How Do Fashion Designers Shop the Fabric Market?

Helpful Resources
Fabric Choosing Guide

Shopping the market is one of the crucial parts of the job of a fashion designer and often, the market search is a long and never-ending process. As the fashion industry is constantly evolving with the commencement of new technologies and ways of production, there is always something new to explore. As a fashion entrepreneur, it is always important for you to stay updated about all the brands that make fabrics.

After reaching the stage of choosing fabrics and contacting suppliers, you would need to know all the little details on what you are looking for. Here is a checklist of helpful resources and details you need to know before contacting a fabric dealer.

What is the Fabric Made of?

To put it simply, you would need to check the fiber content which is the measure of the different kinds of raw materials that comprise the yarn for making a woven, non-woven or knit for making the fabrics. It is very important to know about the fiber content you look for making your fabric as it affects almost everything about the garment – from comfort to quality to how well it would get sold in the stores.

When Do you Need the Fabric?

You cannot always think that the materials you look for will be available when you need them for your business, which is very unfortunate. You would need to make sure that you will be allowing lead-time – the period between when you place the order for fabric and when you really need them. Do not ever plan to order the fabrics one day before you need it. Planning with more lead time is always a better option as you would get more options to choose from, that too, at lower costs. You would have to ask, make sure and communicate clearly about your timeliness with your supplier for avoiding the extra costs and delays.

How Much Fabric Do you Need?

Having a good knowledge about how much and what type of fabric you need for your plan is one of the most crucial steps, but it is always common to run into minimums. Just like the way it sounds, “a minimum” is the smallest amount of fabric that you could get from a factory for placing an order and it is mostly measured in yards. Some places offer small minimums whereas others might require you to buy many hundreds of yarns of fabrics for placing an order with them.