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5 Risks in Purchasing fabrics without consulting your tailor

Updated: Dec 12, 2020

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Fabric Purchase

For over 7 years I had my own Fashion business in Singapore. I designed most of the clothing in my boutique (Ziya Fashion) for Western, Indian and Malay couples, families and visitors.

I normally choose fabrics for my customers so I can make the dress same as the intended design of customers. But many times some new customers bring their own fabrics and we make dresses using their fabrics as well.

I notice many times that customers make lots of mistakes with fabric purchases and even many tailors just start work on inappropriate fabrics without educating customers about fabric outcomes.

The “fabric problem” is one of the main reasons many customers can’t get satisfaction with their bespoke dress.

I put together a list of the top 5 mistakes customers make with fabric sourcing.

1) Not Understanding How Much Fabric Required

A big mistake mostly customer do is buying fabrics without understanding that how much fabric will be required for their dress. Most of the Fabric shops also not having enough understanding of fabric cutting and design process to exactly tell customer and they mostly try to sell extra amount of fabric to customers to sell more OR sometime if the fabric role is near to an end then they tell customer that they should take whole remaining fabric.

I can’t tell you how many times I meet new customers those coming to me with fabrics and I tell them that the fabric is not enough for their dress and they get shock and worst shock they get when they go back to fabric shop and the fabric seller tell customer that the specific print they sourced is out of stock now and they can’t get back the same print OR the same print fabric will take 4 months to reorder and arrive.

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Fabric Purchase

2) Buying Fabric Without a Plan to Use it

Ordering fabric, you love because you know you’ll use it someday even if you don’t need it for anything now is a bad idea. It ties up your cash, takes up space in your wardrobe, and adds the mental stress of “oh crap I need to use that stuff because I already paid for it.”

3) Assuming all Fabrics can be Used for All Types of Dresses

This one is very easy mistake most of the customers makes. Their expected design and their fabric type totally differs. Remember that every fabric has its own weight and fall pattern. Your expected design requires a specific type of fabric to finally get the look you are expecting. How good a tailor cut and sew, if the fabric is not of right type, the outcome of dress will not be satisfactory completely.

4) Buying without Understanding Fabric Width

In the Market Fabric comes in different width like 45, 54 or 60 inches. We receive customer’s fabrics for production many times we find out that the fabric width itself is not right enough for making a long dress or a skirt.

If Tailor tries to tilt the fabric the print of the fabric does not match. Adding joints on the front of the dress spoils the whole dress. In this type of situation there is a very little chance to do anything except use the fabric for a smaller person or ask the customers to change the entire design of the dress to a smaller one.

5) Buying without Understanding the print and embroidery

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Beaded Embroidered Fabric

It costs more and adds-up to your pocket for tailoring if your fabric print is not matching with your intended design. Tailor have to use more fabrics to cut and get the right pieces of prints which brings more fabric wastage. Also embroidered or beaded fabrics cost more for tailoring as there is more manual labour involves in tailoring the dress of fabric which has beads and embroidery on it.

What You Can Do Differently

You can avoid all these risks.

First, I suggest you work backwards. Rather than have the perfect fabric in mind and go searching for it, you should go to your tailor first. This means you discuss about your intended dress design and ask his/her suggestions on fabric types, amount of fabric required, width of fabric and then you go to fabric vendors and see what’s available there. Once you see what’s available as per your requirement, quantities and price you can buy peacefully.

By this way you can save upto 20% on your fabric cost easily. If you are buying for a group than the saving can be further high.

In Ziya Fashion we have our own fabric collection for our customers to choose from it which also saves transportation costs and time for our customers. Also our fabrics are always sold on discounted prices to our regular customers.

There are very nice fabric shops also available in Singapore where you can purchase your fabrics. I will try to cover that in my next post for you. So keep in touch with me.

Now it’s Your Turn

I have a question for you – pick one and answer it in the comments below, will you please?

  1. Tell me your worst nightmare fabric story and what you did about it

  2. Give me your #1 best tip about fabric sourcing.

Thanks for reading!

Ziya Khanam

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