Lead time: Always ask about the lead time for production and delivery. It will be vital when planning your production schedule. Don’t assume a supplier will be able to get your fabric to you in a couple of weeks. If you need hundreds or even thousands of yards, it’s unlikely to be pre-made, and so you will need to factor in the time to have it made to order.
Repeat orders: Discuss stock availability and continuity in advance, especially if you order only a small quantity for sampling. Imagine if the supplier discontinued the fabric at the time you needed it for production – it would upset all your plans! Make sure it will be in stock if you need to come back for more.
Pricing: Smaller quantities of materials are usually more expensive. Find out whether the supplier has wholesale or tiered pricing (like we do), as this can affect your overall profit margin.
Fabric width: Don’t assume that the fabric is a standard width – always check! Handwoven fabrics are often thinner, and some bulk materials may be more extensive than you would generally expect. It makes a difference on what you can fit onto the fabric – and may mean that you can buy fewer yards overall.