Whether you are starting a small DIY project, designing your dream dress, or taking up the colossal task of starting your own clothing line, the foundation is laid with choosing the right fabric for your needs. Where does one start with sourcing fabrics?
In this blog, we outline the What, Where, and Why of sourcing fabrics for your needs. Read on to find out!
The first thing to look at is what kind of fabric you require for your needs. Some fabrics are heavier in mass than others, and may not suit certain projects. For example, if you want to try your hand at sewing new curtains for your room, a thicker denim fabric would not work for this project, and you should go for a fabric that’s lightweight, such as cotton or muslin. Similarly, Satin or Silk would not be the right fabric for making pants, since they lack the elasticity that denim, poly-cotton, or knit kinds of cotton would offer.
There are also several different factors one must look at apart from the weight and elasticity of fabric. Consider the thickness of the fabric, and how that would affect the drape of your fabric.
For example, if you were to choose a silk fabric for a saree, you would prefer a lighter, more breezy fabric to give your saree that perfect drape and if you were choosing silk to make pillow covers and bedspreads, you would choose a thicker fabric. So do keep in mind the weight, thickness, drape, and elasticity of the fabric before you choose it for your project.
There are several places where you can source fabrics for your projects. Here are a few of our picks:
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, online shopping and e-commerce have increased due to their hassle-free nature. No more standing in crowds and leafing through fabrics in the hot weather, you can get your dream fabric in a single click! Here’s a guide to buying fabrics online that you can check out to make your online fabric shopping experience as seamless as possible (pun intended)!!
Every city or town has its own famous fabric store that everyone visits. Don’t shy away from these fabric stores as being old-fashioned or traditional, as they can surprise you with their collections! These stores are dedicated to stocking up on fabrics and are often up-to-date with their inventory.
The perks of shopping for fabrics in-store means that you can touch and feel the goods before you purchase them, and sometimes an unexpected item may catch your eye and inspire a new project as well!
In some places, the weavers settle down in a certain place as a community where you can seek them out and source your fabrics. The perks of sourcing your fabric straight from the place of production mean that you can get the crème de la crème of products, and even design your own fabric if you’re ordering in bulk. Besides, you will be supporting an artisanal community and making a sustainable step in sourcing your fabrics as well!
Sometimes, Trade shows and expos are organized to showcase the wares of vendors from numerous cities in the same place. This allows you to browse a wide range of fabrics and make comparisons to the ones that work most for your project. However, be wary of the goods sold in expos and make sure to check them thoroughly, as some vendors can sell damaged or fake goods at inflated prices.
As is the case with any project, sourcing the raw materials is the most important step. Only if the quality of the foundation is good, will the quality of the end product be good as well! These days, mass-produced fabrics and fast fashion are also playing a major role in the environmental degradation of the planet.
So, if you have the option to choose sustainable practices and slowly produced materials, definitely do so. Moreover, the fast fashion industry is exploiting and driving out artisans who have dedicated their lives to study and perfect their art form, and carry generations of experience in their work. India’s rich cultural history is reflected in the work of its craftspeople, and must be protected.
Fabriclore as a brand is built on making a positive social impact. Our fabrics are sourced directly from traditional weaving communities settled in different parts of India and aims to make sustainable choices more convenient! Check out our wide range of fabrics here.