Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Ursula Hurth, Munche, Germany
Meet Ursula Hurth, owner of Mouche, Germany, and Distributor for my software in Germany.
Mouche is a thirty-year old company that designs and manufactures clothing for a very specialized field; sport shooting. This is essentially marksmanship, and is a popular sport in Europe. Urusla’s father was a shooter, and she learned the sport at an early age, 13.
When Ursula went to college, she studied Textile Engineering, with a specialty in knitting. She saw the need for apparel, designed specifically to meet the requirements of the sportsman, and began a business that now sells clothing in Germany, Austria, Russia, and basically, all over the world.
Ursula gave me a tour of her operation and it was impressive. She has made herself an expert in what we here in the U.S. have termed “extreme textiles”. Shooters have specialized requirements, in that at times their clothing needs to be stiff to support their stance and the weight of the gun, which ideally does not move at all. Sometimes, the fabric must give warmth, and so she has found a material that has tiny little balls inside, so that it can regulate the temperature for the wearer. Not only can it warm the person up, it can also cool them down. Another fabric, called “Top Grip, has a pebbly surface and gives the wearer a good grip; it is used at the knees, elbows, and shoulders. Some of Ursula’s fabrics were so stiff, (for support), that she had to invent unique sewing techniques to actually build the garment. Take a look at me, beside a pair of pants, that stand on their own!
Her primary assistant and right-hand man is Slava Leynov, who is Russian by birth. As I spent time with them, I had to sort out when they were speaking Russian, German, and occasionally English…. It was fun.
Ursula’s factory employs several people who all work with different machines or equipment to create the final product. She builds her line in two modes; I called them “couture”, (which is really made-to-measure), and ready-to-wear line.
Ursula’s couture is extremely made-to-measure. She had to become an expert in fit, as there can be no room for folds, creases, or anything that interferes with the poise and concentration of the shooter. The gunman must always have the same stance and gun position. It is a precision art. I should mention, by the way, that there many women participate in this field as well. Ursula did for 30 years!
Mouche apparel have been worn by athletes in the Olympics, World Championship and Cups, and in general sporting events around the world. Many Olympic medals have been won by people wearing Ursula’s carefully designed and engineered clothing.
There was a lot I could identify with, as I came to know more about Ursula’s business. She is an entrepreneur, with a mind that never stops. Many of us would understand that, I certainly do.
I am so pleased to have Ursula represent Cochenille in Germany. She can translate her knowledge of fit to assist her customers in creating amazing clothing. There is a very active Garment Designer forum, that provides a virtual meeting place for people to share their ideas, questions, and creativity.