Speaking of resources and the traditional industry site, I’ve been meaning to tell you about SEAMS. The site isn’t the best (I couldn’t find the meaning of the acronym “seams”) and membership is comprised of companies much larger than the average DE company but they do have some worthwhile resources on their site.
The navigation bar is way, way down, buried at the bottom of the page. Click on Product Search to get to their database listings. The sections you’d most likely be interested in are Materials & Services and Suppliers. Materials is self explanatory; services listed are things like pattern making, samples, sewing, stone washing, garment dyeing, laundry, screen printing, pleating, relabeling, quilting and full package so it’s worth a trip if you’re shopping for services. Note that you’ll have to hit your back button to get to a main screen since there aren’t any navigation buttons on secondary pages which can be frustrating. Lastly, linked sites are not as well designed either and it’s easy to get the idea these companies aren’t professional based on their web presentation but that’d be the wrong tack to take. Web site development just hasn’t been a priority in this business.
ApparelNews.Net is useful but to which access is somewhat limited; yearly access costs $85. Still, you can find quite a bit by clicking on Links and selecting from the categories listed there. I used to have a direct link into their database but I don’t know where I put it.
Another traditional resource is Fashiondex; a company that compiles and sells directories. Of course they’d like you to buy one of their directories but you can still pull out quite a bit of information if you know how to navigate their site. For example lets say you wanted to find a contractor in TX. Click on the contractor’s tab, then watch that skinny little bar across the top to find the subcategory of “by state” (location), once there, select TX. When that page loads, you’ll only see a few listed but if you continue scrolling down the page past all of the error messages, you’ll see a “next page” button. Click on that and so on.
And speaking of sourcing materials, you can visit the global fabric library hosted by Cotton Incorporated. I wouldn’t consider Cotton Inc to be a traditional apparel industry site because their directory is easily navigated. Miracle says they also have a print directory complete with listings of small batch fabric and garment dyeing but I’ve been unsuccessful in locating the means to acquire one off of their site.
Feel free to add your resources (and caveats) by commenting and once I have a good resource list that’s been vetted by readers, I’ll post that in the bulletin board as a sticky.