The 3 Basic Ways to Source Fabric

March 9, 2016

Each company approaches sourcing slightly differently, but at its core there are 3 ways that successful companies source their fabric. It's important that each company understand the different options available so they can effectively source for their specific needs.

Factory Sourced Fabrics: Probably the most common form of sourcing is "Factory Sourced" fabrics. This is when the factory handling the production of your garments also handles sourcing. At Maderight, we showcase both woven and knit fabrics from our own mills and our partner mills. We've made the process even easier by putting these fabrics online.

  • Great For: Designers who are using more common fabrics, or already know the exact fabric they want to use for their styles. While definitely the easiest, factory sourcing will rarely have the breadth of options that working directly with mills will have.

Mill or Wholesaler Direct: Mill or wholesale direct is exactly what it sounds like. Brands will work directly from vendors who specialize in fabric (check out how to find fabric vendors here, or find a vendor from our vendor database).

  • Great For: Designers who need speciality fabric or don't know their fabrication needs for their styles. This allows brands to efficiently see a larger collection of fabrics during the design phase.

Custom Fabric: Custom fabric is the process of either replicating a fabric (also called counter-sourcing) or custom making the fabric from scratch. This option provides you the greatest flexibility to get a fabric exactly the way you want it, but also has the highest minimums and lead times.

  • Great For: Designers who already know the exact fabric they want. Creating a custom fabric can also be used to control quality. Companies will use this option to create fabrics unique to their brand.

At Maderight, we're able to work with any of the three options, and in fact recommend that each of our clients understand which of the options are best for them. Not sure which option is for you? Contact us and we'll help you determine the best sourcing strategy.