Fabrics, fabrics and more fabrics!!!

Ruth Kelly

Ever wondered what the difference is between all the different fabric suppliers across the world?

Don’t worry if you find it super confusing, even seasoned pros find it challenging from time to time!

It can be overwhelming when you are trying to find a new fabric and / or vendor. After all , according to the United Nations, there are approximately 520,000 textile companies across the world, making both yarn and fabrics.  83% of those are involved in the manufacture of fabric.  (Sheng Lu (2017) FASH455 Global Apparel and Textile Trade and Sourcing).

If you assume that each of these mills puts out 4 x collections per year consisting of 200 fabrics per season, that’s over 325 million fabrics per year to consider! Granted that covers all sectors not just sportswear, but the size of the pool of potential fabrics and suppliers is still phenomenal and difficult at times to navigate.

To help in that navigation, Ssachs have categorized fabric suppliers into 5 different types. We give a brief description, and highlight some of the pros and cons of each, below.

Created by Ruth Kelly

Understanding the business model of the supplier you are potentially dealing with, is one step closer to determining if they are the right partner for you, and ultimately finding the right fabric from all the options that are out there. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on materials sourcing and development.

Further information on Fibre to fabric : a look at Global Mills can be found at Common Objective


Get in touch to discuss your material needs at ruth@ssach.co