Print fabric sourcing can feel overwhelming. There are so many options, from the type of print to the style of the fabric to whether you want to go with a domestically sourced product or seek out overseas vendors. To help you through this process, I’ve come up with five easy steps for creating your own winning print fabric strategy.
Determine your budget.
Before you even begin to think about print custom fabric, you need to determine your budget. This is critical because it will help you decide what kind of print fabric strategy is right for your project.
When considering the cost of printing, keep in mind that there are two parts: the cost of buying samples and shipping them back; then there’s labour involved in installing the fabric once it arrives at your location. Also factor in duty fees (if applicable) and any other expenses related to bringing products into Canada or another country these can add up fast!
It may be tempting to go with an inexpensive option when shopping around for a printer but remember cheap price equals cheap quality most times you may end up spending more money later when things start falling apart due to poor construction techniques used by low-cost printers who aren’t trying hard enough when making their products last longer than expected before breaking down completely.
Consider how the fabrics will be used in the product.
When you’re considering how to use your fabric print, it’s important to consider how they will be used in the product. For example, if you are making a garment with a loose fit and no lining, then fabric that has more drape is better suited than one with less drape. If your goal is to make something structured with crisp lines and lots of structure, then choose a stiffer fabric that won’t stretch out as much when worn over time (like our cotton poplin).
In addition to thinking about how each fabric performs when worn by itself or paired with others on its own merits alone (i.e., does it have enough stretch? What kind of drape does it have?), also think about how each piece might interact with other materials for them all work together seamlessly once combined into one cohesive ensemble at different stages throughout their lives together.
Establish a communication protocol with your vendor.
You should have at least one contact person at each of your vendors, and you should know how to reach them by phone or email. Every time you communicate with them, get the name of their supervisor so that if there’s ever an issue with response time or accuracy of information, there’s someone higher up whom you can escalate it to (and vice versa). You also want to know what kind of response times are typical in other words, if someone tells you they’ll call back in five minutes but doesn’t do so until 24 hours later because they were out sick or on vacation, this will affect how much trust and confidence in that vendor’s service quality exists within your company as well as its ability to produce high-quality products on time.
Test samples before ordering in large quantities.
You’re probably thinking: “I don’t want to spend money on test samples when I could just order the fabric in bulk and be done with it.” But here’s the thing: test samples are not free. They cost around $25 per yard and take about 10 days’ turnaround time, but they allow you to get an accurate sense of how your product will look, feel, and perform before committing to a large print run.
Test samples give you a chance to see how well colours will reproduce on your chosen material and whether there are any texture issues that might make printing difficult or expensive if they occur during production (for example, if a certain colour has been printed onto one side of a piece but not another). In addition, having these physical examples available allows everyone involved in the creative process from designers and art directors down through merchandisers to evaluate what works best visually before committing significant resources toward creating large quantities of printed fabric that may ultimately need scrapping because something wasn’t quite right about it after all!
Don’t rush into print fabric sourcing!
Before you start sourcing print fabrics, make sure you have a plan. Don’t buy more than you need and don’t buy on impulse. The best way to do this is by testing samples first! If you’re new to the world of print fabrics and have no idea where to start, our free guide can help. It covers everything from how much fabric will be required for your project (and how much it’ll cost), through how long it takes us to manufacture custom made-to-measure garments (and when they’ll arrive).
There are many factors to consider when sourcing print fabrics, and it can be overwhelming. But don’t worry! We’re here to help you through the process. The first step is identifying your needs and determining budget. Once those two pieces are in place, it’s time to start thinking about how your fabric will be used in finished products like shirts or hoodies will they need special treatment before being printed on? Remember that communication between vendor and customer is key so everyone understands what they’ll get out of this partnership! Finally: always test samples before ordering large quantities from any supplier (even if they say they offer free samples).