Wholesale fabric suppliers are the best resource when you require a larger quantity of fabric for a project.
However, finding one that can meet your project’s timeline, ensure a high level of quality and is located near you can be a challenge. It can even bring your project to a halt.
Although typing “wholesale fabric suppliers near me” into a Google search engine may produce some results, those results typically lack the information you need to make an educated, informed decision.
Here is a step-by-step guide to assist you with finding the right wholesale fabric supplier for your project.
Reach Out To Other Designers
While it may seem logical to begin your search for fabric online, the first move that you should make is to reach out to other designers to find out what experiences they have had with their wholesale fabric suppliers.
That’s because whether you live in a large metropolitan city or a small rural community, you might feel as if you’re on a wild goose chase.
Large cities like Los Angeles and New York City are filled with wholesale fabric suppliers, making the process of narrowing down your options more difficult and time-consuming. Smaller cities may not have nearly as many options, if any at all, leaving you with the Internet as your only option. Searching through pages and pages of wholesale suppliers can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Reaching out to other designers who have worked on projects similar to yours can give you a good head start and provide you with a more concise list to base your search upon.
Make sure when you speak with other designers that you ask them about important factors that could impact your project, such as lead times, minimum quantity requirements and customer service.
Narrow Down By Location Preference
Another technique to find the top wholesale fabric suppliers is to narrow down your choices by your location preference.
If you live in a large metropolitan area, like Los Angeles, you may prefer to work with a local company that you can visit onsite and meet with your supplier in person. If you live outside a major city, this may not be possible. Instead, you may need to look for an online wholesale supplier elsewhere.
While working with a wholesale fabric supplier in the same city as you is not necessary, it is important to consider the challenges you may face when working with a company located in a different country versus purchasing fabric from a domestic supplier.
The challenges of working with an international supplier for your wholesale purchasing include:
- Difficulty communicating and overcoming time zone barriers
- Longer shipping times due to distance
- Customs issues that may occur, delaying shipments
- An inability to visit the supplier onsite
- Less recourse if an order is not fulfilled correctly
Working with a domestic supplier, on the other hand, typically provides more safeguards and benefits, such as:
- Fewer time zones to overcome
- Shorter shipping times
- No customs to deal with
- An easier ability to visit a company onsite
- More recourse if an order is not fulfilled correctly
- An easier time reaching the company by phone with questions
Although working with a domestic supplier offers more advantages, this doesn’t necessarily mean working with the nearest supplier is the best choice for your business. It’s important to choose a supplier that can provide you with a high-quality fabric while giving you a personalized experience.
Check To Make Sure Your Needs Can Be Met
Before choosing a wholesale fabric supplier, it’s important to make sure that all of your needs can be met. To avoid a delay in your project, this is critical information to have upfront so that you can ensure that your project stays on track.
Considerations for your project include:
- The quantity of fabric that you need (double-check that there are no minimum quantity requirements)
- The option to customize, such as dyeing and printing services like digital printing and rotary printing
- The ability to meet your timeline, even in the case of customized orders or additional fabric orders
- Your budget (although wholesale pricing can make fabric by the yard less expensive, make sure you are working with a supplier rather than a distributor, who marks up prices before selling it to the end-user)
It’s also a good idea to double-check the availability of the bulk fabric you are purchasing in case you need to order additional quantities. This is why many designers avoid shopping for their textiles at fabric stores. In addition to being more expensive, fabric stores are often limited in their quantities and quality. The last thing you want is to be scrambling to find more of the same fabric or be unhappy with the quality of the fabric.
Take Note Of Customer Service
Finally, as you’re considering wholesale fabric suppliers for your project, it’s a good idea to take note of the customer service experience you are having when interacting with these companies. Although you may have been referred to this supplier initially, it’s important to ensure you’ll have a quality experience as well.
From the moment you first come in contact with a supplier to the moment your project is completed, you should expect top customer service. Anything less is a major clue that a linen supplier might not be the best partner for your project.
How quickly a company responds to your inquiry can also predict what type of experience you may have with a particular supplier. The best fabric suppliers will connect you with an experienced company representative (not a customer service representative offsite who has no knowledge of the product) who will always answer your questions in a timely manner.
Be sure to check reviews online, since they can provide some context as well, especially if you’re at the beginning of your search.
By taking these steps to ensure your project’s individual needs can be met, you will be on your way to finding the best wholesale fabric supplier for your current project and any projects in the future.