A Guide to Fabric Sourcing
If you are looking to source fabric for your new collection but clueless about where to begin from. You are at the right place. Fabric sourcing is the most challenging aspect of product development. Once the design is ready, the next step is to source the right fabric, which can do justice to your design. Here’s a quick guide on how to source fabric in the most efficient way.
Know your fabric requirements
The first thing you need to have clarity on is your fabric requirements. Before reaching out to suppliers, you must first think about the following pointers:
1. Fabric Type
The functionality of your garment depends on the fabric you source. Hence, understanding the fabric construction is crucial factor of the design process.
Woven: The most common types of fabric, in which, the yarns are interlaced at the right angles to create a checkered pattern. It is mostly used for jeans, suits and collared shirts.
Knitted: Knits are interloped yarns and are a popular fabric choice for lightweight garments. It is commonly used for t-shirts, leggings and sweaters.
Non-woven: This is mostly used in swimwear and sportswear for its moisture wicking ability. They are made by bonding fibers mechanically or chemically.
One should source quality fabric based on the purpose of the garment. You should pay attention to the fabric composition and content.
2. Fabric Material
Both woven and knits are available in natural and synthetic variety:
Natural fabric is made from materials found in nature like cotton, wool, silk, hemp etc.
Synthetic fabric is entirely made from chemicals like polyester, rayon and acrylic and many more.
3. Specifications and Quantity
Apart from having an understanding of the fabric material & type, you must know the following:
a) Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)
MOQ is the smallest order quantity that can be purchased from a supplier per order. While considering the same, there are two factors that comes to play: price and fabric measurement. Each supplier, fabric mills or jobbers have different MOQ requirement based on materials, manufacturing costs and location.
b) Price per metre/yard
Fabric pricing depends on the cost to make the fabric and also the market you are planning to source from. The price you pay per metre will depend on your budget after taking into account any trims and fastenings, fabric yield and the total retail price of your final product.
c) Fabric Width
There are two types of measurement: total width and cuttable width. You should only take into account the cuttable width from your supplier as it is side-to-side measurement minus selvedge.
Tip: Create a plan of your pattern pieces to estimate how much fabric you need to order.
d) Fabric Weight
The weight of the fabric is measured by gram per square metre (GSM). The higher the GSM, the denser the fabric will be. For instance, a linen shirt with 180–200 GSM, would be thick and will be preferable in winter season.
Here are some examples of fabric weight:
Lightweight fabric: organza, voile, mesh, chiffon, lace
Mediumweight fabric: satin, polyester, velvet, cashmere
Heavyweight fabric: sheeting, canvas, wool, flannel, denim
Look for the right supplier
Your fabric choice is essential not just for your collection but for your brand altogether. It will affect your garment’s appearance, fit and function. Hence, it is crucial to spend time and efforts while looking for a supplier to source for fabric from. There are lot of options from which you can consider to source your fabric. Some of which include fabric mills, converters, fabric agents & reps, jobbers & fabric stores & trade shows & expos.
With emerging technology, brands and designers are now gravitating towards digital platforms for sourcing. B2B sourcing platforms such as Locofast which connects buyers & customers with textile suppliers of all sizes around the world. These platforms are easy to use, empower business with sophisticated ecosystem to conduct business efficiently have gained popularity with time.
As a customer you can create a request with your sourcing details for suppliers. This is a great way to start conversation and build relationship, so that you can time and again source fabrics for your collection hassle free.
You can begin with an easy registration process by reaching out to them on:
Phone No: +91 8920392418