As promised, we’re coming at you on this fine Friday to have a little chat about fabric.
Fabric selection is a kind of important when you’re in the design phase of your project.
It’s also where I run into some setbacks and ??’s from clients, mostly due to the lack of understanding surrounding the process of sourcing fabric. So, I am hoping to clear up a few hazy spots regarding the subject.
Sourcing the right fabric is not easy or quick. Most companies spend months sourcing. They spend $$ going to trade shows. As a project manager, when I am sourcing fabric there are a lot of factors I have to consider when selecting options:
- Fabric content Does the client have certain specifications for what they want their fabric to consist of? Recycled poly? Merino wool? Does it need a special finish?
- Fabric weight You have to take into consideration the end product. If the fabric needs to have a slinky drape, it cannot weigh the same as your bottom-weight fabric selections.
- Minimums. This is a big one. For the majority of start-up brands, I highly recommend using fabrics that are stocked, or that are readily available at the mill or wholesaler. That’s because it is tough to find a fabric that you can customize (with your own color or print) at a low enough minimum to make sense for your project. So, mills will sometimes “stock” fabric that are purchasable per roll, as opposed to having thousands of yards as minimums if you want to customize. A lot of times, mills will stock best-selling fabrics in colors relevant to the season.
- If you choose to do custom colors or prints, you must understand there will be fees involved, especially if you are not hitting the minimum order quantity (MOQ). You will run into weaving charges, general surcharges for falling below MOQ, and dye charges.
- Price needs to be considered as well. You can’t be buying a $20/yd fabric if you are trying to retail your product for $69.
The Big Question: Where Can I Source Fabrics?
The Big Answer: Hire a pro.
Unless you have time to go to trade shows, or run all over LA or NYC to meet with fabric vendors that may or may not have what you are actually looking for, hire someone who can understand what your specific needs are and send you some selects.
A good sourcing agent should be able to navigate the parameters previously mentioned and provide fabric solutions.
The Casual Brand Creative is here to help you with any fabric sourcing needs. We have beautiful relationships with mills all over the globe and are confident we can be a great tool for your project. If you have any specific questions, email us at: Create@thecasualbrandcreative.com and we will guide you in the right direction.