If you’ve ever owned an underwire bra, you know the problem: either the wire pokes all the time, or over time it decides to poke right through the fabric! In my experience, this is the most common demise of my favorite bras. It occurs far sooner than I’d like, given the cost of these beauties.
Apparently, the design for this new Wonderbra garment has been put through every insult imaginable. Not only was the garment abused in all sorts of ways, but a host of professionals were involved in the careful refining of the design, from pattern-makers and sewers to textile engineers.
The new no-poke bra was finally released, after Raymonde Tranchemontagne gave a final okay. Tranchemontagne has been brooding over bras for 40 years. That includes the 25 to 40 pieces that go into each garment, from foam and lace to straps and hooks.
Science has played a big role in the development of new brassiere technology. Tips and tricks from automotive manufacturing to rocket science, in fact! Wonderbra has been first on the market with many innovations, including the molded cup, which it introduced in 1972.
Each new development requires testing, or the lingerie manufacturer is likely to have unhappy customers. This means that Tranchemontagne must be ready to put a new fabric or bra component through its paces to ensure that it will stand up to the rigors of the job.
One example is the Wonderbra Comfort Lace line of bras. Tranchemontagne went into action in 2007 when she discovered a new elasticized lace that would eliminate sewn-in elastic. First, she had to develop a prototype and have it tested by a group of women, who would wash and wear the garment for a full month and then return it for analysis. While the woman wore the prototype, the lab tested the fabric itself to be sure that it would retain elasticity and color. Only after the prototypes had been tested (and passed) did development of a real garment begin – with another round of testing by women who could keep a secret.
So, you now have No Poke bras. We have to wonder what’s next for Wonderbra. Unfortunately, Tranchmontagne can keep a secret too.