The Process: Bloom Blanket

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A little over a year ago, Bianca Cheng Costanzo launched her Bloom Blanket project. The blanket simulated the folds of origami, but was not just an art piece, it could keep you warm too. As we watched the pledges for this intricate object come in, we wondered how she'd be able to manufacture them on such a large scale. Now that the blankets are in production, we asked her to tell us how she did it.

On the night that I launched my Kickstarter campaign, I threw a party in Barcelona so that my friends and I could push the green “Launch” button together. After no more than an hour of celebrating I checked the Kickstarter website on my phone and instantly realized that this campaign was going to move forward at a speed much faster than I had ever dreamed. A friend managed to find that moment in a video of the event, made it into a gif image, and sent it to me for a good laugh. This is the face that I made.

In search of a new factory

One thing was clear: my friends at the tiny Barcelona factory would never be able to sew so many blankets so quickly. My intention was to make 40 beautifully handmade blankets but after being backed by 947 people the entire production process had to be revisited.

Instead, I had the Barcelona factory sew me a few sample blankets. We worked closely together to refine the sizing of the geometry of the blanket as well as the sewing techniques used to achieve the most beautiful, coziest results. From there I was able to create a master instructional document that I was able to send to sewing factories all over Europe.

I partnered with my friend Eyal Burstein, a product designer in Berlin, to see this project through. We put together a small team and worked for months cold-calling, emailing, shipping samples, visiting fairs in the hopes of finding a factory skilled enough to produce this complex design at a large volume. Finally, in Poland I found a partner who is as passionate as I am about high-end quality and attention to detail.

Pole position

We got a chance to visit our factory in order to see the technology involved in making a Bloom Blanket first hand. The intricate pattern of the Bloom Blanket is cut with sub-millimeter precision by state of the art Computer Numerical Control fabric routers. They make sure that every blanket is exactly true to the shape that I have designed digitally.

The fabric is then sent to our expert seamstresses who spend five hours carefully sewing each piece into a final Bloom Blanket.

The rush to Christmas

We soon understood that, though very few blankets would be ready by October, we would be able to have all of the Kickstarter orders sewn before Christmas. What a perfect present for everyone! Logistics and customs was a whole other challenge and we ended up packing all of the orders by hand.

Moving forward

I am so lucky to have been able to create this opportunity to work as a product designer with the help of Kickstarter. I look forward to expanding Bloom’s product line and growing.

Comments
    1. Squirm & Learn on

      Great story, gutted to have missed out on this Kickstarter but will keep an eye out for Bloom Blankets in future!

    2. Rishi B Chandra on

      Very well put together! Glad to see an entire process since its inception!

    3. Constantin Gavrilenko ( Con Glass ) on

      A great story. Your love and relationship with backers are an example to us .. You inspire us to great victories and successes.

    4. Julieta Talavera on

      Beautiful everything, this lady is amazing.

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      Namaku Keren on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      teguhbejo on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      Doa Ibu Tersayang on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.