cut Loose Factory
Manufactured in SF

We believe in producing clothing in the U.S. We started in San Francisco and we are still here. We work hard at keeping our business environmentally responsible and sustainable.

Natural shell buttons

are a Cut Loose favorite in Spring and Summer, on pants, shirts, jackets, and dresses.

Freshly-dyed clothes

move into the dryer. The pallet on the opposite wall holds 20-lb. bags of salt. We use about 100 bags a week in our dye baths.

Every style from seasons past

“resides” in our pattern library: actual pattern pieces, a sample garment, and a spec sheet with a sketch and workroom notes. Every year, we can look back at our best-sellers and decide which styles to carry forward, where to bring in newness, and what can be reinterpreted into something better.

At any given time,

roughly 2000 rolls of fabric are on hand in the warehouse — many whites and a few prints. Once a fabric is selected for a specific style, it is cut and sewn into various sizes. Garment-dyeing in the seasonal palette will be the final step, as orders are received from boutiques.

Our color library

includes the color recipe for every swatch. The formula provides the percentages for dyeing different volumes of garments (by weight) to our standard intensity and color saturation.

A “lab dip” is our first step

A “lab dip” is our first step in developing a new color. The dyes shown here are already diluted to the proper intensity for color testing a single small piece of fabric in a beaker. After dyeing, the fabric undergoes a rinsing process and then into the dryer.

The sample cutter

uses a small electric scissors to cut pattern pieces for a sample sewer.

A sample sewer

puts a finishing touch on a top she’s made.

Swatches show

how seasonal colors look on all the different fabrics. Because garments are sewn and then dyed, a boutique can customize each season’s selection by ordering pieces in colors most popular with their customers.

Raw materials

awaiting sewing production and the dye process.

Merchandising the photo shoot

is a chance to show how the season’s key pieces work together.

Freshly dyed & dried

clothes. Similar fiber contents, despite their different textures, can be dyed together, because the fabrics absorb the dye in the same way.

Garments are inspected

and folded as the last steps before shipping.

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Our Story

Cut Loose is an extensive line of casual clothing that’s sewn and dyed to order in San Francisco. We’re known for our fabrics, our flattering fit, and our colors. The shapes are simple, and you can easily combine pieces for a sophisticated look.

Boutiques across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom customize their own Cut Loose collections each season by selecting styles and telling us which colors from our seasonal palette to dye them. So, the Cut Loose collection you find at a resort looks very different from the assortment you see in a city-center shop.

 

Colorful beginnings

We started in the late ’70s, street-vending T-shirts and drawstring pants on Fisherman’s Wharf. Since there were no changing rooms, the clothes were literally cut loose – one size fits all. Back then, you couldn’t find T-shirts in great colors, so we dyed our own in a Victorian claw-footed bathtub – and people loved them.

 

Garment dyed and gone to heaven

When we outgrew the bathtub, we moved on to old-fashioned washing machines (with a mangle on top!). The enameled interior could withstand the salt in the dye bath, so many weekends were spent at garage sales, hunting for more machines. These were gradually replaced with customized machines and small computerized dye vats. Our color library is extensive, built up over the years by offering new colors each season alongside historic best sellers. This helps us accommodate special requests and formulate custom colors.

 

Our quest for fabrics

We gradually expanded from T-shirt material to other fabrics that can handle our dyeing process, including novelty cotton knits, linen, rayon (made from wood cellulose), Tencel (made from cotton linter) and various blends.

Every potential Cut Loose fabric is tested to see how it takes the dye; how it holds its shape; how it shrinks; and whether it twists or pills or feels scratchy. The dye bath is 200º F (just below boiling), and we truly believe, “If a garment can get through our dye process, it can get through your life.”

 

Flattering fit

We describe our fit as “implied shape,” meaning the shape of the body is implied in a flattering way. Cut Loose clothes skim the body for a fluid silhouette. When a Cut Loose garment “fits,” it simultaneously flatters the figure and allows room to really move.

 

Our many shades of green

Cut Loose keeps our environmental footprint as light as possible. Our dyes are non-toxic, and we neutralize our waste water so the salt doesn’t corrode the city’s pipes. Fabric tests are re-purposed into scarves, napkins, market bags, even scrunchies — for sale at our factory store. Garments are shipped without hangers or plastic bags, using recycled packaging materials. Even our labeling is minimalist.

 

Relax with Cut Loose

The name “Cut Loose” is figurative, inviting you to have fun dressing in a relaxed style, with a bit of individuality. Each season offers new wardrobe workhorses, pieces you can wear over and over, and combine to create your “go to” outfits. Cut Loose clothes are simple to launder and easy to pack, unpack, wand wear — even when you pick them up off the bedroom floor.