By backandsides, Dec 8 2018 04:19PM
A few days ago, I received an enquiry for a Naval themed shirt for a gift, as usual I did my searches finding approximately 30 choices within the UK and about the same from my overseas suppliers. The client took a couple of days to think about things and then asked if I could do a second search for another theme, which I duly did. She then decided on a fabric from the original search, a stunning fabric which would come from one of our main suppliers.
A thorough search can take over an hour to do and if it’s an easy theme I can find up to 50 results, each result is checked for suitability because some 100% cotton fabrics are upholstery weight not quilting weight. I also need to check price obviously and availability.
Now availability is the least important check because usually there is more than one place selling the same pattern. However, on the real precise search themes where results are limited, fabrics can be in smaller amounts. If you have followed our Facebook page you will be aware that I have found the last of some fabrics, which means in theory the shirt made of it is a total one off and therefore priceless because it cannot ever be made again. Not that I charge my client the true value of one of these fancy back shirts.
I digress, going back to the story. The client has made her choice, I then send out the deposit invoice it was promptly paid, I contact my supplier as I notice that there is only 1.5 metres showing on the listing and I need 2 metres minimum. Normally he would have about a metre over the listed amount as its end of roll. He came back with "sorry Mark that is all I have." He also tells me that he has ordered more but it comes from the USA and could take 6 months to arrive. Now I'm in a dilemma.
A search for another supplier starts in earnest. It doesn't take many minutes to realise this fabric has gone out of production and no one has any. I manage to find another metre in Germany, but postage make it unrealistic to buy. Also, the 2 metres I require needs to be a continuous length. I then started different search wordings and after a good hour with an obscure worded listing I find 2.5 metres in Cornwall so buy it quickly. Panic over...
So, to err on the side of caution.
If we do a search for you or if you look yourself and find the most awesome fabric that is exactly what you are looking for. Buy it !!! Because if it's that good and popular the chances are in a few weeks it could be gone.
If it's not a good time to finance a fancy back shirt but you don't want to miss out, you could pay the £50 deposit, we are then happy to buy and hold your chosen fabric until you are ready to have your shirt made up.