Before throwing yourself into the whole collection creation process, you have to decide what fabrics you’re going to use: fabrics, linings, details, but also supplies like ornaments, buttons, zippers, etc. To create a good quality collection, you have to use high-quality materials coming from the right suppliers.
What type of suppliers?
There are suppliers for every single type of fabrics and supplies that exists. Some are specialized in fabrics, some are specialized in specific supplies, and some others propose both. Every supplier also has its specialties: embroideries, silk, velvet, bathing suit fabrics, buttons, etc. This is why it is necessary to work with several suppliers to create one collection (and sometimes to create one piece only).
In order to find out the type of fabrics you want and need, you can go to a market specialized in fabrics (like the Saint Pierre Market in Paris) to observe, touch and compare the different fabrics, and choose the ones that will fit your collection the best.
Where to find suppliers?
Most suppliers can be found on professional fairs dedicated to fabric and supplies. The most well know fairs are Première Vision (that takes place in Paris in February and September) and Tissu Premier (that takes place in Lille).
On these occasions, you’ll be able to meet several suppliers for the different materials you need, and compare them (quality, price, minimum quantity, etc) in order to chose the best ones for you.
How much to order?
Once you have identified your suppliers, you need to think about how much fabric you are going to order. Do not hesitate to order a bit more than needed, and to negotiate! Some of them impose a minimum quantity of order that could penalize you if you want to create a limited quantity of products.
In order not to meet that problem, or not having to spend time finding suppliers, some brands rely on service providers, like MonDéfilé. With more than 500 references of materials available on stock and with no minimum of order, and a large range of supplies, we help our clients in the process of fabrics and supplies sourcing.