The first step after planning your product is sourcing for supplies. Finding reliable suppliers is important as they play a huge role as stakeholders in your business. This process will require the most research. The main things to look at are what types of textile/fabrics you need, any hardware such as zips or buttons and trimmings/embellishments such as beads or sequins.
Here’s a map of where materials are commonly sourced from:
We suggest visiting local or regional textile trade show to have a better understanding of how to order and meeting suppliers. If you require large quantities of fabric, consider sourcing straight from the mills, as they tend to be cheaper.
However, do take note that the process will need longer lead time and a very high minimum order. A plus point to this is that you can request a fabric to be made a certain way as some factories are willing to produce custom fabrics.
Find a supplier that produces the material to the standard you need at a price you are comfortable with. Often the prices per meter will decrease as you order more. Ask for samples and swatches to test it out. Always remember to compare prices and look for alternatives – if you can’t afford pure silk, try finding a synthetic or a semi-synthetic fabric in the same finish such as rayon.