We have a far-reaching concept of „quality“; above all, to us it means sustainability with respect to our products, customers, suppliers and employees.
The development of the design and the cut is already about sustainability. Its timeless design remains modern and good fits ensure flexible wearing comfort. Our collections can be matched and mixed with other seasons, designs and colours harmonize for a long period of time. A high standard of quality in fabrics and workmanship also ensures the garment’s durability. This means one’s personal style can be individually developed and a new season does not incur trend-related stress.
We pass this quality awareness on to external partners, i.e. our suppliers. Whether it is our fabric manufacturer or notions supplier – based on years of cooperation – a thorough understanding of the high requirements of the OSKA label has developed.
Internally our teams maintain a lively, personal and inspiring atmosphere. This results in long-lasting mutual trust that is the foundation on which our company is built. Since many years our two subsidiary companies in the Czech Republic are the linchpin of our production. Highly trained specialists are on hand who are knowledgeable of the product and its characteristics. They know the standards and meet this challenge reliably, with flexibility and success.
This ensures that our concept of quality is fulfilled; fashion that is sustainable in terms of the statement it makes and product quality.
Fabrics - A significant design element
The special character of the materials is a significant element of the OSKA collections. Many fabrics have an exclusive look and distinctive structures. When selecting materials, we place great emphasis on pleasant feel and easy care.
In summer piece-dyed linen plays an important role. Its appeal is casual and relaxed, its feel soft and precious, the colours are lively and light as a summer’s breeze.
Boiled wool, a natural warming fabric, that accompanies us throughout the winter, comes in different qualities and in muted basic and atmospheric accent colours.
Apart from boiled wool and linen, we use a great number of other materials, such as cotton, hemp, silk and wool. We prefer to use natural fabrics, but are open to other qualities, if they also offer an individual look as well as a high level of wearing comfort. Before any fabric is used in our collection, we thoroughly test its quality.
Linen is made from approximately one metre long fibres of the flax plant and is the oldest type of woven fabric known to historians. Archaeological finds dating back to the Neolithic Period show the first signs of early flax culture. In ancient Egypt white linen was a symbol of divine purity while in the Christian religion this purely natural product continues to be greatly valued to this day.
The smooth fibre with its matt sheen and irregular thickness is especially absorbent and pleasantly cool in the summer. Linen is durable, has a firm feel and a comfortable weight. Linen’s characteristic creasing is seen as a particular sign of quality. OSKA works with top quality linen in various weights. Due to linen’s absorbent properties, the fabric is particularly suitable for dyeing in the individual shades of OSKA colours.
Linen is a characteristic feature of our summer collections. The product range includes trousers and jackets, skirts and dresses, blouses and tops, caps and bags.
Care instructions: We recommend washing coloured fabrics at 40°C. Linen can be pressed with a hot iron, preferably when the fabric is still slightly damp. Tumble-drying is not recommended as it makes ironing more difficult. Please read your garment label for further instructions.
Cotton fabrics are used in many ways in OSKA collections. Different finishing processes result in varied cotton surfaces. If the material’s surface is smooth, it has a pleasantly cool touch. Brushed cotton is also very popular as it has a very soft and warming feel.
Cotton is light, absorbent and extremely kind to the skin. It is also tear-resistant and easy to care for. The natural fibre is obtained through the cotton plant’s fibres, which surround the seed. When the cotton boll is ripe it opens, the round seeds have white, long seed-fibres. These fibres are spun into fine yarn.
In tropical climates cotton has been used for clothing since thousands of years. The oldest traces have been found in Central America, India and China. Today cotton is grown on all continents. In the 17th century the German city Augsburg led the industrial production of cotton. Germany’s production was later overtaken by Flanders and England.
Care instructions: Mild detergent is recommended for cotton. Please do not use fabric softeners; it reduces the fabric’s absorbency. Please line dry white cotton without direct exposure to the sun as it might make the fabric yellow. New garments with intense colours may still bleed colour; initially they should be washed separately. Please read your garment label for further instructions.
Boiled wool is a purely natural product. Its manufacture requires only wool, water and a little curd soap. It is made by pressing and kneading pure virgin wool knitted fabric in warm water. Unlike loden, which is felted from woven wool, boiled wool remains more elastic due to the knitted fabric. The wool swells up and the fibres mesh together.
Since the wool fibre is crimped, the fibres are never packed tightly together and so pockets of air result. They are what give boiled wool its special warming properties. During production the fabric is deliberately shrunk considerably, which changes its density. This is what makes boiled wool a durable fabric, which is resistant to dirt and cold temperatures. Wool can also absorb up to a third of its own weight in water without feeling damp.
As proven by archaeological finds, people have been making boiled wool since antiquity. Several thousand years ago, people treaded the fabric with their feet and since the Middle Ages this work was done in mills. Today the knitted fabric is processed in special machines.
OSKA works with top quality mouliné boiled wool from superfine merino yarn. It is both lightweight and durable. It provides a significant degree of wearing comfort and keeps its colour and shape for years. The colours are individual OSKA shades.
Our boiled wool product range includes pullovers, trousers, jackets, dresses, skirts, vests, coats, caps and scarves. Both light- and heavy-weight qualities are used which can be worn indoors or outdoors. Our main qualities are manufactured in South Tyrol by the renowned and traditional company Moessmer. The colour palette was developed exclusively for OSKA.
Care instructions: Boiled wool does not crease. Garments can be freshened by simply airing them. Boiled wool garments should be dry-cleaned; it is rarely possible to wash them by hand. Please read your garment label for further details.
The delicate silk fibres are extracted from the silk moth’s cocoon. During pupation on becoming a butterfly, the larve spin a cocoon around themeselves with approx. 300 000 whorls. Later these cocoons are collected and unwound.
Silk is light and comfortable because of its low density. It has a high shape-consistency and insulates very well: in winter silk keeps one warm, in summer it cools. The elegant and lucent silk strand is the strongest known natural fibre.
Silk was first extracted in China in the third century B.C. and from then on adorned the emperor and his court. The material was held in the highest esteem. It was forbidden under penalty of death to take the caterpillars or eggs out of the country. Yet in 555 A.D. Persian monks smuggled some eggs and knowledge on how to produce silk to Europe. From the 17th to the19th century, Krefeld on the lower Rhine (Germany) was the most important silk centre in the world.
Today China, Japan and India are the most important silk-producing countries. For detailed care instructions please read your garment label.
We have been using cotton-hemp mixes since several collections. This fabric has become very popular and has proven to be especially suited for summer shirts.
The stem of the hemp plant grows up to three m high and is filled with fine, robust fibres that can be worked into rope and textiles. Hemp fabric is very similar to linen. It creases a little and is very kind to the skin.
Especially in summer, its high absorbency makes it pleasant to wear, while the fabric never feels damp. Hemp fabric is firm, tear-resistant and odour and dirt-repellent. With all of these properties it remains permeable, cool and keeps its shape.
Due to its THC content (tetra hydro cannabinol) the hemp plant has a natural defence against pests and is easy to grow ecologically.
The fibres are less sensitive than other natural fibres to bacteria, fungus and other pests.
We like to combine hemp with cotton for jersey fabrics. This lets cotton keep its shape better while making the hemp softer.
Hemp textiles are easy to care for and can be machine-washed. Please read your garment label for further instructions.
Creating the collection
As the first step of creating a collection, Stefanie Schmitz visits international fashion and fabric exhibitions. This is where she and her team probe an incredible amount of offers to fulfil the requirements of for those unique OSKA qualities, which will significantly shape the new season. Which creative ideas goes with OSKA, for which looks do we stick to established designs, how do combinations match?
Colour themes are developed, fabrics are thoroughly tested for quality and wearing comfort, alternatives are considered, manufacturers are involved and samples are ordered.
In the ensuing intense, creative process Stefanie Schmitz develops the OSKA collection with its individual statement. She pays meticulous attention to consistency, unique aspects and space for individuality. The first designs become patterns, then good concepts are fleshed out in various fittings and non-sustainable ideas are sorted out. Some designs are revised several times by the entire team in order to rethink all aspects of design and production.
A fascinating process: The creation of a new OSKA collection takes five months.
We see ourselves as a quality label and we firmly adhere to this standard. Our materials are examined in all phases of development and production. We test washability, feel, colour-fastness and shrinkage resistance. Later, a team of technicians reviews the results in the production facilities. This is how long-lasting, easy-to-care-for garments originate that can become favourites.
The high quality workmanship of OSKA products is guaranteed by our Czech production affiliate PRO LEN.
The team of technicians is located in Prostéjov – a three-hour drive eastwards of Prague. This area looks back on a long tradition in the production of textiles and offers a great number of medium-sized production facilities with well-trained experts.
PRO LEN is easy to reach from Munich, which allows excellent cooperation with the Munich production development and technical team.At Sumperk, about 100 km from the company headquarters, state of the art technology is used for washing and dyeing. This is where the casual OSKA collections receive their finishing touches and their unmistakable look. Through the development of innovative dyeing and washing processes, we are able to continuously surprise the market with new fabric designs and structures.
About one sixth of the production volume is manufactured in China. OSKA finds exciting materials there, which are not offered in Europe – for example special qualities of leather, hemp and silk. They are produced in China and selected by OSKA in accordance to the European Life Cycle Assessment requirements.
All OSKA suppliers are carefully chosen and personally overseen by our staff, which visits them on a regular basis.
During the creation of the OSKA collection all materials are thoroughly examined by our quality control. For example, they are tested for tensile strength, abrasion resistance, colourfastness and pilling, as well as skin friendliness while being worn. The washing test shows how materials react to being machine-washed.
Materials have to run through various processing and treatment processes before we are convinced of their qualities. It all begins with the sample orders at the fabric exhibitions. The fabrics that were chosen in the initial tests are used for the sample collection.
The second phase is preparing for production. Customer orders have been placed, now large quantities of fabrics are ordered. Our quality requirements are coordinated with the manu- facturer and last corrections are carried out.
The third phase of testing takes place during production. All fabrics are thoroughly tested before processing. They must have a high level of shape stability and their quality must fulfil high standards – also with the individual irregularities that characterize the OSKA look.
This exactness presents a challenge that we gladly undertake. It ensures the high quality that makes OSKA what it is. We hereby comply with the requirements of the textile industry in accordance to the Oeko-Tex-Standard 100.