logoipsum-288 (1) svg
Blog/Development/Fabric Sourcing for Your Design Needs

Fabric Sourcing for Your Design Needs​

So you just finished designing your garment, now it’s time to consider what fabric you’d like to use in your design. It's important to start thinking about fabric sourcing early on in the design process because different fabrics will change how your design fits and moves. That, and it’s a time consuming process.

How you source material depends on what stage of production you are at; manufacturers will have different approaches to locating fabric depending on your production needs.

Small Batch Production​

For new brands creating smaller batches, your manufacturer will source just enough fabric that’s already available on the open market to complete the order. Since most material is imported, sourcing already available material means you’ll receive it in a timely manner, as it’s already stocked in US warehouses. Unfortunately, this also means color options will be limited. Luckily, some vendors are able to print the color, or work with local dye houses to customize the color in smaller batches.

Large Batch Production​

Here you can utilize custom materials, which typically have a 1000-3000 yard minimum. Depending on the garment, this produces about 1000-3000 styles. Most fabric begins in white, or greige regardless of the final color or print of the garment. It’s easier to hit higher minimums and they can order large amounts in advance to be used in production for many different designs.

Working with solid color materials introduces dye lots to dye the white fabric to the desired color for your garment. Dye lot vendors typically look to fill the vat to maximize profit, which usually fits 500-1000 yards of fabric. When it comes to custom developing a material with your manufacturer, it will likely take a few tries to get right. Development costs can add up quickly, so the trick is timing and flexibility with your manufacturer.

Overall, the more material you buy, the lower the costs become. This applies to small and large batch production. It’s important to buy enough to complete your order without having too much unused fabric at the end of the process. Fabric sourcing can be a tricky process, but the Designer’s Compass provides you with the guidance you need to find the right manufacturer, the right fabric, and the right approach to building your brand.

Check out our video on how to communicate your fabric needs to your manufacturer via @designerscompass on Instagram and TikTok.

Supercharge your Success!
​Get our Free Toolkit
​for reviewing your samples.

Fashion Toolkit

Ready to start your fashion brand?
Let us help! 

Get this free startup toolkit packed with the essentials you need.  

We just ask for help with shipping and this jam packed toolkit is yours FREE!