If you’re manufacturing apparel or fashion accessories, it should go without saying that the quality of your clothing will be judged not just by the design but also by quality of the fabric you choose to use in production.
Fabric selection in garment manufacturing will ultimately be one of the deciding factors in the success of the finished product. A good manufacturing partner can help a designer focus on the best type of fabric for the design; once the type of fabric has been identified, the manufacturing partner can help source the fabric to be used to make the final, finished garment.
The process begins by talking to the designer and looking at the designs. The first step is to narrow down the wide range of possible choices to a few types of fabric.
If the design requires a certain type of pattern, then the pattern itself can determine the type of fabric required for production; for jeans designers, the choice is pre-determined – you’ll be using some form of denim.
Sometimes a designer comes to us with a specific type of fabric in mind, other times they need help determining which materials will work best for their design and ask us to make suggestions. For example, a dress designer might already have silk in mind for the final garment because he envisions a certain flow or form.
After taking these basic requirements into consideration the next step is selecting the specific fabric for production. This is where things can get tricky and why it’s important to have a competent, reliable manufacturing partner that can help you identify the fabric that will maintain the right balance between quality and cost effectiveness. A good garment manufacturing consultant will know how to select the fabric with the best “working characteristics”, which are two-fold:
- the ability of the fabric to be worked and manipulated without degrading or tearing; and
- the cost effectiveness of the fabric in terms of quantity: that is, can you get more finished product out of less fabric?
When considering fabric options, keep in mind that not all materials are appropriate for all garments and that the fabric used in your manufacturing will greatly influence the look of the final product.