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Sourcing Isn’t Sexy

Definitely not, but as a designer, touching and feeling textiles gives me the greatest inspiration.

“This scene is giving me color palette fever! Inspiration comes from all places!” was what I heard myself telling myself as I walked the floor. Most companies have sourcing teams that do this work, but as I said in a past post, I’m small time, which means I am the sourcing team. Right now, that is.

"Every time that I wanted to give up, if I saw an interesting textile, print what ever, suddenly I would see a collection." ~ Anna Sui

I realize it’s a fashion event, but you should attend as comfortable as possible because it will be an all day thing.

It was July 2021, and I was determined to attend Texworld NYC to source textiles and trims from vendors all over the world. I backpacked up, put on some comfy walking shoes and got out on those New York streets to find the types of fabrics I would need for the styles I had in mind.

Prior to attending the show, I had done as much sofa-sourcing as I could and already had a list of companies I was interested in visiting. Unfortunately, due to covid, a great deal of them could not show. However, the industry was prepared to show regardless. Vendors, from far and wide attended virtually after sending samples to the show. All it took was a scan of a swatch, and the vendor would receive my information and get back to me in a couple of days regarding the swatch I scanned as well as any other options I might need. I literally exhausted every inch of the showroom floor!

And of course, it was a must that I visit Mood Fabrics to purchase some goodies for my personal stash. I saw so many great textiles while there, but shopping here or any retail fabric store, for that matter,

cannot be the same place where a designer sources their materials. Remember, “Shopping is for Retail; Sourcing is for Wholesale.”

The reason one cannot source through retail stores is because when it’s time for the designs to go to production, the fabric lots may be sold out. Sourcing through a wholesaler will guarantee that the fabric that you sampled, will be available for your production run.

Bucket Full of Swatches

I decided to source the material for my first style from Korea, with a company called Swatchon. They make it easy for small designers to view their textiles online, order swatches in all the colors available, and test them on the first sample prior to ordering production yardage.

Just as a reminder, America does not have many textile making companies. So even though we are designing and manufacturing in the USA, our textiles will come from all over the world.

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Designer, Bridgette.


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