Very often we are asked to source a particular fabric. Often we are able to help, but there are some caveats to the above statement. Let’s explore those.
Someone else showed this to me:
Aside from the difficulty of looking through hundreds of different fabrics from each of the hundreds of mills and vendors, the average fabric is only in production for roughly three years. This means that even if you magazine clipping, Instagram photo, or swatch is not private labelled (a term denoting the practice of using a proprietary designation to deter identification by others) chances are not good if you’ve been sitting on it for a year or two.
Additionally there are ethical considerations. Did another industry individual spend their time selecting this for you? If so were they compensated for their work or otherwise agree to allow you to use it? Obviously there is a big difference between bringing in an advertisement from a vendor trying to suggest you use their product and a photo on your camera of fabric another designer spent their time and talent assembling for you on spec.
I need the same exact thing:
This section could also be entitled who doesn’t love pets? Aside from the previously mentioned three year average for the production life cycle of fabric, every time a fabric is produced the color varies. Each production run has its own “dye-lot”. Natural fibers tend to have greater variance then synthetic, but even pieces from the same dye-lot have one more enemy..time. Over time even with minimal sun light or wear the original colors fade, patina, or otherwise change. Plastic off gasses, cardboard leeches acid, time and the environment are not the friends of color. I know it is not what many of you want to hear, but a good coordinate is often a better choice then a piece that looks like you tried to match, but failed.
Why does nobody have this color?
The last and possibly most disheartening section. Like a certain color? Can’t find it anywhere? That is because it is intentionally not produced. There you go, the conspiracy is real. “They” don’t want you to have Vermilion, Emerald, Puce…name it. The industry forecasts and directs the colors of the season and wouldn’t you know it faddy colors that don’t coordinate with the previous faddy colors are good for business. Can’t match with what you have? Buy all new everything. At some point in the future we can speak (read?) about why certain color combinations are kept out of the American marketplace, and color intensity in “To the trade only” fabrics.