Method and Materials

When Alfalfa Studio opened its doors in 2004, our vision included the creation of a line of quality graphic T-shirts. But we took our time. In order to create a product that reflects the same level of quality we put into our graphic design practice, we would need to do extensive research. Only the best materials, the best cuts, and the best manufacturing partners in the world would do.

It was worth the work and the wait. As any good cook would say, the meal is only as good as the ingredients. You can have confidence that graphic T-shirts and tote bags from Alfalfa New York are made from the very best ingredients.

T-shirts with perfect cut and construction

Favorite T-shirts have one thing in common: a fashionable, flattering fit. One great-fitting T-shirt in your wardrobe is worth more than a closet full of clumsy ones. So we carefully researched what goes into well-designed cuts and constructions for men, for women, and for a unisex look.

Alfalfa New York graphic T-shirts have a perfect cut for a slim look and are constructed with rib collars, reinforced shoulders, side seams, double-needle sleeve and bottom hems, and a no-tag printed label for comfort. The result is the T-shirt that’s destined to become your new best friend.

The world’s best cotton

Our recipe for quality began with research into the world’s best cottons. We were looking for a fiber that is not only silky soft, lightweight, and resilient, but also strong, durable, and colorfast. Suppliers from around the world sent us samples, and in the end, our shortlist included 4 countries famous for their cotton textiles: Portugal, Turkey, India, and Peru. Our ultimate choice for the Alfalfa New York fabric was 100% pima cotton from Peru.

100% Peruvian Pima

Peru’s climate is ideal for cultivating our prized pima cotton

Pima cotton

Although now cultivated around the world, the pima cotton plant is a species that originated in Peru. Its domestication can be traced as far back as 4200 BC to ancient Ancon, a site on the Peruvian coast, where pima cotton bolls were found.

A tropical perennial plant, pima requires full sun and high humidity and rainfall. Sensitive to frost, it grows as a small, bushy tree with yellow flowers and black seeds. The pima plant also has natural antifungal properties and contains the chemical gossypol, making it insect resistant.

The pima plant yields cotton with unusually long, silky fibers. This prized Peruvian pima fiber is favored by luxury and up-market brands worldwide for its superb resilience and drape. You will feel the difference when you wear a 100% pima cotton T-shirt from Alfalfa New York.

Fair manufacturing practice

Alfalfa New York designs are silkscreened by hand

In our view, quality manufacturing also means ethical labor practices. A priority for Alfalfa New York was to partner with a garment manufacturer that provides its employees with good working conditions and fair wages. Again, our search ultimately took us to Peru.

We visited the factory there and met with the owners and employees. We returned to New York with confidence in knowing that our graphic T-shirts and tote bags are being exclusively manufactured in a place as dedicated to quality and fairness as we are.