BUILDING KUIU

Inside Vancouver Production

One of the many advantages to working with Tamoda Apparel in Vancouver, British Columbia is the two hour flight.  I can be on the factory floor before 11am the same day by catching a 7am direct flight from San Francisco Airport.  I also work closely on a regular basis with the development room on the small details, new concepts and ideas.  A few days ago I flew up to do an inline inspection during KUIU’s production and I thought you may enjoy seeing the inside of this process.  I find production fascinating, there are so many little steps that go into making a product.  I have to tell you, seeing KUIU’s product line on the factory floor after 18 months of hard work, design and development is incredibly rewarding and exciting.

Preparing the fabric for the laser pattern cutting table.

Laser pattern cutting table.  You can see the different parts and sizes of the garments they are preparing to cut.

Laser cutter in action.  The fabric is pulled onto this specialized table and held in place with vacuum.  The laser cutter cuts precise patterns every time, which makes for a better fitting and better quality garment.  This machine will cut several layers of fabric at once and help speed up the production process.  These are VERY expensive.

Embroidery Room with dozens of embroidery machines.

The KUIU logo on one of the Merino 185 Neck Gaiters.

Janet the embroidery room manager inspecting KUIU’s quality.

The Spindrift Jackets lined up for embroidery.

The Spindrift after it has been embroidered.

The KUIU logo in the embroidery computer.

Quilting patterns for the Spindrift Jackets.

Spindrift Quilting Patterns showing both sides of the body of the jacket.

Laser Cutting Macheine for glued pockets and glued zipper panels.  Here Mandy the laser cutting manager is checking on the glued pockets for the inside of the Chugach Jackets.

Laser Cut Pockets ready to be heat bonded to the Chugach Jacket.  The white film is the protective covering of the Bemis Heat Sealing Adhesive.

Two technicians working with a heat press and the hem line for the Guide Jacket.  They are activating and setting the Bemis glue with heat and pressure.  Very tedious work.

Adding the heat and pressure to the Bemis glue on the Guide Jacket hem.

The final inspection and thread trimming, technicians review each garment and trim any excess thread and make sure the sewing is perfect.

The garments are then blown to remove any small cutting of thread or lint then sent to be packaged.  Here are two Attack Pants getting ready to be folded, banded and boxed for shipment to our warehouse.

I hope you found it interesting to see part of the process of what goes into KUIU’s products.  Please let me know your thoughts and questions.

 

Jason

61 comments to Inside Vancouver Production

  • S W E E T!!!! look at ALL that CAMO! I’ve been around a smaller outfit with mot so many embroidery machines but still impressive.

    I’m so (my wife hates this) GEEKED about getting my new gear!

  • Rod

    Awesome to see the Production line. I think I saw my guide pants and spindrift in those pictures….

  • If Brian is geeked, then I’m double Geeked!! :-) HA! So’s who’s the bigger Geek now, Brian?

    It looks like a fascinating process. I appreciate being able to see how it’s done. Thanks, Jason!

  • Carlton Carter

    Jason I keep going back to the same thought, that you have hit a home run with this Vias camo pattern. I saw Curt’s preproduction Vias on a Texas deer hunt and it got me interested and when the final colors emerged I was sold. I’m also expecting a real high quality finished product and its revealing to see the modern manufacturing you are using. Can’t wait.

  • Don Carpenter

    Awesome pictures, I am such a dork when it comes to how things are made. Camo looks great too!

  • Mike P

    Camo cloths with frickin lazer beams…thats what I’m talkin about!

    Does the laser create any heat or is it a cold cut?

    Neat to see inside how its all made.

    Mike P

  • Brandon Hammonds

    Again way to blog and give us great info Jason!

  • Steve Ameral

    Great pictures!
    I like the high tech approach and being able to visit the factory relatively easily. I’m sure it makes a big difference in the quality and consistency of the product.
    I’m looking forward to the products. It will be so nice not to constantly wet when winter hunting along the coast in the rain forest like environment.
    Steve

  • Darryn

    Thank you very much for including us , the customers, in this process once again. As I have said before this kind of full disclosure develops a great deal of consumer confidence that you are active and involved in the success of these quality products. I applaud your teams great efforts and eagerly await my order to arrive.

  • John B

    Way cool! Can’t wait to see how the camo works with Elk.

  • Todd

    Jason the sewing process is pretty cool to see.I work for a fire equip company and we have a sewing operation for wildland gear and packs and several other items.To watch it go from raw material to the final product is very impressive to see.We have the same cutting tables as seen in the pictures.And to watch those cutters cut out the paterns its amazing how fast they will cut.

  • JohnC

    Wow, thanks for sharing the behind the scene process. How fascinating the amount of work, machinery, technology and man power it takes to make an item of clothing! Really impressive, and a bit mind boggling. I think that if more people could witness the production of all the STUFF that we consume we would be more appreciative of the factories and the laborers that make it.

    Fished yesterday on a 45 degree afternoon with intermittent spitting rain and wind…I wished so badly I had my Attack trousers to wear under my waders and my Guide Jacket to slip over top. Soon….

    Thanks again.

  • Matt

    Thank you for sharing this. I find this very interesting and I continue to be amazed at how much work it takes to build top shelf gear. I love watching “How’s It Made” so this is super cool to see. Thank you Jason for taking the time to put this extra post together!

  • Tony Mudd

    Jason,

    Again taking everyone through the “processes” is brilliant and so awesome, not to mention incredibly facinating.

    Thanks,
    T

  • Allan

    Jason,

    Very impressive operation. How did you get Sky Chef’s to do your aircraft loading and unloading work for you? :-) I think it is interesting that the workers are non-Caucasians, which says something about the work ethic and skills of certain groups here in North America, not just in overseas locations. The garments are definitely being extremely well constructed and I am looking forward to getting mine.

    Are we going to be able to purchase some more clothing today before the shopping opens to the general public. I maxed out on my allowed purchases and still wanted more. Will that be available??

    Many thanks — as always,

    Allan

  • Jay B

    I have never really thought about how the stuff was made before. Really cool to see how much technology goes into the cut and sew of a technical garment like KUIU. The quality is going to be top notch for sure. With your attention to detail in design and the great production quality KUIU is going to not only set but raise the bar in mountain hunting. I am still blown awayby the price point that you were able to set given the quality of product you are producing. Thanks again for feeling a void in my hunting garments, and I can’t wait to see the delivery truck in front of my house!

  • Justin Starck

    Looks like you could start shipping out my stuff ;)

  • Swiftshot

    Awesome my camo has freaking lasers man. Never thought I would see the day that a laser is used to make hunting clothing.

  • Great stuff there! Looks like a quality, clean joint KUIU is being put together at. It’s nice to see that you personally get to inspect them.

    Side question; With all your trips to Vancouver, have you found any good breweries up there? Just curious cause the wife and I may head north next Winter.

  • JR

    I think those are my attack pants, will you grab them and bring them and bring them home….

  • Matt

    Nice Jason, interesting to see behind the scenes. As the other Matt stated, perhaps a behind scene video is due to the KUIU website.. : )

    Matt

  • Hey! I saw my pants being cut….super cool. Can’t wait to get them.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Jack Guard

    Awesome inside view of the production of Kuiu apparal. I am pretty sure those are my Attack pants in the last photo. Jason, thanks for sharing this info with us. It really brings to light just what goes on in this industry. I am very much looking forward to using this clothing.

    Jack

  • Craig Germond

    It’s pretty amazing to see what technology does for us now days, but it’s still nice to see the human factor still involved in some of the processes.

  • Jeff

    Jason,
    While I had no part in the initial test or development of the KUIU products you blog has made me feel like I was part of the design team. While I cannot speak for others on the blog I can say your openness and willingness to share and explain every aspect of you business and your decisions has made me want to support you and your vision. While I am not made of money I do not mind spending my hard earned money on quality products and supporting American and Canadian jobs, thanks for keeping the majority of your manufacturing local (Colorado) and on this continent. The quick glimpse into the cutting, assembly, and quality control of the product along with the first hand experience with the phenomenal customer service department makes me feel even more comfortable with my decision to conduct business with you and your company.
    Keep up the GREAT work.
    Jeff

  • Allan

    Jason,

    I was thrilled to be able to get back on the shopping site and order the clothing I wished I could get if I had not been limited to one of each item. I have now ordered some extras as well as multiple colors (I will also call the Vias camo a “color”) in some pieces. Although I have now spent over 3 grand on Kuiu gear, I am literally a “happy camper” and plan to be hunting and camping in your products a lot over the rest of this year and beyond. Many thanks for opening up the store for those of us who have a hard time getting enough of Kuiu! I am really looking forward to the Guide pants (trousers?) that you have promised to build soon, as well as an olive green (or other medium shade) Chugach jacket and pants so I can add those to the Chugach jacket and pants I already bought in Vias camo.

    Allan

  • Joaquin d'A

    Thank you Jason for sharing with us that part of your project. Really interesting and clarifying about how things are done.

    You also show it’s not a must to find the “Made in China” label on everything… and still become competitive.

    J.

  • Dan Geiger

    It’s odd having the clothing shipped to me from the US when i live in Vancouver.LOL

  • Doug Rauls

    Really cool to see the gear in production. It’s got to be very exciting to see it all coming together.

    But now what can I do with all this nervous energy, I check the front porch at least 5o times a day. Even though I know my packages aren’t there yet……sigh……..guess I’ll go do some more weight lifting and then some cardio.

    Doug.

  • This gets my heart racing a bit…I can geek-out on manufacturing stuff all day long!

    -Tom

  • Zachariah

    I have my KUIU gear in hand and love it. The quality is second to none and the camo is going to work great. Last fall I almost purchased some competitors clothing then stumbled on a thread in a forum about you and your new upcoming line. The thread had a link to this blog so I became a regular follower.
    The competitors clothing I about purchased is also very high quality stuff, but a couple things really sold me onto KUIU. First was your (Jason) reputation for being involved in the industry and production of other quality hunting apparel. But then taking it to the next level by involving the hunters/consumers really made me hold out to see what KUIU was to become. Secondly, your choice in merino wool as the primary fabric sealed the deal. Then to develope a new camo pattern only sweetened the package.
    I’m also very glad to see that everything is made in Canada. Only question I have is that the workers all appear to be Asian. I’ve been to Vancouver many times and know they have a large population of Asian decent, but are there other Canadians that work at the factory also? Either way their making some quality stuff, not a stitch out of place on my order!
    Keep up the great work. You’ve really raised the bar with KUIU. I do have one request though, can you make fall come any faster? I’m ready to hunt!
    -Zachariah

  • Alex west

    Hey just seeing if a tour of the production plant was available I’m a Victoria bc resident looking to purchase your product but would like to have a hands on look befor I do so . Or is there a dealer in Vancouver??
    Thanks for your time Alex west

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Alex,

      Due to the overwhelming demand for KUIU products I moved production this past fall overseas to a Vertical Program run by our fabric partner Toray. The 6 sewing lines in Vancouver unfortunately could not keep us in stock now or in the future. We are a on-line direct to the consumer at wholesale business. We do not sell to dealers. KUIU.com is the only place to purchase KUIU and you do so at wholesale prices. Thank you for your interest in KUIU and please let us know how we can help you.

      Jason

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