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Wholesale Fabric Supplier : Fabric Sourcing Ideas for Clothing Line in 2024

wholesale fabric supplier

If you are new in the clothing business, you must have knowledge about the wholesale fabric supplier. You can get your desired product from your wholesale fabric supplier. In this article, you will learn what factors you should keep in mind while finding and working with wholesale fabric suppliers. To know the details go through the whole article carefully. 

The Basics of Fabric Construction 

Understanding how fabric is made and what type of cloth is ideal for the product you’re designing is an important part of the design process.

Knits and wovens are two of the most prevalent fabric construction types, however there are many others. 

Knitted Fabric

Knitted fabrics  are often light, soft, and require little maintenance to maintain their appearance. Knits are a more popular fabric because they resist wrinkling. Knitted fabric is commonly used to create soft, comfy tops, bottoms, crop tops and underwear. Their elasticity makes them ideal for active wear. 

Woven Fabric 

Woven fabrics are created by weaving two or more sets of yarns at right angles to each other using a machine known as a handloom or power loom. Opacity, abrasion resistance, and pill resistance are all common features of woven materials. The thread count indicates the quality and strength of the fabric. Denim and formal slacks, button-down shirts, and jackets are all examples of woven garments. 

Types of Fabric Suppliers 

Finding dependable fabric suppliers is an important part of launching a clothing brand. It’s best to locate partners who can ensure that you get the stock you need and that it arrives on schedule.

Fabric suppliers are classified into three categories based on how they operate and the types of fabrics they stock. 

  1. Fabric mills: Fabric mills make made-to-order fabrics and may have large minimum order quantities (MOQs).
  1. Converter: A converter is a business that buys unfinished or grey goods from a fabric mill. After that, they finish the fabric by dying, printing, or washing it before selling it to you.
  1. Jobbers: Jobbers usually have a limited supply of cloth leftover from converters and mills. They may sell it at a discount, and they rarely refill a fabric, color, or print when it sells out. This type of fabric seller should be avoided because you may not be able to order the same cloth twice.

Where to Source Fabric for Your Clothing Line 

Fabric can be purchased in person at fabric trade shows, allowing you to inspect and feel the fabrics. Fabric vendors can be found online, and you can order fabric hangers (also known as swatches or samples) to inspect in your studio or workplace. Depending on the fabric mill, you may be charged a cost for each fabric hanger, which is normally between $5 and $10.

Source Your Fabric at Trade Shows  

Fabric trade shows can be difficult to navigate. Hundreds of rows of supplier booths is a lot to take in only a few hours. Before the trade exhibition, do some research on the fabric mills that will be present and produce a top ten list. Allow for a few more minutes in case you come across fabric vendors that weren’t listed in your web search.

Beautiful Connection Group is one of the best fabric manufacturers in the USA. They are better for small-batch fabric orders. They take part in trade shows as well.  

Source Your Fabric Online 

If you are unable to attend a fabric trade show, the next best alternative is to browse trade show websites for fabric suppliers who suit your criteria. Many, if not all, fabric companies now have a fabric catalog available on their internet. You can look around at your leisure before ordering fabric headers (also known as hangers) to review in the comfort of your own office. 

Commonly Asked Fabric Sourcing Questions

While sourcing fabric for your clothing line, here are ten questions to ask fabric providers.

1. Fabric article or item number

Fabric hangers frequently include the fabric article number on them. This is the number you’ll need when ordering the sample and bulk fabric yardage.

2. Fabric weight

The weight of the fabric is expressed in grams per square meter (GSM or GR/M2). The following are some samples of fabric weights used in various knit clothing.

  1. Leggings and sports bras in activewear range from 200 to 300 grams per square meter.
  1. The weight of lounge pants ranges from 180 to 250 grams per square meter.
  1. T-shirts range in weight from 130 to 180 grams per square meter.
  1. T-shirts that are lightweight have a GSM of 130 or less.

Please keep in mind that these fabric weights are only suggestions based on personal experience. The fabric weight you select for your clothing line may vary.

3. Fabric content

The composition of the fibers used to knit or weave the cloth is referred to as fabric content. Rayon, cotton, polyester, and silk are all common fibers. 

4. Fabric construction

Fabric building entails the transformation of yarns. And in certain cases, fibers into a fabric that is then utilized to create a finished product. The materials and processes used to make the fabric determine the cloth’s qualities. Interlacing technologies such as weaving or knitting are currently used in the majority of fabric production. 

5. Fabric width (total and cuttable)

wholesale fabric supplier

Fabric width is the measurement from edge to edge across the width of the fabric roll. The providers should give you two points of measurement (if they don’t, request it).

The entire width and the cuttable width are the two dimensions to consider. Because you can skew the fabric’s edges or torn during manufacture and transit. So we’ll recommend to use the cuttable width to get a more accurate measurement of usable fabric. 

6. Fabric price per yard/meter (sample yardage and bulk yardage)

You can ask the fabric supplier for their sample and bulk price per yard. The cost per yard for sample fabric can be $3-$5 more and in some cases double the bulk yardage price. Buying fabric in bulk usually costs less than purchasing sample yardage. 

7. Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)

MOQ refers to the minimum amount of fabric yardage that you must buy per order from a supplier. For example, if a supplier requires an MOQ of 500 yards, you must purchase at least 500 yards to be able to deal with that supplier. In some cases, the fabric supplier will allow you to order less by applying a surcharge to the price per yard. 

8. Fabric delivery lead time

The fabric delivery lead time is the time between placing a fabric order and the completion of the production and delivery procedure. The delivery lead times may vary from four to eight weeks.

9. Country of origin

The country of origin, or COO, is where the cloth is manufactured and shipped from. It’s critical to get this information because it must appear on the inner label of your clothing and will influence the price of your fabric. 

10. Fabric care instructions

The suggested procedure for washing fabric varies by fabric type and is determined by the composition and construction of the fabric. Fabric care instructions are included to ensure that the fabric’s integrity is maintained throughout time.

Additional Fabric Sourcing Terms Defined 

The fashion sector, like most others, has its own sourcing and manufacturing lingo. These nine terms can help you shop for fabric like an expert.

1. Fabric hand

Fabric hand is the sensation you get when you touch a piece of fabric with your hand. It does not have a specific phrase in the fashion business, although words like soft, cool, dry, and silky are the most common to describe it.  

wholesale fabric supplier

2. Selvage

The fabric’s completed edge, which prevents unraveling and fraying. The salvage is continuous along the length of the material. 

3. Fabric grain

Grainline is essentially the weave of the fabric: which direction the threads are running. Straight grain, or lengthwise grain, are the threads going parallel to the selvedge of the fabric. The uncut edges that are bound so that they do not unravel. When fabric is cut at a shop, it is cut on the crossgrain. 

4. Fabric drape

When making a garment, fabric drape is one of the most crucial aspects to consider. Drape means the way the fabric hangs or falls on the body. You can choose whether you want your dress to embrace your body or hang loosely. 

5. Fabric hanger

A fabric hanger is a small cutting of fabric so buyers can see and feel the material first hand. 

wholesale fabric supplier

6. Sample yardage

When creating and developing samples, sample yardage is the cloth you order. It usually costs more than buying bulk cloth yardage for manufacture. For sample yardage to be included in your design process, most fabric vendors require a five-yard minimum order.

7. Bulk yardage

Bulk yardage means fabric that you order in bulk after you’ve designed, created, and approved your clothing.  

8. Greige Goods

Greige is the color of an unfinished woven or knitted cloth before it is bleached, dyed, or printed.

9. Shrinkage

Shrinkage is the process in which a piece of fabric becomes smaller than its original size. 

Now that you have a better understanding of the wholesale fabric supplier sourcing process and common terminologies. Therefore you can start looking for what best fits your clothing business.