When looking for fabrics for your clothing line, it can be very overwhelming. Knowing where to go and what questions to ask can be daunting whether you’re an established brand or a new freelancer.
The good news is there’s a straightforward process for finding suitable fabric and sourcing it quickly! This guide will walk you through everything from start to finish.
Know Your Budget
An effective way to manage your finances and ensure that you live within your means is to create a budget. It can help you set long-term financial goals and allocate funds to business ventures that will grow your brand.
Before you can create a budget, you must first know your specific needs. This includes the type of design you have in mind and the materiality you need to fulfill it.
Once you’ve determined your requirements, it’s time to start the fabric sourcing process. The first step is to get sample swatches from suppliers that fit your criteria. These will give you a good idea of the fabric’s quality, elasticity, and abrasion resistance.
You can also visit trade shows in different countries to source fabrics. This can be a great way to find suppliers, as you can meet with them in person and ask questions on the spot.
It’s essential to remember that fabrics are available for a limited time, and manufacturers may discontinue certain supplies at their convenience. So it’s a good idea to ask your manufacturer about dye lots, how much inventory they have on hand, and when they anticipate discontinuing a particular fabric.
Once you’ve created a budget, it’s essential to stay organized and track your monthly expenditures. Set up quarterly and yearly budget reviews to ensure you are on track for your goals.
Get a Clear Idea of What You’re Making
Before you start sourcing fabrics, you must clearly understand what you’re making. This will ensure you’re getting your hands on the right stuff and not wasting time on items that won’t see the light of day.
This also means you should keep a record of your fabric splurges to make the most informed decision regarding your budget and upcoming projects. Having this information on hand will allow you to save time and money in the long run by choosing fabrics that don’t have to be ordered from multiple sources.
The wide range of materials and fibers that can be used to create a variety of garments is one of the most exciting aspects of being a maker. However, it can be overwhelming to sort through the options and determine what will work best for your designs and your business.
Thankfully, there are many resources out there that can help you navigate the process efficiently. Whether through a dedicated textile consultancy or a well-informed friend, the key to finding the right supplier is to take your time and be clear about what you need.
Starting with a list of your priorities and then whittling down your options is the best way to accomplish this. You can do this by focusing on a few core areas, such as the fabric’s price, quality and quantity. Using this list as a guide, you can contact fabric vendors, mills or designers to see if they can produce the goods.
Decide on a Supplier
Now that you know what you want and your budget, it’s time to start sourcing. The good news is there are lots of places to look. Choosing a supplier is no walk in the park, but it should be relatively easy if you do your homework.
The first place to start is your local fabric store. These businesses typically have many suppliers ranging from small to large-scale manufacturers. The best ones will offer a wide variety of fabric options, and are happy to discuss pricing based on your project requirements.
The next step is to start your search online. Many of these websites are free to use, and many also have a blog section where you can find a wealth of helpful information. You’ll be able to compare and contrast fabrics, colors and prints side by side in a matter of seconds. There are also several websites where you can view images of fabrics and patterns for sale. You can even purchase samples from these sites, saving you time and money in the long run.
Finding goods you can sell to customers at a fair price is called “product sourcing.” It can be daunting, but it is essential to develop a system that works for your business and your products.
One way to start is by looking for suppliers in your area who can produce the goods you need at a cost that makes sense. This will reduce your supply chain costs and make it easier to launch new products.
Next, you can ask for product samples to test before committing to an order. This will help you determine whether or not a supplier is legitimate, reliable, and can meet your standards for quality.
Another way to source products is by searching online or contacting businesses directly. This can save you time and money and help you find unique products that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
It’s essential to get quotes from several vendors before deciding on one, and you can also get referrals from other companies in your industry with a similar sourcing process. This will help you identify which suppliers are most reputable and trustworthy, which are likely cheaper, and which can offer you the best prices.