Fabric Sourcing Trip Report

I am back from my fabric sourcing trip to NYC which I must say was very successful.  Though, I do wish I had more time as I was only there for a day a half (business time).  I was able to make some great connections and will soon be placing my first sample orders! 

Following, are general tips for making the most of your time in NYC.  First and foremost, try to dedicate three days in the city.  That way you will have some appointments prearranged but will also be able to make more once you are there.  Not only are there numerous mills that have offices but many store fronts sell wholesale as well.  You could probably spend two days just going to all the store fronts.  If necessary you could also see pattern makers, sample makers and manufacturers that do small production runs.  However, be prepared with designs in that case because you won’t make any progress if you are unable to show them what you want made.  The Resource Room at Gibbs as I mentioned in the previous post is a great resource.  Susan Powers, who developed the library, is very helpful and she has a room full of swatches from suppliers all over the country.  Definitely stop by there first if you want examples of what some vendors offer.

Now that I have been to a couple of fabric shows and to the individual fabric suppliers in NYC I can say, without a doubt, I made more progress in NYC.  It’s possible that if I went to a smaller show, such as the LA Textile Show that is coming up, I may have a different sentiment.  To me, the textile shows are a little overwhelming.  It is convenient that vendors are lined up one after the other, but I found it was nice to see the office of where you are ordering from and have someone speaking to you without many other people vying for their attention.  On the other hand, the shows are a great way to see the upcoming trends and the seminars are invaluable, so I will be combining the two methods of sourcing in the future.

I hope this helps and would love to hear other experiences about sourcing components whether they are fabrics or industrial materials…:)

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