The Ultimate Fabric Sourcing Tips For Budding Designers
So, you're a fashion designer in need of fabric to make something?
Knowing what you want and what you don't could be a right path to take when deciding on fabric sourcing.
DesiCrafts brings some basic tips to start your quest for the right fabric to make prototypes before you move on to wholesale purchases.
As you must be aware that type of fabric can change the look of a dress totally, and that every dress starts with a concept and a fabric...selection of the fabric can dramatically change the outcome.
The process of sourcing the correct fabric is the key to making the right kind of product.
Make A Short List: Make a short list of the suppliers. Preferably, local to cut short the delivery time and in case the need arises to visit them in person. If you are ordering from international fabric suppliers, then the location won't matter much. Yet you must ask your suppliers about the processing and delivery time. Also consider the fabric and shipping costs.
Order Samples: After looking at the pictures, short list the fabrics that are suitable for your product. Once you're sure what you want, ask your supplier if they are able to ship sample swatches. Most suppliers offer swatches of the fabrics. But in case swatches aren't available, you can alway buy a yardage or enough to develop the product prototype. It is still better than buying in bulk and later sitting on unused piles of fabric and repenting the loss of money and time.
Ask about the availability on re-order: It is very important that your fabric reseller doesn't run out of the fabric that you developed a prototype with. So, it is important to ask if the fabric will be available for reorder at a later stage (or a few months later). Most sellers and suppliers who don't manufacture their own fabric, they won't be able to offer the same fabric on re-order. This could be a deal breaker when you're looking to order a particular fabric to make a product that is suddenly a hit among your buyers but you can't re-order it anymore.
Lead time on handmade fabrics: Most handmade fabrics that are custom made, require more time to process. For example if you're ordering hand block printed fabrics in your own designs, it may take longer to develop. It is always good to ask your supplier questions such as how much time it is going to take and what are different shipping options available. Also add some extra number of days in case something goes wrong with the production.
Other Important things: Some overlooked facts that may become crucial later, should be asked before you order your fabric. It is important to know care instructions, composition and width of different fabrics you're about to order. It is also important to negotiate on the price and minimum order quantity on Made To Order Fabrics among other important questions that are crucial in developing your product.
We hope this list will make your fabric sourcing easier and better.