It takes a perfect roll of fabric to create the dream collection. However, sourcing fabrics, especially for a novice designer can be a daunting experience. A simple mistake and cash is burnt like there is no tomorrow.
For growing a business in the fashion industry, having a huge clientele is not enough. Just like how you would take your time hiring your core team, you should think about getting the “right” fabric merchandise partner on board as well.
But, don’t assume your bubbly personality or the charming persona can cut the deal. In the apparel business, no one has the time for small talks. Therefore, you need to be precise and productive.
Initially, sourcing the right fabric turns out to be challenging for emerging designers because most of the companies have minimum order requirement. Most of the sourcing companies, however, will have no minimum requirement clause for custom prints. This is one of the reasons why you’d see a lot of emerging designers go for custom prints.
4 Places To Go To Source Fabric In Mumbai
You can go to the following markets in Mumbai for all your fabric needs.
- Crawford Market
- Mangaldas Market
- Mulji Jetha Market
- Swadeshi Market
Describe Thou Fabric:
Know what you need, like really know! There is zero chance of someone entertaining you if you don’t tell them exactly what kind of fabric do you need. Describe the fabric well by including details such as, fabric content, weight, colour, quantity, price range, what is it going to be used for, quality, and by when do you need it.
Fabric Description Template:- Download
What’s the Plan?
You should chalk out a plan to use every inch of fabric. Sometimes, everything is so right with a fabric; the price, quality, etc, that it is easy to be tempted into buying it to figure out later what to do with it. Every piece of material that is not used is money locked.
Rigid vs Flexible:
Designers understand the difference between merlot and jam, and it’s huge. However, this rigidity might create a hindrance while sourcing of the material. It is important to keep an open mind. If you are not able to find the perfect colour or texture match for your design, try complimenting the fabrics rather than matching it. Also, if you don’t find the same colour as you wanted initially, try another. Don’t waste your time looking for that perfect shade. You won’t even realise and a lot of time would have been lost.
Set Expectations Right:
You should set expectations right from the get-go; yours and his. To set the expectations right, you should ask for things like dye-to-match or due-to-order options, minimum quantities, payment methods, timelines, etc . While you might think that being a customer gives you an edge over them, you are wrong. In apparel business, you need to earn respect rather than demand it. Don’t expect them to change policies or criticize their offerings. Be polite, to the point and productive during your meetings.
He’s A Pro!
Work with a professional. Working with a professional will save you a lot of your valuable time; time that should be utilized into building your brand, designing, building clientele, etc.
Stop The Hunt!
It is important to know when to stop hunting, either for the fabric or a manufacturer. Spending days over finding the right material will cause you time and money.
Go To Exhibitions!
National and international sourcing exhibitions are a great way of learning out emerging trends and sourcing the right fabric for your collection. You can attend Premiere Vision Exhibition (International) or Textrade Fair (National).
Sourcing may seem like a nightmare (because it is), but once you build a trusting relationship with fabric manufacturers and know the do’s and don’ts of sourcing, you will be able to make much more money stress-free than ever before.