Sourcing of Fabrics and Trims in Apparel Industry

Fabric and Trim Sourcing in Garment Industry

Pratik Patil
Department of Textiles (Fashion Technology)
DKTE’S Textile & Engineering Institute, Ichalkaranji, India
Intern at Textile Learner


What is Sourcing?

The main important thing in the sourcing is also known as attain or capture, it is the process of selecting the business or individuals based on set criteria. Also, this process is implemented in many different areas for different reason. The common use of sourcing is in supply chain management.

Strategic Business Plan
Figure 1: Strategic Business Plan

Types of Sourcing in Apparel Industry:

Local manufacturerBy using local infrastructure fabric is manufactured locally in the industry.
Extensive sourcingAs a portion of extensive sourcing master plan fabrics are made with parts sourced from abroad.
Worldwide Sourcing or International sourcingAll raw material required to make a fabric are sourced from other country. For (example – fiber or yarn)
Global manufacturingManufacturing of fabric is done in other country is called global manufacturing.
Conventional manufacturingInternal fabric is exported to the garment manufacturing countries.

These above types or plan are used for the buying of fabric by the garments buying house. From the above types of the sourcing the one of the popular plan or method is local manufacturing which we can do locally in garment industry. But if cost is higher for the manufacture, then we must use, or popular method is global manufacturing for fabric buying.

And if you want to decide strategy of sourcing then export house is very important. To deciding this strategy merchandiser as well as sourcing department plays important role. And then as per the buyer’s requirement production merchandiser complete the work of export order.

Functions of Sourcing Department in Garment Industry:

  1. Minimize the directory investment.
  2. Author the materials that are suitable to the purpose at the best prices.
  3. The one of the important functions of sourcing department is to develop good relationship with seller.
  4. Develop constant substitute source of supply.
  5. Develop particular and perform polices and procedure that supply materials at lower cost.
Sourcing Department in Garment Industry
Figure 2: Sourcing Department in Garment Industry

What is Fabric Sourcing?

The department of fabric sourcing is mainly occupied to control how and where its merchandise. And it works under the merchandising department and looks after the delivery required goods as per the agenda of time and cost. A fabric origin must have idea about the different varieties of fabric because if fabric source has better knowledge of all varieties, then it is easy for order to bring off their function successfully.

In storage basically fabric bundle are collected in two areas are as follows:

  1. Inspect fabric.
  2. Unchecked fabric.

1. Inspect fabric:
Inspection of fabric is the process of observation or checking of fabric quality, fabric color, measurement specification etc. in short fabric inspection means minimize the rejection of cut panels or declined garment due to fabric faults.

2. Unchecked fabric:
It is the process where fabric is not examined yet sometimes this happens due to laziness of the workers. Due to this process, it will be easy to locate fabric whenever it is needed in future.

5 Important points must remember about fabric sourcing are as follows:

1. Affordability: 
Overall, the fabric needed for your garment represents 60-70% of overall garment cost so one thing you must know about your end comprehensively/ retail prices when selecting the new fabrics each season. Crating a fit as well as quality at a price point of your customers can count on is pivotal to create a growing business. When you find fabric that works and vend well for your product use this as a principle within each season to produce or create consistency.

2. Testing:
As per the testing of the fabric is concerned testing of your fabric functionality you need to first check the gratified fabric so that you can easily ensure the fibers will take any finishing application added for example wet printing process, sublimation printing etc. But not all fibers take  for example some cotton as well as nylon fibers will not take certain printing method so be sure that you are working in the suggested base fabric to achieve the one of the best desired result for your outcome.

3. Availability:
From where you are buying your all types of sample fabrics is as important as what you are buying. One thing you must know that if you are getting your periodic or seasonal fabrics from municipal fabric stores then remember they mostly convey quota of the yardage acquired as overstock from the local designers or mills for each season so it is possible that when you order your bulk it may be not available for longer time. On the other hand, mills are the direct source to your crave fabric and generally mills are produces yardage and colors each season new items. So, you can buy a sample and then you can order bulk.

4. Sustainability:
Before selling of the product the promotion of the product is very important so being able to promote your own product having environmentally friendly and return attribute is mostly prepossessing to both buyers as well as the customers. Functioning with the fabric from the producer that can be cling to the release standards and the environmental protection policies to work with the reuse fabric and even after a recycle option prostrate and used.

5. Functionality:
Before making the garment it is one of the thing is to create the illustration of your actual garment that how it looks like and also it is thing to create flat sketches of your garment. It is very important to create a prototypes to wear test fabrics within every style to confirm capabilities of the design. Because sometimes fabrics will not drape or hang the way you visualize another fabric within that garment so that they don’t function well simultaneously.

Fabric sourcing process flow chart:

flow chart of fabric sourcing
Figure 3: Fabric sourcing process flow chart (

What is trim sourcing?

It is the third stage of the production that we work to is sourcing of fabric and trim of your garment. The substance used in the sewing section rather than fabric is called trims there are lot of variety for the trims are there including the trimming materials like zippers, labels, buttons, lining etc.

Figure 4: Trims

Other trim materials are as follows:

  • Elastics- knit, rubber, woven.
  • Adjusters- Used for straps and belt.
  • Shoulder pad- used mostly for blazers and coats.
  • Buckles- Used for the garments with belts.
  • Drawcords- Used for waist and hoods.
trims Sourcing and development package
Figure 5: Trims Sourcing and development package

The more use of the fabric and trim sourcing practices strategy changes the a way of the product develop distribution and also manufacturing. Due to this above changes garment industry plan makes the industry well organized to fulfill the demands of the customers in the proper or defined cycle time as well as in comparative cost.


  1. Fabric sourcing in garment manufacturing by textile school.
  2. Role of sourcing decisions in an apparel firm-fibre2fahion.
  3. Fabric and trim sourcing -Bridge and Stitch consultancy.
  4. How to source fabrics and trims for your clothing business (DIY OPTION)

Image references:

  1. Fabric sourcing process flow chart-Textile school
  2. Example of trims -bridge and stitch consultancy.
  3. trims-Sourcing and development package/alison hoenes.

You may also like:

  1. Fabric Sourcing Properly on the Way of Garments Manufacturing
  2. Strategic Business Pattern of Apparel Buying House or Sourcing Hub Office
  3. Fabric Sourcing: Key Task for Garment Merchandiser
  4. Proven Sourcing Strategy for Trims and Accessories
  5. Sourcing Techniques of Woven and Knitted Samples
  6. Different Types of Trims Used in Garments

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