Responsibilities of the Fabric Souring Department in an Apparel Export House

The fabric is the primary raw material of a garment that cost 60-80% of total garment cost. So it is very important to handle fabric souring carefully in garment export house to meet the target cost. To handle fabric development, procurement and inventory management export houses set a department for fabric sourcing.

fabric sourcing
Image courtesy: NRDC
Job responsibilities of the fabric sourcing department may vary widely depending on factors such as, type of products (woven, knits, high fashion), company profile (a composite factory, small garment manufacturing house) etc.

The responsibility of a fabric sourcing department or fabric sourcing personnel includes followings but not limited to these.
  • Development of fabric suppliers for different types of fabrics (domestic and international level)

  • Product (fabric and/or yarn) development as per buyer requirement

  • Fabric price negotiation with suppliers

  • Study market trends, latest finishes and fabric developments

  • Research on yarn price and market trend

  • Fabric costing

  • Sourcing yarn and get knitting done from knitting subcontractors (In case factories are not sourcing finished fabric)

  • Dealing with fabric sourcing - sourcing of greige fabric or finished fabric from suppliers 

  • Wet processing (specially dyeing) get done from dyeing mills

  • Printing and embroidery getting done (in case printing and embroidery process is done on fabric)

  • Dealing with fabric supplier for quality related issues, fabric to be reprocessed and rejected fabrics 

  • Fabric inventory management

  • Coordination with buyers/buying house for fabric quality parameters, fabric development

  • Dealing all documentation works like PO raising, making suppliers' Payments, follow-up with the transporter and getting material in-house

  • Developing fabric reference library
Also see: Fabric sourcing procedure for export orders

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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