Since the broadcast of our segment of the Sewing for Nancy show we have received some wonderful wonderful phone calls from around the country. Woman as far south as Florida and as far west as Colorado have reached out for insight and support.
Though blogging at times is difficult due to there being SO many thing to write about this weeks installment is very simple – and address the key question that has been asked of us.
Can you Send Us Fabric!
In this post I am going to share the insight on how textile materials are available and how they can be a resource to your charity organization.
The textile industry is an international multi-million dollar industry. Design plans are developed upwards to two years ahead of time. Every aspect of the curtains you buy or the pants you wear is strategically planned and figured out before the first item is ordered for production.
Just Imagine this process:
- Design teams find out through the industry papers that Blue and White Flowers are the NEXT big thing –
- Blue and White floral patterns (everything from Blue on Blue to white on white – teeny tiny to one big flower) are ordered in 2 yard – ½ bolt cuts from overseas
- ONE pattern is chosen from the boxes of samples
- Pattern samples are made for that one pattern
- The remaining 15 – 20 boxes of fabrics are discarded.
- Repeat for every industry, every type of clothing, every season!
- Note – at the end of the season, the pattern samples of that one pattern are ALSO discarded in preparation for next season.
If you are a sewer, weaver, rugmaker or textile artist of any type you can see how this is a valuable resource.
There are still manufacturing companies, textile mills, yarn mills and interior design companies throughout the country. Our organization resourced the companies which are based in New York City. However, even New York’s fashion industry is a shell of its former self. We too have seen the downturn which has affected our entire country. Yet the companies which are still here have provided us with exactly what is needed for our clients.
But how do I find these places?
Start with the internet. Searching “textile company”, “textile mill”, “mill ends”, “yarn mill” with your state”. Send the company a letter stating what it is you would like to do, how you need their help. Companies are seeking new ways of cutting costs and being “green”. Donations of fabric to charity organizations is one great way to accomplish this goal.
Be proactive. Begin to go to flea markets and yard sales. Post free ads in your newspaper (many will allow charities to post for requests for free) and let people know you are willing to pick up sewing machines/fabric and any of the supplies you need. Flyers in your supermarkets and libraries will bring a treasure trove. And don’t forget senior centers and senior living facilities. Many elders would be grateful to know that their honored possessions will have a new and useful home (and would Love to help!)
In my next post I will chat more about where to find donations in your area :))