Fabric Sourcing 101: What to Look Out For

July 20, 2020

Getting the right fabric is instrumental when you’re designing and producing high-quality clothes. It not only affects the drape and fit of the final outfit, but can also inspire an entire range or season.
When looking for fabric suppliers, there’s a myriad of factors you need to look out for to ensure seamless production. Let’s look at the topic in more detail:

Create a sample

When looking into clothes production, most people have some inspiration or fabric in mind. It doesn’t matter if you don’t. Either way, get some samples and create a final dress sample with each one to decide on one fabric.
Sampling will also help you adjust your design according to fabric availability. These initial efforts will pay off when you end up with the perfect fit and drape, with a production line that’s ready to go!

Ensure availability

Creating a sample takes time. When you get the fabric for the samples, ensure that the supplier has the fabric in stock. You don’t want to finalize a sample only to find out that the fabric is not available for your collection anymore.

Be flexible

As a designer, you probably have a final image in your head regarding what the product should look like. This image could lead to you being fixated on one specific fabric. If you can’t find the perfect fabric, however, you will have to compromise and try to find the right balance by choosing the best possible option you have in front of you.

Consider your budget

Getting fabric for the sample might be expensive, as smaller quantities are pricier. It’s best to talk to the supplier beforehand and ask them about wholesale pricing. This way, you’ll know beforehand if the final orders will be affordable for you or not.  
The price of the fabric also contributes to the price of your final product, so it’s important to be mindful of costs.

Ask for lead times

Whatever supplier you choose, always inquire about the lead times. Knowing this allows you to plan the production process methodically, saving you from any mishaps later on.

Consider sustainable practices

Sustainable fashion is growing in popularity, and is likely to be the future of fashion. Sustainable sourcing can give your company an edge as Millennials, and Gen Z consumers are actively looking to buy from such brands.
You will also be contributing to eco-friendly fashion production and building your business on ethical practices.

Shortlist suppliers

Tradeshows are a popular way to meet suppliers and build your network. Forming partnerships with suppliers is a great practice for startups that need to ensure trouble-free sourcing. When suppliers feel like partners, they’ll actively contribute to your brand’s growth.

Finding suppliers and sourcing can be very challenging if you’re new to the industry. At Lefty Production Co., we can help you find the right fabric from the best sources. As a garment manufacturing company in Los Angeles, we are committed to helping fashion startups grow by assisting them using the latest techniques and technology. Get in touch with our consultants to see how we can help your brand.

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