Don’t you just hate flaws? We do our best to examine our fabrics when they arrive from our suppliers. Some of the goods we receive have traveled directly from mills, are marked with flaw markers, accurate mill tags for fiber percentages and widths. Others have taken a more circuitous route before they reach us and have been re-rolled several times. Of course, the first is preferable, but in reality most of the goods come a longer route—which is why they are more affordable to the consumer. Mill prices are the highest and are usually out of reach for the individual sewist. But back to flaws. We have long term relationships with our suppliers and know that we can expect first quality goods. Sometimes, however, our suppliers have missed a defect when they bought the goods.
Under the careful scrutiny of our receiver, our sampler and our cutting room staff, we find the flaws! Typically they are small and we can cut around them to satisfy orders. But just recently we had a huge disappointment when we received a wonderful piece of goods from a well-known design house. The goods are black double knit in rayon and lycra blend. The weight is wonderful, the hand soft and drapey. As we were about to cut for a customer, we noticed a faint line right down the middle of the knit. (we’ve enhanced it in the picture so you could see what we’re talking about). We looked, we studied, we held it up to the light, we checked both sides. The decision…it’s a flaw and will not work if overlooked and sewn into a garment. What to do? First, back to the supplier to arrange a reduction in cost, then on to the customer with a 30% price reduction, then back to the supplier to negotiate further. The end result? We kept all the yardage and decided to sell it. The goods are just too yummy to pass up, but they will be sold as flawed with a 30% reduction and warning about the flaw.
This is just one example of how we deal with flaws. Each flaw that we find presents a different challenge. You can take comfort that a flawed piece is a rare commodity and always a disappointment to us. Those of you who have been customers for a while know that we do our best to satisfy your orders in concert with your needs. We never knowingly send a flawed piece of goods without talking to you first.