As a designer or interior designer, the quality of the product or service you provide depends on the quality of the materials you use.
And if you use linen, finding the right supplier is key to having access to a quality fabric, at the right price and in a timely manner.
However, finding the right supplier that meets your needs can be one of your biggest challenges. Below we’ll explore what to look for in a fine linen supplier to help you find the right partner for your projects.
Location: Domestic Or Overseas?
One of the biggest decisions you’ll face as you search for a linen supplier is whether you should work with a company that is located domestically or overseas.
The European Union and Asian countries such as China, India and the Republic of Korea are among the top leading textile exporters in the world.
Working with overseas suppliers may have its benefits. However, there is a concern among some business owners that working with an overseas supplier may impact the quality of the product - and the perceived quality of your product by customers.
There can also be several challenges to working with a linen supplier located in a different country, including:
- Difficulty communicating and overcoming time zone barriers
- Longer shipping times
- Potential issues that could delay products at customs
- Inability to make routine visits onsite or to initially verify manufacturing practices onsite
- Less recourse should a supplier not fulfill an order correctly or at all
Finally, working with a domestic linen supplier provides more assurance that you can reach the company via phone with any questions. This provides you with a sense of security that your questions will be answered in a timely manner.
Textiles are never one-size-fits-all. Look for a linen supplier that provides custom services.
Whether it’s custom dyeing, custom printing or special finishes, a high-quality linen supplier should provide these services. They should also be willing to provide these services in small or large quantities.
And while customization may lengthen the delivery time, it shouldn’t be unreasonable and should still fit within your time-frame goals.
Simply put, if you can dream it, the best linen supplier should be able to deliver it.
Other Items To Look For
A linen supplier should never be afraid to provide you with references. The best linen suppliers will provide you with examples of their work and references of clients they’ve worked with so that you can hear about their experiences of working with the supplier you’re considering.
One of the items you should ask about upfront is whether the supplier has a minimum order quantity. This may impact how often you order from a supplier.
The time it takes from when you place your order to when you receive your order is important for any project. Factors, such as where the linen is sourced and how much they stock, may have an impact on turnaround time. High-quality linen suppliers will provide you with an approximate turnaround time so that you can determine whether that linen supplier is right for you.
Finding the right linen supplier can be a challenge, especially when this fabric may be a big part of the foundation of your business and projects. Working with the wrong supplier can lead to untimely delays, inferior products and unhappy customers.
It is important to take time to talk to the supplier, ask pertinent questions, discuss your project application and get samples if your timeline permits.
You can read more about one of the most popular linens in our article, 4 Reasons Why People Love Flax Linen.