Even More Technicalities

How to shop the fabric market.

Price:
The price of the fabric is what you will pay. However, you do not want to be shown fabrics that are above (or too far beneath) your price range. Therefore, it is imperative to let your fabric supplier know how much you would like to pay for the fabric you are sourcing. You generally advise a price range. For instance, I am looking for 100% cotton denim in the $5-6/yard range.

Fabric prices are quoted per the yard or per the meter. However, a price is quoted, it may or may not be the full price for that fabric. The cost per yard of finished goods from a domestic stock house or jobber is generally the end price (although you will need to add shipping as well), but when you look at imported fabric, suppliers quote prices with an abbreviation attached to the price per yard/meter. Those are incoterms, and you do need to know what they mean. The initials following the price of imported goods include the following: F.A.S., F.O.B., C.I.F., L.D.P., and D.D.P. They are defined as follows:

      F.A.S.: Free Along Side- It is the cost of the finished goods, plus it includes the shipping and delivery of the goods to the seaport, airport, or dock. The price does not include loading onto the ship or plane, the shipping or any other charges incurred from that point onward. The fabric company’s responsibility ends at the port.

     F.O.B.: Free on Board- It is the cost of the finished goods, and includes the delivery of the goods to the seaport or airport and the up-loading onto the ship or plane. The price does not include the shipping, or any other costs incurred from that point on. The fabric company’s responsibility on board the vessel.

   C.I.F.: Cost, Insurance and Freight- Is the cost of the finished goods, including the delivery of the goods to the sea/airport, up-loading onto the ship or plane, the shipping charges, and all applicable insurance fees along the way. The price does not include off-loading from the vessel, going through customs, or duties or other costs incurred from that point on. The fabric company’s responsibility ends when the boat does or plane lands at the country of import.

      L.D.P.: Landed and Duty Paid- This is the cost of the finished goods, plus the delivery of the goods to the sea/airport, the up-loading on to the ship/plane, shipping charges, shipping insurance, import licenses, off-loading from the boat or plane, and all import duties, customs border inspection fees, and applicable taxes paid. The fabric company’s responsibility ends when the goods come through customs.

     D.D.P.: Delivered and Duty Paid- This is the cost of the finished goods, plus the delivery of the goods to the sea/airport, up-loading on to the ship/plane, shipping charges and insurance, import licenses, off-loading from the boat or plane, import duties, customs inspection fees, and applicable taxes paid, plus the goods transported (usually by truck) to the importer’s warehouse, distribution center, or retail store. The fabric company’s responsibility ends when the goods are delivered at the warehouse or specified address.

Do know that fabrics quoted LDP or DDP, will be much higher than FAS, FOB, and CIF, as the fabric company is taking a great deal of risk and pay for all licenses, taxes and insurance every strip of the way. It is quite wither it, as you do not need to apply and pay for these services, but these fees are not negotiable. 

Now more about price: You will need the fabric cost per yard to calculate the garment or item cost. The price of your fabric is usually the largest component in costing a garment, and usually accounts for 60 to 70% of the total cost of an average garment. To calculate at what price your fabric should be, you need to know the fabric consumption for the particular style or styles in which you are cutting the fabric. Then you calculate the garment cost along with the trimmings, labor, overhead plus all other factors that go into your garment cost sheet. If after you calculate garment cost, you are at your target cost, then that is what the correct range for your fabric price. However, if your garment style costs too high, then you must find a lower-priced fabric. Keep in mind, that if you budget in a certain fabric price, remember to allow room on your costing sheet for extra yardage if needed. You should allow for wastage, which can be up to 10%, this covers errors in cutting and sewing, or imperfections in the received fabric, which you will catch when you inspect the delivered goods.

Also, transportation has a price. Even if you select domestic goods, realize that you must pay shipping for the fabric to arrive at your factory, office, or warehouse. So remember to consider the fact there will be a transportation charge, it is not included in the quoted fabric cost, and can be pricey, as fabric takes up space and weight- two of the three factors (the third is distance) when shippers quote transportation costs. The transportation price of your fabric is an additional factor in your garment price, and must go on your cost sheet as well.

Lastly, how much you want to pay for a yard of fabric is a factor you need to be up-front about from the very start. It is a waste of precious sourcing time, to look at fabric $16.00/yard fabrics, when you can only spend $6.00 to $7.00 per yard. You need to figure out from the start, what price range you need a fabric to be before you source the fabric, so you can look in the right direction and locate the very best fabric your collection.

Sample Yardage:
When you shop the fabric market, you may find many fabrics you like that may be workable for your line. If all the necessary details make several fabrics workable (including color, price, fiber type, delivery date, etc.) then the next step for many, but not all, designers and manufacturers, is sample yardage.

Why order Sample Yardage? Sample yardage is an important step in fabric selection and in the production process. It is the opportunity for you to see if your item, or items, will work in a particular fabric. You order sample yardage before your order production fabric yardage, if time permits pdf course. Sample yardage is generally ordered in a small amount of yardage, anywhere from 2 to 10 yards of a fabric quality. Once received, you cut and sew one or two styles in the sample yardage. This allows you to see if a fabric works well, hangs correctly, and fits and feels as desired. You can also use sample garments for selling in your showroom or at trade shows. As well as to make fit and style corrections. In addition, a company will often perform their own informal testing with a sample garment made in sample yardage. I have often put a style made from sample yardage in the washing machine, or dryer to see how it holds up after washing.

Sample yardage serves many purposes and becomes more important as your fabric quantities increase, and hence your costs, become greater. You pay for sample yardage, and sample yardage can may cost up to 50% more than production yardage, so choose your sample cuts carefully. Once you sew up the sample yardage and review it, if you choose it for your production, then you can place the production fabric order. Not every fabric supplier accommodates sample yardage requests, but most do. You will also pay shipping for sample yardage. But, as stated, it is worth the additional cost, as it as it is certainly better to order 6 yards of a fabric and learn it, is not perfect. then order 200 years of it and then find out.

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