Recently a supplier called me to let me know he had found a second roll of an exquisite black tropical wool with a bit of stretch, recently imported from Italy. I had ordered a good bit with my first order, but he knew that I would want to consider this additional amount. He said, are you buying or investing? I wanted to invest. Sometimes it just makes sense to extend yourself and buy it when you see it. We sell a great deal of black tropical wool. We only buy it though when we see the quality that meets our standards…there is a lot of inferior fabric out there in the marketplace! We buy both with and without stretch. This fabrication offers versatility to the custom sewer, both in terms of climate (year round for most areas) and design. Whether you choose a LBD, a dinner suit, day wear separates or a wardrobe builder pair of pants, this fabrication is with you for a long time. When we have it in stock, customers order in stocking quantities (5-10 yards). When we are out of stock, we have a constant stream of requests. So my supplier knew this was something I wanted in the “bank”.
We’ve talked about “stashing” which is a form of collecting—the joy of owning a fabric that you love and the potential that it has for future projects. Investing, however, is different. These fabrics are workhorses that never go out of style. The silhouettes change from year to year, but the classic fabrications stay constant or change at a much slower pace. For instance, black worsted wool—today’s version is lightwieght with added stretch, but tropical weight (tuxedo) without stretch is still very much in the mix as is black gab. If you had purchased one of these fabrics ten years ago and needed a new suit today, you could just go to your “bank” of investment fabrics and make a withdrawal.
Other fabrics we chose to “invest” in this fall include navy blue silk and wool herringbone, gray heather lightweight wool, charcoal wool flannel, and black viscose/Lycra jersey knit to name a few. What will you invest in this year? Share your thoughts.